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Friday, June 8, 2012

Father of the Bride Speech at Daughter's Wedding

As the summer wedding season gets going, as the proud father of the bride, you may have to deliver a brief welcome speech at the reception. If so, here's my "father of the bride" speech for you to use as an example. This one is also an exception to the 3-minute rule for my NBTMV videos -- weighing in at almost 6 minutes, but you can't blame me for being long-winded; after all, this is my daughter's wedding and the first one at that!
Below is the speech as I had prepared it, but I spoke from memory, so the video does not match exactly, but it's always helpful to prepare (notice how short it is in print, yet it took almost 6 minutes to deliver the speech):

Good evening everyone. On behalf of my wife Leha and our family, we’d like to welcome friends and relatives of both families who are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Emily and Anran.
Thank you for taking time from your busy lives to join us on this evening, in some cases traveling quite a distance to be here. We hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the evening and remember this day fondly as we surely would.
I feel so proud today to be standing here as the father of the bride as she is looking beautiful with the man of her dream.
I remember as if it was only yesterday... when Emily was 4, she started to play children’s songs by ear on our piano and that’s when we decided to give her piano lessons when she turned 5.
The other thing I remember is how one day she announced that she wants to learn the violin when she was 9 and in elementary school. Despite discouragement from my wife who thinks the violin is much harder to learn than the piano, Emily’s progress was so impressive within 6 months of learning the violin that her mother was convinced that Emily would be able to play the violin after all. I remember her having violin lessons with Jody Gatwood and later taking her to Juilliard in NY city for violin lessons in her senior year. After year’s of chauffeuring to violin lessons and orchestra rehearsals, we were so happy when she got her driver’s license and could drive herself to her fellowship with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. Emily is so good at everything -- from handicraft to cooking to math and science -- she got perfect score in math in both the SAT & GRE -- she could have been anything, but she chose music and the violin because she loves it.
You know, how some parents think no one is good enough for their daughter, it’s quite the opposite for us; we think Anran is great for Emily. He’s very considerate and thoughtful-- not to mention, extremely smart.

Emily and Anran have been friends since middle school and became best friends in college. With their love and friendship Emily and Anran can face anything that life may throw at them.
Traditionally, at this point, I should offer some advice on marriage, but you two have known each other and been together now for quite some time, so you don’t really need much advice on that front. The only practical advice I can think of is -- cook for the entire week during the weekend, live like you’re still a graduate student, and take vacations each year. That should see you through a long and happy married life.
Before I close, may I propose a toast to the most important couple tonight... if you’d please join me...
Ladies and Gentlemen, Emily and Anran -- here’s to a long and happy marriage!

P.S. As for father-daughter dance, we danced the "foxy" to the tune of "Rufus Wainwright-Across The Universe." Here's a video:

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