So your son is getting married? Congratulations! But he’s asked you to give a speech at the rehearsal dinner and you have no clue what to say. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below we’re sharing exactly how to structure your speech plus providing you with some father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech samples.
Why give a rehearsal dinner speech?
Well, the best reason to give a rehearsal dinner speech is probably because your son or daughter asked you to give one! But why do speeches at the rehearsal dinner happen at all?
A rehearsal dinner is a more intimate occasion – usually a nice dinner following the wedding ceremony rehearsal. It’s generally for the couple, their parents, the wedding party and maybe some out of town or close family and friends. The guest list is smaller than the wedding and the focus is on the new family and upcoming wedding day.
With a rehearsal dinner speech, you can welcome the two families coming together and set the stage for a beautiful wedding day. Note that while speeches may happen at the rehearsal dinner, there will likely be speeches at the wedding reception too. Check in with the almost-newlyweds about when they would like you to deliver your speech.
PS: Don’t miss our resource for bride and groom wedding speeches!
What about the mother of the groom? Or the bride’s parents? Who should speak at the rehearsal dinner?
While this post is all about father of the groom wedding speeches, a lot of our advice and samples below will apply to all parents of the couple getting married. And, of course, not all weddings have brides or grooms (and not all couples have moms and dads), so a “father of the groom” may not even exist!
Traditionally, only the men of the family would speak at weddings. Speeches were done by the father of the bride, the groom and the best man. But these days, anyone who is special to the couple can be invited to say a few words! There’s no reason why only the men get to speak.
Typically, a rehearsal dinner speech is given by whoever is hosting the event (aka paying for it). Sometimes one side of the family will take on the responsibility and cost of hosting the rehearsal dinner, so it would be customary for someone from that side of the family to give a speech.
The wedding couple may also ask a few other people to speak at their rehearsal dinner, such as members of the wedding party or other family members. This is typically done so we’re not leaving all of the speeches for the reception. Couples will break up the speeches – some happening at the rehearsal dinner and some happening at the wedding reception – so everyone gets a chance to speak and no one event becomes hours and hours of speeches.
How to structure your father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech
Check out our step-by-step instructions for writing your father of the groom speech, plus father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech samples below!
Step #1: Begin with a toast introduction and welcome
Start your father of the groom speech off by simply introducing yourself and your relation to the couple. If you are the first to speak, the host of the event, or the first to speak from your side of the family, this would also be a great opportunity to welcome everyone to the rehearsal dinner.
Note: If you are not the host of the event, it may not be appropriate to welcome everyone. That would be like attending a friend’s birthday and welcoming everyone to the party – not your place. Instead, share how happy you are to be there and thank the hosts for their hospitality.
Step #2: Talk about the groom
As the father of the groom, your speech should naturally start with a few sentences about your son. You can talk about how proud you are of them, what a joy it was to raise them, how much you’ve loved getting to know them as an adult, etc. You could also share a short story from their childhood that showcases your father-son bond.
Step #3: Talk about the groom’s partner
Next, you’ll want to bring in your son’s partner and soon-to-be spouse. You can talk about how you knew they were the one, the affect they’ve had on your son or what you admire most about them. Most importantly, be sure to welcome them into your family.
Step #4: Share a fun story about the couple
Now that you’ve talk about both the groom and his partner separately, it’s time to bring them together! You can share a short story about how the couple met, what brought them together or any favourite memories you have with them.
Step #5: (op) Share some marriage advice
If you’d like to add to your father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech, consider adding a bit of marriage advice. This should be something short and sweet that you want to pass onto the happy couple.
Step #6: Look forward to the wedding
As you begin to wrap up your speech, don’t forget to reference the wedding around the corner. Talk about how much you’re looking forward to it, share any advice you have for the newlyweds on the big day, and thank anyone who has been helping with the wedding planning.
Step #7: End with a toast conclusion
Lastly, you’ll end your speech with a toast to the couple of the hour. Cheers to the almost-newlyweds!
Hint: Don’t forget to remind everyone to raise their glasses! So often, speakers will just dive into their toasts and only half the guests will know what’s happening. Take our advice and start this section of your speech by saying, “Let’s all raise a glass…”
Father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech samples
Need some more inspiration for your speech? Check out our father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech samples below!
Father of the groom example speech #1
My name is Herb and I am the father of the groom. Together with his mother, we would like to thank you all for being here tonight as we celebrate Taylor and Cory.
Growing up, I always knew Taylor was going to go on great adventures. From finding him camping out in our backyard at four years old to wiring him money on his first backpacking trip in Germany, I knew Taylor was going to see and do everything he set his mind to. And that’s why I’m so glad he has found his perfect adventure companion in Cory.
Cory, it has been the pleasure of my life to watch how you and Taylor love, support and cherish one another. I couldn’t be prouder of the life you two have built and am thrilled to welcome you to the family.
Ever since the moment you two met at a hostel in Thailand, I think we all knew this was it. Taylor had found his person. And we are all so excited to celebrate the two of you finding one another at your wedding this Saturday!
So if everyone could please raise their glasses to Taylor and Cory, who are about to embark on the greatest adventure of their lives. Cheers!
Father of the groom example speech #2
Hello, my name is Lin and I am the father of the groom. I’d like to start by thanking the Sheng family for hosting this beautiful rehearsal dinner and truly making us all feel so welcome tonight.
My husband and I could not be more proud to be standing here on the cusp of Taylor and Cory’s wedding day. Cory, having you as a son has been the greatest blessing. Being able to raise you and see the man you have become has meant so much to your dad and me. We could not be more proud of you!
The only thing any parent wants is for their child to be happy, to have purpose and to find love. Cory, I am thrilled that you have found all of that and more in Taylor. Taylor is the most kind and warm human and we are so excited to officially welcome them into our family.
I still remember when you first introduced us to Taylor. Cory, you were so nervous! But right away, we could tell that Taylor was someone special. The way you two lit up around was another was so wonderful to see. We knew after that first dinner that we’d be seeing your wedding one day – and here we are!
Taylor and Cory, as we look forward to your beautiful wedding day this weekend, I want you to remember one thing: Choose one another. Every day when you wake up, choose each other. Choose your relationship. Choose your life together. Do that and you’ll never spend a day wanting.
And so, let’s all raise our glasses to Cory and Taylor, and a love that chooses us every single day!
Father of the groom example speech #3
Hello everyone! My name is Jeff and I am the father of the groom. Together with Randy, we are thrilled to welcome you all here tonight to Taylor and Cory’s rehearsal dinner.
Cory, I am so proud to be your father. Raising you from a baby into the impressive young man you are today has been the best job I could ever ask for. You taught me so much about what it means to love, to care and to go the extra mile.
Taylor, when I first met you I thought, “Cory, don’t mess this up!” I knew you were so special and could already see how much you had changed my son for the better. We are all better people for having known you and I am so glad you are finally joining our family.
When Taylor and Cory got engaged, Cory called to share the news with Randy and me. But instead of saying “she said yes” or “I asked,” Cory said, “We did it! We’re engaged!” And right from that moment, I knew that everything Taylor and Cory would do, they would do together. There was no more “I” – there was only “we.”
And so, as we look forward to Cory and Taylor becoming an official “we” this weekend, let’s all raise our glasses to the best team ever. Taylor and Cory, congratulations on finding your perfect teammate!
Father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech do’s & don’ts
DO check in with the couple and ensure they want you to give a speech. Don’t just rush the stage or grab the mic! Check in with the couple ahead of time or wait until they ask you to give a speech.
DON’T talk forever. Keep it short! A good speech is 2-3 minutes long and never more than 5 minutes. Again, check in with the couple. Odds are they will have the night scheduled out and a specific time they want you to aim for.
DO remember to mention your son’s partner. Even though you are the father of the groom, you shouldn’t just talk about the groom. Remember, this event is about two people. So include both members of the couple in your speech.
DON’T bring up anything embarrassing. There’s a fine line between funny and cringe-worthy. A story about your son wearing a cape to school? Funny! A story about your son’s ex-girlfriend or how he dealt with your divorce? Not funny.
DO write your speech down. This isn’t one of those times were you should wing it. Take the time to plan what you’re going to say and write your speech in advance.
DON’T leave the other parent out. If you’re the one giving the speech, don’t forget to mention your co-parent or spouse and share sentiments from both of you.
DO practice. You don’t have to memorize your speech but you should be comfortable and familiar with it. Take time to practice at home in front of the mirror before the rehearsal dinner.
There you have it! Everything you need for an amazing father of the groom rehearsal dinner speech! And speaking of important words at weddings, don’t forget to check out our wedding officiant packages and free vow writing guide!