Bride or groom, fathers have traditionally held a huge role on their child’s wedding day.
Beyond coughing up the cash for the wedding bill (and thus having lots of say in the planning), dads also traditionally have had a handful of duties on the wedding day itself. Although some duties have evolved to suit modern times (dads of the bride, you’re officially off the hook for footing the entire wedding bill), it’s still meaningful to involve your dad in some capacity on your wedding day.
If you want to do something special to pay tribute to Dad, take a peek at our favorite ways to show fathers some love on your wedding day. We’ve got plenty of ideas for the traditional and non-traditional couple alike, and you’ll also get a chance to hear from real Blueprint brides about their special plans for their dads.
Take A (First) Look!
Get your photographer and handkerchiefs ready to capture dad’s first look at their child before they tie the knot. First looks don’t have to be reserved only for the bride—this is an incredibly special and intimate gesture that the bride or groom can request.
There’s something really moving about a father’s happy tears, and you’ll be so glad to look back on the precious memories. Make sure to come prepared for a quick face touch up in case of a mascara run!
Hitch A Ride With Pops To The Ceremony
It doesn’t matter if you’re renting a limo, or hopping on the back of a scooter—having your dad ride along with you to the wedding ceremony is part of him giving you away. Share the precious moments before the wedding with dad to help calm your jitters before he sends you off. There’s nothing like the comfort of a parent before a monumental life moment. We have no doubt that dad will be honored to be your rock.
Make It Personal
Gifts are so much more meaningful when they have a personal touch. Over the years, you and your father have created countless memories that have shaped your relationship. Why not use some of those to personalize your gift to him?
Get a lyric or passage embroidered onto a handkerchief, or consider a personalized picture frame or picture book from Artifact Uprising. If your dad likes tech, an Apple Watch with a custom strap is sure to woo him. Go the extra mile and load it up with his favorite music and pictures of the two of you together. You’ll be sure to get the tears flowing.
We believe some traditions are worth keeping, and involving dad in the wedding processional is one we will love forever. If you’re a bride, have him walk you down the aisle and give you away. Are you okay with tweaking tradition? Have the groom’s mother and father walk him down the aisle before the bride is escorted.
Read a passage, lyric, or something you personally wrote to him during the ceremony. Or have your dad read something aloud. Blueprint user Kristen from St. Louis plans to have her father give a speech, and goes the extra mile to make sure he feels included in the wedding planning. “We meet with him monthly over breakfast to give him updates and ensure he feels involved.” Every meeting is better over breakfast.
Because You Love Dad Sew Much
Just like we suggested for honoring mom, sewing a custom patch or a piece of fabric that reminds you of your dad into the inside of your dress or tux is a great for honoring dad, too. Sew it inside of your gown neckline or inside the left side of your coat so it’s near to your heart. Get dad involved when picking something meaningful, and take lots of pictures of the finished product and, of course, of his reaction.
Save The First Dance
The traditional first dance with the bride and her father is special and emotional for everyone. As much as we love ever-changing wedding traditions, the first dance is a gorgeous gesture that really gets the tears flowing.
Brides and grooms alike can alter tradition and plan their own, unique first dance. If you want to really switch things up, consider non-traditional music or even a choreographed routine. Look into taking dance lessons together to prepare for the big event. There’s no doubt he’ll feel special and proud preparing for the big performance, and your guests will love the surprise. Who knows? Your dance may even go viral!
Don’t let your dancing skill level get you down—first dances are beautiful no matter what. Blueprint user Kendra from Alabama loves the idea of a first dance. “I want our first dance to be special, but I haven’t thought of anything yet. My dad can’t do any fancy routines, but we’ll come up with something.”
(If you’re looking for a little quirky dance routine inspiration—and maybe even some laughs—we suggest doing a quick YouTube search for wedding dance mashups. You can thank us later.)
A Sneaky, Subtle Surprise
We love the idea of planning a sentimental surprise for dad, especially if it’s something you can share between just the two of you. If speeches or dances aren’t your thing, write dad a special note and leave it in his suit pocket to find later. Create a scrapbook full of your favorite memories together and plans for the future, and leave it in a place where he can find it. Or simply write your dad a heartfelt letter, and make sure it’s delivered near your wedding day.
Big gestures aren’t for everyone, so don’t feel obligated to put your love on display for all your guests to see. You know yourself—and your dad—better than anyone.
Wedding days are full of emotions and warm fuzzies, but especially so for the parents of the couple. Show mom and dad how much you love and appreciate them by planning a special gesture (or two), big or small.