He may not get as much shine as the mother of the bride, but the father of the bride is just as important of a role! While most dads aren't included in dress shopping or the shower traditions, and may not have an interest in picking flowers and cakes (although they may be up for a tasting!), there are many ways to get the FOB involved. Here, 10 ways to let the father of the bride put his mark on the big day with these dad-friendly tasks.
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Who better to choose the song he'll dance to with his daughter than dad? It will likely be the highlight of the night for him, so let him shine. "This can also be kept as a surprise for the bride, which will make the moment even more memorable," says planner Victoria Cameron. To fit in some additional pre-wedding quality time with dad, ask him to arrange for dance lessons, suggests planners Erin Sprinkel and Angela Tormey Margolis of Sterling Social in California.
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Dad's always been there lending a hand from homework to moving you to college to teaching you how to drive. He can do it all. "Fathers are always handy when it comes to turning an assortment of materials into something amazing," says Cameron. So ask him to get creative with some DIY projects, such as welcome signs, props for the photo booth, or ceremony décor. This arch, for example, was designed and built by the bride's architect father.
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Does dad like a good puzzle? Then he'll be pumped to put together a wedding's biggest puzzle of all—the seating chart. He has the insight for the bride's side of the family, so his help will be welcome. "He'll also better understand the layout, so he can assist with the proper seating of guests at tables on the wedding day," says Sprinkel and Margolis.
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It's an important detail that can get lost in the shuffle of cake tastings, dress fittings, and décor planning. "Arranging transportation is often a task that the groom asks to do himself," says Cameron. "But inspecting the cars would be a great opportunity to include the father of the bride while managing some male bonding on the side."
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Out-of-town guests appreciate it when the couple organizes a wedding block. Cameron recommends having dad take care of this time-consuming task while everyone else is handling the other details. "A father's level head can be useful when negotiating check-in and check-out times and group rates," she says.
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The bar is no longer simply beer, wine, and classic mixed drinks. It's a destination. Help facilitate some groom and father-in-law bonding time by asking dad to help the groom come up with signature cocktails, says planner Erica Berman of Jane Layne, LLC in New York and Florida. If they're feeling in the mood, they can brainstorm fun names, too. But that's just a bonus! "If the father of the bride is one of those men who love a good scotch, whiskey, or bourbon, or even a good stogie, then he might be the perfect person to design a scotch and cigar bar or order some Cubans for guests to enjoy post-dinner," advises planner Misty Damico of Luxe Event Productions in Oregon.
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Setting up Socials
Weddings are no longer one-day affairs. "The weekends are now extending to where guests arrive on Wednesday or Thursday, especially over holiday weekends, and there's an itinerary of events for the weekend," explains Berman. The ladies will likely handle the brunches and pampering events, so ask dad to set up a guys' golf outing or an afternoon getting-to-know-you lunch.
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Acting as a Tour Guide
Whether you're getting married in a big city or a small town, there's bound to be plenty of fun things for guests to explore in the days before or after the wedding. "Ask dad to put together a great list of things for out-of-town guests," advises Berman. Print off copies of dad's guide to the city and put them in the guest bags at the hotel.
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Your world can become hectic in the weeks leading up to the wedding with last-minute meetings and checklists taking up your time. "The father of the bride is the perfect person to help pick up the slack," says Damico. He can walk the dog, pick up the dry cleaning, or mow the lawn. She also recommends asking him to water the plants, watch the dog, or get the mail while you're on your honeymoon.
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Even if he's not footing the bill, dad can still play the part of host, says Damico. She suggests asking him to welcome guests as they arrive, act as the emcee, introduce the speeches, or say goodbye and thank you as guests leave at the end of the evening.
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