Prior to the actual wedding and reception, the father of the groom has few responsibilities beyond supporting his wife as she makes the family’s preparations, showing up on cue on specified occasions, such as the stag party and rehearsal dinner. He will also be expected to offer his credit card or cheques to pay for the traditional expenses covered by the groom’s parents.
However, on the wedding day itself, he becomes highly visible. He can be a steadying influence and pillar of support in the midst of an environment of nervous tension and chaotic activity. Here’s how the father of the groom can be most helpful on the big day:
* He should support his son, and make himself available in the general area where the groom, the best man and ushers are preparing for the ceremony. He may be called upon for advice, last minute errands, or merely as a steadying influence amidst a sea of activity.
* He should ensure that out-of-town guests from his side of the family have directions to the church and the site of the reception.
* He will accompany his wife to the church and follow her and an usher down the aisle. The parents of the groom will occupy the front seat on the right side of the church.
* He will drive with his wife to the wedding reception, stand in the receiving line with her and greet the guests.
* He will sit at the parents’ table, and try to make pleasant, upbeat conversation.
* He may be asked to make a toast or deliver a “Father of the Groom” speech.
* He should join the first dance with his wife, when invited to do so.
* Whether or not he has contributed to the wedding and reception financially, he and the bride’s father are considered to be co-hosts. As such, he should mingle with the guests and try to ensure that everyone is comfortable and having a good time
* At some time during the evening he should dance with the bride.
* He should watch that the bar is well-stocked.
* If any guest is drinking too much, he should arrange a ride home for him or her , or offer to pay for a cab. If there are several who seem to be inebriated, he may want to consult with the bride’s father about closing the bar early.
* He and the bride’s father should be the last to leave the reception, being sure that all the bills are paid, and that all the guests get away safely.
Most fathers of the groom have been active and involved participants, along with their wives, in raising and nurturing their sons from infancy to young adulthood. It is only right that they be highly visible on that special occasion when their sons embark on their own unique journeys into married life.
It will all be worthwhile when the groom, his son, grasps him in a bear hug, as he is leaving for his honeymoon and says in a husky, emotional whisper, “Thanks so much for everything, Dad!”