What Does the Father of the Bride Do?

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The father of a bride traditionally pays at least some wedding expenses, walks his daughter down the aisle, hosts the reception, dances with his daughter at the reception and toasts the newly married couple. Traditionally, the bride and her mother make most of the decisions in planning a wedding, while the bride's father pays the bills.

Fathers of brides-to-be should assist in setting a budget early in the wedding planning process. If money is too tight to pay for the entire wedding, fathers may propose alternatives, such as paying for a scaled-down ceremony or paying for the honeymoon.

The father of the bride walking his daughter down the aisle is often considered one of the most touching parts of a wedding ceremony. The tradition of "giving away" the bride comes from a time when women were considered property, but the gesture, which indicates that a father approves of the marriage, continues to be used in most U.S. weddings as of 2014.

The father of the bride hosts the wedding reception and may dance with his daughter after she completes the first dance with her new husband. Fathers who are not good dancers may want to take lessons and practice. The father of the bride is often asked to make a brief speech or lead a toast at the wedding reception. Remarks should be kept brief and should be sincere and complimentary.