Photo: The Collection
As the father-of-the-bride, your child's engagement period can be a whirlwind of emotion. From long hours of planning to accepting the fact that your son or daughter really is growing up, there are a few things you should remember throughout the process.
Small details matter
While the precise color of the linens or the arrangement of ceremony chairs might not seem like the most important thing in the world, it probably matters a lot to your son or daughter. They’ve probably been working hard to turn this day into what they envisioned and they want everything to run smoothly. As a parent all you can do is be there to support them during this stressful time, even if that makes calming them down when the bouquet wrap is the wrong color.
Some expenses may seem...unnecessary
There are certain elements of a wedding that tend to be on the more expensive side. Something like a wedding dress can cost a lot since you typically can’t just get it off the rack at the mall. The experience is typically more personal, with many fittings and alterations, making the process more time-consuming and expensive. The same goes for brand-new suits or tuxedos. Other things like furniture rentals and an open bar can also jack up the total price, especially if you have a large guest list. Things are bound to get pricey no matter how hard you try, so do your best to keep everything in perspective.
It’s okay to say no
With that being said, it may be necessary for you to rein things in a bit. It’s easy for couples to get caught up in all the excitement of their big day, so it’s important to put your foot down when needed, but be sure to do so calmly. Instead of just saying “no” flat out, explain why and offer an alternative. For example, if the floral centerpieces over-budget, say that those specific flowers cost more than the budget allows and ask about finding a lower-priced alternative. This way your son or daughter can understand where you’re coming from and you’ve offered a solution in the meantime.
There may be disagreements
With emotions running high, it’s only natural for a few family quarrels to arise. These arguments can range from guest list squabbles to disagreements about where the couple should get married. Bouts of jealousy are bound to happen as well, especially among siblings. We recommend thinking of yourself as the family mediator. If your spouse and other children are getting caught up in the stresses of a family wedding, suggest a family outing or a weekend trip to get everyone reconnected and think about what’s important.
It’s okay to get emotional
You may be feeling a bit emotional, especially if this is your first child walking down the aisle. It can be a hard transition for any parent to watch their kids grow up, and the reality of that only sinks in more when they go off and get married. Our advice? Let your son or daughter know how you’re feeling. Write them a letter to give to them on their wedding day, or sit them down and let them know how proud you are of them. They’re sure to appreciate whatever it is you’re feeling.
Practice makes perfect
Since you’ll likely be giving a speech at the wedding, we recommend you practice it before you do it for real in front of a few hundred people. Write it out and rehearse it in the mirror or for close family members. If you want to keep it a total secret, consider recording yourself making the toast and give yourself constructive criticism. Not sure what to say? We’ve got a template for that.
They’re more grateful than you think
At the end of the day, china patterns and seating chart dilemmas aside, your son or daughter is truly thankful for all you’re doing to make their day special. Even if they don’t explicitly say it, the sheer happiness on their face the day they get married will say everything you need to know.