The father of the bride speech has been the subject of a lot of jokes and parodies, and whether you want to deliver one that will bring the house down or just to get through it without stumbling too much, remember that there some good things to remember. Once you have your speech memorized, you'll find that it all goes very easily, and it'll be over before you know it!
The day when you give your daughter away in marriage is big one in any father's life, and it may seem a little unfair that you have to combine all the responsibilities that go with it with an experience in public speaking as well! However, you'll find that this is a great opportunity for you to honor your daughter and her choice of a life partner.
Start by introducing yourself and thank everyone for showing up. This is a good way to make everyone comfortable and to let them know where you're speaking from. Don't worry about needing to be funny or about entertaining people, and don't worry about making your speech too long. A speech that is only a few minutes long is ideal.
When looking for good material for the body of your speech, think about your daughter. Reflect on where she is in her life at this moment, and talk about the steps she has taken to get there. This is a great time to share some stories about her youth, or about the relationship that the two of you have shared. Let everyone know how proud you are of her. Remember that you shouldn't embarrass her, this is still her day and you want her to enjoy it.
Also speak about her romantic choice. Talk about how she first introduced the two of you and what your first impression of her partner was. Relate your hopes for them and make sure that it is obvious that this is a union that you support. In many ways, your relationship with your daughter will be on display, so make sure that everyone knows how proud you are of her choice and of her decisions.
You may also want to give the newlyweds a few words of advice at this point. This is definitely a part of the speech that can go on too long, so make sure that you keep it short. Talk a little bit about the decisions you made, and what you wish you had known when you were their age. Be sincere; this is something that your daughter and her partner will remember for the rest of their lives, so make it count.
It might be a little difficult to know how to end a speech; this can be awkward even for experienced speech givers, but you'll find that as the father of the bride, you have an easy out. All you need to do is present the bride and the groom to the audience. Something like, "Ladies and gentlemen, I now give you..." will end in applause and a great opportunity for you to bow out.