Q&A: All Your Father of the Bride Questions—Answered!

Wedding Planner | Father of the Bride Q&A


Dallas Wedding Planner | Father of the Bride Q&A

We’re wrapping up our week of Father’s Day content with one last post to answer any of your father-of-the-bride questions! By now, you know how much we love the father/daughter aspect of a wedding day. Nothing can compare to that special bond—especially on your wedding day.

Our final topic for the week covers all the questions we (as a wedding planner) frequently get about dads and their role on the big day. Take a look below to find out everything you need to know!


Q: What does dad wear to the wedding?
A: This depends on the formality of your wedding, but Dad should take his cue from the groom and groomsmen. If they are wearing tuxedos, he should do the same; if they are in suits, he should wear one as well. He should also (of course!) consult the mother of the bride to coordinate colors and formality. Your father might want to choose a complementary suit color that differentiates him from the groomsmen, without clashing; similarly, he might desire a distinctive tie or bowtie to distinguish him from the bridal party.

Q: How involved does Dad need to be in wedding planning?
A: In generations past, dads were rarely involved in much of the wedding planning. Unfortunately, they were often expected to just provide the checkbook for the occasion. Thankfully, today’s wedding planning is much more inclusive! Grooms and dads are both taking more interest in the celebration, and their participation is quite welcome!

Your dad can be as involved (or as uninvolved) as you both see fit. Common areas for Dad to help out include hotel and transportation arrangements, as well as family accommodations (i.e., Who will pick up Aunt Martha from the airport? Does Uncle Henry have a convenient place to stay?). Many fathers also help stock and manage the bar with tasteful beer, wine, and liquor selections. His level of participation is up to you; you might want to consider a few tasks you can delegate to Dad so he can help out with the big day!

Q: Which side does dad’s boutonniere go on?
A: Boutonnieres always go on the left lapel. Just remember—over his heart (and on the same side as wedding rings!).

Q: Can I do a “First Look” with Dad?
A: Absolutely! And we think they’re just the sweetest thing. The photos of this special moment – when he sees his daughter as a beautiful bride – are simply priceless.

Q: If Dad is walking me down the aisle, who escorts my mom in the processional?
A: Typically a groomsman or son (oftentimes her son is a groomsman!) will escort the mother of the bride down the aisle. Likewise, the mother of the groom is traditionally escorted by her son (or a groomsman), followed by her husband (if living) a few steps behind.

Q: What if my dad is deceased or estranged? Who walks me down the aisle?
A: Of course, we hope to see a beloved father/daughter moment on the big day… but in some families, that is simply not the case—and that is completely ok! Brides may select an important figure in their life to walk them down the aisle… sometimes a brother, uncle, or dear friend. If her father has passed away, she may choose to let Mom walk her down the aisle and give her away in Dad’s honor. Alternatively, there is nothing wrong with a bride choosing to make her grand entrance solo!

Q: When do we do the father-daughter dance?
A: The order of the ceremony is up to you, and may be customized to suit your preferences. Traditionally, the couple is introduced and makes a grand entrance into the reception venue. Then, the newlyweds will enjoy their traditional first dance. Typically the father/daughter dance follows, and then the groom dances with his mom.

Q: Does my dad have to give a toast?
A: It is traditional for the father of the bride to give a toast, but there is no obligation if it doesn’t suit his style. He may give a toast at the wedding reception, but it is increasingly popular for all toasts to take place at the rehearsal dinner, in a more intimate setting. Some dads prefer to instead deliver a short welcome message to the reception guests, or may even choose to lead guests in prayer before a meal.


Still need help? Don’t sweat it! Our wedding planner team is here to answer all your questions—whether about your father’s role in the big day, or anything else you might be unsure about. Don’t forget to check out our other posts about our beloved dads: Father-Daughter Dance Song Ideas and Special Touches for Dad on Your Wedding Day.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! It is our honor to help bring your daughters’ wedding-day visions to life. Thank you for allowing us to be part of such a memorable milestone for your family. We couldn’t do it without your love and support!


Wedding Planner | Father of the Bride Q&A

Andrea Elizabeth Photography

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