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Sweet Ways to Include Your Dad in Your Wedding

Your wedding day will be emotional for everyone in your family, but it will be especially tearful for your dad.

After all, he’s watching his little girl grow up and start a new life. To help him adjust to all the changes and remind him just how important he is and always will be, here are some ways to include your dad in your special day:

Bride smiling at her father

Get His Input During Planning

Start including him before the wedding. You might think wedding planning isn’t a guy thing, but your dad secretly still wants his little girl to turn to him for advice. Have him come with you to visit the venue to check it out and ask questions, taste wedding cakes with him, and include him in the catering decisions. If he has any particular area of expertise, don’t hesitate to ask if he wants to manage part of the planning!

Bride and father posing for a photo

Ask Him to Walk You Down the Aisle

Instead of assuming your dad will walk you down the aisle because it’s tradition, make a show of asking him. Take him out to lunch or send him a special note asking if he’d like to escort you down the aisle, then plan that part of the ceremony together. Choose a song, decide how you want to do the hand off, and practice your walk. Even if you feel like you don’t need to rehearse, your dad will appreciate the special one-on-one time.

Father walking daughter down the aisle

Give Him a Significant Role

Your dad already plays a significant role in your life, but you can make him feel even more important by giving him a big role in the wedding. If he’s licensed to perform weddings, he can officiate (provided he doesn’t tear up through the whole thing), or he can be the ringbearer. You can also include him in the wedding party by making him a groomsman or bridesman. If he’s not shy, he can even be your MC for the evening.

Bride and father smiling at each other

Use Something of His For Your “Something Old”

If you’re including something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue in your wedding attire, ask your dad for something old to wear or add to your bouquet. He might have some old cufflinks, a pocket watch, or maybe a special tie. If he doesn’t have something old, he might have something borrowed or blue.

Father helping bride out of limo

Set Aside Time Before the Wedding Starts

The morning of your wedding will be a whirlwind of activity, but make sure you plan out time alone with your dad before he walks you down the aisle. You can talk about the past, the future, or nothing at all. Just make sure he knows that you’ll always need him, no matter what. In fact, setting aside time for both of your parents before you get married is a sweet touch.

Bride posing with parents for photo

The Traditional Father-Daughter Dance

These are all great ways to include your dad in your wedding, but perhaps the most special moment the two of you will have is the father-daughter dance. Choose a song that’s special to you both or spend some time going through popular songs to pick one together. Then take a few days to practice around the living room, or even take dance lessons! Your dad might not be enthusiastic about dancing, but he’ll be happy to spend the time with you.

Bride and father smiling at each other

That’s what including your dad in the wedding is really about—taking advantage of the time to bond, remind your dad you love him, and provide him with the reassurance he’ll need that even though you’re starting your new life, he’ll always be a part of it.