Unique Ways to Celebrate Father Figures on Your Wedding Day

Tips and TrendsWedding Inspo | June 16, 2024
Bride wearing Ekaterina by Maggie Sottero next to her father figure

Happy (almost) Father’s Day! Planning a wedding gives you tons of opportunities to honor and celebrate your father (or father figures) — from including him in the wedding duties to creating special, personalized moments of celebration for the two of you. If you’re exploring ways to include Dad in your wedding, you’re in the right place. We hope you’ll find something fun, inspiring, and authentic to you in our rundown of wedding ideas for father figures below…

Father Figure Duties

PC: Yes I Do Production | Paper Cranes

For many brides, celebrating the father of the bride and finding unique ways to incorporate him into the wedding day boils down to one simple task: Give him a job! Having set responsibilities helps a dad feel needed and included in your special day. If he’s a nervous or introverted type, these tasks help him relax and go with the flow. If he’s a creative and outgoing type, these help him focus and connect with your vision. 

There are tons of jobs that father figures would love to help with. Start with these father of the bride duties:

  • Greeting guests and getting everyone seated before the ceremony
  • Walking you down the aisle and “giving you away”
  • Giving a toast at your reception or rehearsal dinner
  • Helping out financially (if he can of course)
  • Coordinating his outfit with the groom and groomsmen to feel a part of the wedding party
  • Participating in the father-daughter dance
  • Making sure the wedding is organized and the vendors are happy
  • Providing emotional support and easing wedding-day jitters
  • Offer inspiring messages or advice for the newlyweds

Including your father figures in final walkthroughs, asking them to help you make centerpieces and floral arrangements, and trusting them to make sure things go smoothly on your big day — these are ideal ways to honor your dad and the other important men in your life. (Psst! You can direct him to our blog, The Must-Have Last Minute Wedding Checklist For The Soon To Be Bride as a guide on last-minute responsibilities he can help with!)

Include The Father Figure In Dress Shopping

PC: Rebecca Ashley Photography

Who says that dress shopping is a girls-only event? We happen to know quite a few dads with impeccable taste (or at the very least, really good mediation tactics for a bridal party). If you’re open to including your father figure in the gown shopping process, consider the following:

  • Bringing your father figure to your bridal appointment gives him the opportunity to see you say yes to your dream dress! Who knows? Watching his little girl get all dressed up for her fairytale ending and providing emotional support might just mean the world to him!
  • Asking your dad to research Wedding Dress Shopping Tips is a great way to show you trust his judgment and care about his collaboration and support. 
  • Depending on your father figure’s personality, he might be the perfect addition to your “review panel.” Maybe he’s really good at objective feedback or your biggest cheerleader — whatever you need, he’ll provide! 

Have A First Look With Your Father Figures

PC: Jessica Jones Photography

Whether you bring the father of the bride to your bridal appointment or not, we recommend having a First Look with him on your big day! Taking time to connect and show off your bridal look can be such a heartfelt moment, allowing you and your dad to pause and honor each other before you and your betrothed get married. (And don’t even get us started about the tearjerker, memories-for-a-lifetime photos this moment makes!)

Have Your Partner Invite Him To Get Ready With Him And The Groomsmen

PC: Izzie Cervantes Photography

A wedding is your special day to enjoy with your family, but it’s also the day that your husband will join it! If your partner is a groom, he might invite the father of the bride to get ready with him and his groomsmen… This is a great way for him to win brownie points with his future father-in-law and make him feel included.

Aside from some fantastic bonding time, it also gives your father figure a chance to impart some last-minute words of wisdom as the first “man in your life,” which can make for such a sentimental moment. If this kind of bonding is natural to your family’s and partner’s personalities, this is a great opportunity for this kind of meeting to happen organically.

Ask One Of Your Father Figures To Officiate The Wedding

If you want to go a step above your father figure walking you down the aisle, ask the father of the bride to officiate the wedding and sign your marriage license! This is an ideal opportunity to make your story full circle and have a more personal, intimate ceremony from someone who knows you best. (Plus, no more random officiants in the background of all your wedding photos, just the father of the bride lovingly watching you start your happily-ever-after.)

Go Suit Shopping With Your Father Figures

PC: Absolute Photo

Glam is for dads too! To treat your dad on your wedding day, think about going with him to pick out his suit, or even purchase it for him.

No matter what your wedding color palette is, there are lots of colors that will complement the theme, aesthetic, and your wedding dress. Some of the most popular suit colors your dad can choose from are navy blue, maroon, tan, and of course, a traditional black. This is also a great tip if your father figure can’t make it dress shopping with you; you don’t have to miss out on that special getting-ready moment.

Give Your Father Figures A Gift On The Big Day

Gifting is classic, and giving your father something sweet and personalized on your wedding day is sure to make him feel extra special. There are a ton of different kinds of presents to give the father of the bride on your wedding day, but as long as they come from you, he’ll love them! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • A framed photo of the two of you.
  • A planned experience to share when you return from your honeymoon.
  • A personalized gift like a pocket square, watch, tie clip, or monogrammed socks.
  • A coordinated tie to wear for the big day.
  • A scrapbook full of memories, mementos, and stories.
  • Something to aid in his hobbies like new golf balls, a fishing pole, painting set, or a deck of cards.
  • A nice bottle of his favorite wine or liquor.
  • His favorite cologne.
  • An illustration of him walking you down the aisle or your father-daughter dance.
  • A record from his favorite band.
  • Something sentimental, like a reference to your childhood, a handwritten letter, or a photo album.

Dance With Him to His Favorite Song

PC: Izzie Cervantes Photography

When it comes to tearjerker moments, there is nothing like a father and daughter dance on your wedding day! If it’s right for your personality, this ritual represents your bond with your father and the love and gratitude you two have for each other — and a sweet and meaningful moment for your honored guests. 

Plan a father-daughter dance by choosing a favorite or sentimental song between the two of you. Some father-daughter duos enjoy something more upbeat and choreographed, while others prefer a slow dance with time to talk to your dad one-on-one before your exit. Choose what works for your vibe!

These planned dances aren’t just for the father of the bride — stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and any special father figure in your life can be included as well. 

Have A Moment Alone With Him Before The Ceremony

PC: Madison Richards Photo

If quality time is the father of the bride’s love language, make sure to spend some with him before you walk down the aisle. This will likely inspire moments of connection, advice-giving, and reminiscing over memories you’ve made together, as well as help you work through any wedding-day jitters. Your big day is bound to be a little hectic, so having a nice moment with your dad before all the craziness starts is a great way to make you feel special and allow the two of you to reconnect.

Here are a few ways to create time for father figures on your best-day-ever:

  • Have an early breakfast the morning of your wedding.
  • Take a sunrise walk before everyone starts getting ready.
  • Drink a cup of coffee together before you start getting ready.
  • Have a drink or movie night the evening before the big day, just the two of you.
  • Take some time before you walk down the aisle to have a final chat.

Taking time like this for yourself and your loved ones is a great way to stay relaxed on your big day. You can read more tips for staying stress-free on your wedding day on our blog.

How To Honor Father Figures Who Have Passed

PC: J. Mosley Photo | Stephanie Nieves Photo

For our brides out there who have lost their father figure, there are still so many ways to celebrate and include them on your wedding day, such as:

  • Have a memory table full of some of his favorite things and photos. You can also include other people who have passed on the table like grandparents, in-laws, and family friends.
  • Toast all the father figures in your life that have passed.
  • Have a moment of silence to honor him.
  • Leave an open seat right at the front to keep his memory alive.
  • Carry a piece of him on your wedding day by stitching part of his favorite shirt into the layers of your dress or wear his wedding band on a necklace as you walk down the aisle.

Excited to create something special for the father figures in your life? Follow our Instagram page for more ideas and inspo from our real brides, styled shoots, and expert content:

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