Step-Father of The Bride Speech

Giving a wedding speech can be daunting at the best of times, especially when in unusual circumstances, but it doesn’t need to be.

If the bride has asked you to deliver a speech at her wedding, it’s because she feels you are one of the people who know and love her best, and we all know that she is the boss! So here are some of our top tips to help you to create the perfect speech for her, and all the wedding guests.

Mother and Father Wedding

Step-Father of The Bride Speech Etiquette

You have two jobs to do, and that’s to make everyone feel welcome, and to make the bride feel loved. Oh, and hopefully entertain the guests along the way.


If the father of the bride is going to be there, or if he’s even making a speech himself, be careful of treading on his toes. Keep as much as possible to anecdotes relating to your relationship with the bride, and try to keep away from family politics, or anything that happened to the bride before you met her.

If the bride has a difficult relationship with her father, and he isn’t going to be there, today is not a day to bring up your feelings around that. Ask the bride if she would like you to mention her father at all, but if in doubt, leave him out.

If the bride’s father passed away, she may want you to mention him at some point in the speech. Be aware that this could be a very emotional moment in the day. This isn’t the time to do a eulogy, however, it might be nice to mention how proud her dad would have been of her on her wedding day.


Thank yous are traditionally the groom’s domain, so don’t feel like it’s something you need to do, as tempting as that may seem. You can always thank Great Aunty Doris for travelling so far to attend personally, once the speeches are all over.

Father of the Bride Speech


All speeches should be unique and based on you and the bride’s personal relationship (so no Googling for clichéd one liners), but it’s always useful to have a structure to hand as you write it.

  1. Welcome the guests, and make them laugh as quickly as possible. That first ripple of laughter will relax you, and the guests.
  2. Tell some funny anecdotes from when you first met the bride (especially if it relates to the woman she is now). What did you think of her, what was she like as a child or a stroppy teenager? What did you think you had let yourself into? Remember, a loving tribute includes taking the mick.
  3. Pay tribute to the woman she is now, and how she got there. Pay tribute to the good stuff, the lovely stuff, but most importantly, the funny stuff.
  4. Recount how you met the groom, how you felt about him, and all of the positive things he brings to the bride’s life (and if you really like him, share some of the less positive things too- but only if you can do it with love)
  5. The soppy stuff. You may want to share some advice with the happy couple, or your hopes for them in the future. Let them know that no matter what, you’ll always be there for them.
  6. The toast. Traditionally it’s “to the health and happiness of the happy couple”, but we prefer a more personal touch. Something that means something to them, or which ties into the theme of your speech.
father of the bride speech

Five Step-Father of the Bride Rules

Rule 1- Be different

Your relationship is different to the traditional father/bride relationship, so why shouldn’t your speech be? Yes, every bride is beautiful, yes every bride is clever and kind, and we’re not saying you shouldn’t include all that stuff, but what makes her unique? What makes your relationship with her unique? She may be wearing a princess dress for the day, but that doesn’t mean that she is one. You love her for who she is, and so does everyone in the room. Celebrate that.

Rule 2- Be funny

People expect the best man to be funny, but no one ever left a wedding thinking “I wish the speeches had been a bit less amusing”.

We all know you and her mother were very proud of how well she did in her GCSE’s, but unless there is a funny story attached, save that observation for another time.

We suggest a mix of about 75% humour, with about 25% heartfelt and sincere.

Think of the stories you share with her that still make you laugh out loud. Chances are they’ll make everyone else laugh out loud too.

Rule 3- Tell a story

The best speeches take us on a journey. A theme can be perfect, whether that’s one connected to something she loves, her job or even the wedding venue, if you can weave some of your anecdotes together you’ll find the speech will land better, it’ll be easier to write, and everyone will think you’re a professional storyteller! (Although be warned- people might start taking bookings)

Rule 4- Cut The Waffle

Edit, edit, edit. If you’ve known the bride for a long time, there may be so many things you want to say, it might get overwhelming. We suggest you aim for about 7-8 minutes tops (remember you’ll need to add time in there for laughter too- you’ll need it, we promise) About 1100-1200 words should be your absolute upper limit. You can tell everyone all the stories you had to cut at the bar later.

Rule 5- Deliver the goods

Will there be a mic? How many people will be in the room? Do you want a full script or just some notes?

Remember, the wonderful, heartfelt, funny words you have written will need to be spoken out loud at some point, so practice! What looks good on paper can sometimes come out as a tongue twister.

Speak slowly, and don’t forget to smile. Everyone there wants you to do well, so enjoy the moment. The more you enjoy it, the more everyone else will too!

Check out our Father of the Bride Speech Advice for more ideas on how to write a great speech

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