The father of the bride called me today with some very specific questions. He travels internationally (extensively) for business, and he is trying to plan the next six months in his life so that he is available for the important events concerning the planning and preparation for his daughter’s upcoming wedding. What a thoughtful call!
The funny thing is that I don’t think I have ever been asked that question. And so, I tried to share with him all of the times when I thought he really might want to be present. I was clear that there were no absolutes here… but that, in my experience, it would be helpful on so many levels to have him available to participate. And here are the times and issues that I mentioned:
1. The first is the food tasting. This is the time when the bride and groom and parents will have undivided attention from the caterer and when they can taste the food and see how it is plated. They have the opportunity to make changes and substitutions in the menu and also discuss the order of events for the ceremony and the reception, which are being held in the same building but on different floors. This will really shape the framework of the evening, and I definitely urged the father to attend.
2. The bride’s gown is currently in another city, and I mentioned that the father might want to help with the logistics for its move to Philadelphia. That may entail a larger car, or it might mean that the bride is picking up her gown very close to her wedding date if her fittings somehow don’t go quite as planned. (This actually happened in my older daughter’s wedding, and I know the pressure that comes with this delay!)
3. I don’t know if the father of the bride absolutely must attend the final floral/decor meeting, but because it is a large expense, and because it defines much of the celebration’s ambiance, he might want to be there.
4. And, most importantly, I shared with this dad that it would be a really good idea (and I mean a REALLY GOOD IDEA in capital letters!) if he is in town the week before the wedding. In several hundred weddings that I have been involved in, I have seen the emotions heightened at EVERY one in the week prior to the event. The father’s emotional support will be so appreciated by his wife, his daughter, his almost-son-in-law, and other family members. And he will be present and part of the building excitement and anticipation of the big day!
Photo courtesy of Tyler Boye Photography