There are many aspects of wedding planning that brides do with their mothers, which can leave dad feeling a little left out. Sure, there are dads out there that don’t particularly love weddings, but pretty much all dads love their kids. Since this day is a celebration of bringing families together, it seems like there would be a ton of ways in which dad could help — and you might be surprised by how much fun he ends up having.
Get Dad to Build Things With You
Certainly not every dad in the world likes to tinker and build things, but if your dad even remotely fits that description, he’ll probably still be more construction-project-minded than say, your bridesmaids. If your wedding requires any special equipment, from a small stage to a rigged-up sound system, ask dad for his opinions and, if possible, have him get involved. Some dads will express their love and affection for their kids through physical acts of service, and even if he grumbles a little, he may just be expressing his care. Just make sure he isn’t masking a bad backache before you put him to work!
Get Dad to Barbecue at the Engagement Party
If your dad likes to entertain, consider having him host an engagement party barbecue for both families. If he’s out and about turning ribs and burgers, he can easily start conversations with your future in-laws and get a feel for the new family. Dads sometimes don’t bond as quickly with their children’s future spouses, so giving him a role that keeps him front-and-center makes it much easier for more folks to chat him up. Also, whoever comes bearing delicious food tends to be celebrated pretty enthusiastically, so that may give him a boost too if he’s not usually super social.
Brainstorm Songs for Daddy/Daughter Dance
One fun activity that the bride-to-be and her dad can do together is listen to songs they’ve both enjoyed at home over the years. Choosing one for the daddy/daughter dance is more than just a task to check off: it’s a chance to focus on dad, get a better idea of how he’s feeling, and make sure he’s 100-percent ready for his daughter to get married. If he seems reluctant or worried, it might come out while selecting an emotional song, so this is your chance to remind him what a great person you are marrying. Some dads are more emotional than others, and wanting someone great to marry their daughters may be a bigger deal to those dads. Prepare for a song-listening session that could yield a lot of laughs and a few sweet moments.
Assign Dad to Day-Of Transportation Duties
Dads don’t always pull the emotions out: sometimes, they’re more about efficiency. After all, they used to play a key part in getting you to all your games, piano lessons, and classes when you were younger! Usually, weddings involve some kind of unusual transportation needs, whether it’s driving separate groups of people to the wedding or coming to the bridal party’s rescue at the last second. Whatever your wedding’s transportation needs might be, you should take the time to figure out how to get dad behind the wheel. It’s an essential role, and it may also be a way for him to feel more useful than if he just was helping to adjust the bride’s veil with mom.
Think About His Strengths and Play to Them
These are some easy ways to involve a somewhat stereotypical dad, but there is obviously no one dad that fits all of these descriptions. For that reason, the best strategy may be to consider what dad does best and talk through a role that works for him. Is your father a religious person? He might make a great officiant. Does he work in digital marketing? Then he’d probably love to help you with that wedding website! Plenty of dads also love to cook, bake, act as the master of ceremonies, and take pictures. No one role is perfect for every dad, but your particular dad might just be the right fit for any number of wedding needs.
If you aren’t sure how dad wants to help, you can also ask him directly. After all, dads like to be included just like the rest of us, and not just as a donor to the wedding fund. Who knows? Maybe he wants to research the best way to steam the dress! You won’t know for sure until you ask.
Dads are a huge part of our lives, so a wedding would be incomplete without their involvement. Spend some time thinking about how your dad can feature in the wedding planning process and the special day itself.