Standing in for father of the bride

I have been asked by the bride, a very good friend of my wife and I, to walk her down the aisle and give a short speech at the reception. Her parents are unable to attend the wedding as they are rather elderly and reside in a country a long way from the wedding locale. How should I compose the speech? How should I refer to the parents and should I say things regarding welcoming the groom to the family on their behalf, etc? Or should I focus more on the bride?

Deborah McCoy, President, American Academy of Wedding Professionals™


Your take on this is right on. You are acting as the “father of the bride” in this case, so there’s nothing wrong with you welcoming the groom to the family on behalf of the absent parents. You may also mention the parents, and the fact they were unable to attend, etc., and that you and your wife are long-time friends of the bride, hence your role at the wedding.

Speeches should last no more than five minutes; they should offend no one; and you must be prepared with your remarks.

Good Luck!

Joyce C Smith, MBC, President and owner of Weddings Unlimited, Inc.

This is such an honor to be asked to fill in for the bride’s father. Some brides would pass on this and walk the aisle alone. Step right in and do the honors. You could spend some time talking with the bride and groom and then prepare your speech to include both.

Brandi Hamerstone,Owner/Senior Wedding Planner All Events Planned

Congratulations on being that important in a young girl’s life. How wonderful that she thinks enough of you to want you to fill in for her father. I would try to focus on the bride and groom and their new lives together. If you speak with the parents, you may get something you can say ON their behalf and surprise the bride by including that in your speech.