Giving a toast is challenging enough, but imagine you don’t know why you’re giving it in the first place. A dad recently came to Vow Muse with this exact question. He knew he was supposed to give a speech at the reception, but he wasn’t sure what to focus on, or really what he was supposed to say. Should he talk about his marriage? About his baby girl’s childhood? About how skeptical he was of the groom (and to be honest, still is)?
With these lingering questions, and realizing that wedding-day etiquette isn’t inherent, nor is it something we all know without direction, a bit of research, and a genuine need to find out, Vow Muse comes to you today with a few important do’s and don’ts for the FOB toast.
Before we begin, let’s just say what the FOB toast is about. What you as a father want to do is convey the feeling of pride and love that you genuinely have for your daughter. Now is the time to be sentimental, to compliment your daughter, to have a room full of her closest friends and family hear about her accomplishments and what makes her the bees knees from one of the men who knows her best. FOB’s also speak to welcome the groom into the family, and to welcome everyone to the reception.
Do: welcome everybody! Fathers speak first, traditionally, and it’s up to them to greet guests and set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Do: give a little insight into what the bride was like in the family setting (as a child, teenager, and adult — all are fine). If you tell an embarrassing story, make sure it has a poignant moment.
Don’t: tell a potentially humiliating story without purpose, or because you think it’s funny. If you’re unsure, ask someone close to the bride how she might feel about a story you want to tell.
Do: offer a piece of advice to the newlyweds. The more heartfelt and honest this is, the better it comes across.
Don’t: say anything negative about family members, the groom, the groom’s family, or anyone at the reception. Literally, leave your negativepants at home.
Do: compliment the bride and groom, and welcome the groom and his family into yours.
Don’t: allude to the cost of the wedding. At all.
Do: discuss first impression of the groom, provided you back them up with what the groom is like as you’ve gotten to know him.
Don’t: make comparisons to other family members. Leave comparisons out of it.
Do: tell the truth. It might sound like we’re suggesting you be totally positive to the point of telling tall tales. Really what you want to do is be authentic to how you feel and what the dynamic of your family is.
The most important thing to remember is the golden rule of speaking out loud in general: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And if you’re struggling to say what you want to say, or convey how you’re feeling from thoughts onto paper, remember you can always ask for help from a trusted friend, family member, or a professional like Vow Muse.