Firstly, make sure you’ve introduced yourself (or someone else has welcomed you to the stage), then think of a witty or humorous way to welcome all the guests to the wedding. As soon as you’ve got your first laugh, you and everyone else there will immediately relax – so get it in early!
THE TRIBUTE TO YOUR DAUGHTER
Next, start telling your favourite stories. Well, the ones that relate to your daughter at least.
Your speech is a once in a lifetime opportunity to dwell on the relationship you have with your daughter and how it’s evolved over the years. Your fondest memories, and your proudest moments.
Don’t do what a lot of Asian fathers do and just list your daughter’s academic accomplishments and extra circular achievements. This speech isn’t about showing off – it’s about showing your love and paying tribute to your daughter’s character.
It’s also the time to make people laugh. Humour really is a great bonding juice and your speech is a chance to really kick-start the party as well as pay tribute to your daughter. She will be just as proud of you if you make her groom laugh, as she will if you bring a tear to her eye.
Of course, the trick to putting your speech into the premier league is to think of a theme that links all your random anecdotes and insights into one overall narrative. Is there anything that bridges the stories, any recognisable traits in your daughter, or common thread running through them? A good speech is like good story-telling; you need a beginning, a middle and an end; a clear flow.
THE TRIBUTE TO YOUR SON-IN-LAW
As well as paying tribute to your daughter (both as a child and the woman she is today) you also need to talk about your child’s choice of spouse.
So, what were your first impressions? At what point did you decide that they’re perfect for your child? What weird things did they do that caused you concern? What are some of your daughter’s characteristics her groom should be wary of?!
Obviously, you can add more levels of teasing if you can genuinely deliver it with true affection. If you have any remaining reservations, certainly do NOT even allude to them.
Conclude your speech offering some wise, and also some humorous words of wisdom regarding a happy marriage. Wish the happy couple all the best in their life together and ask the guests to join you in a toast to their health and happiness.