Father Traditions in Weddings: How to Get Dad Involved

get dad involved

Your wedding day is about more than a single span of 24 hours— it’s also about the important people in your life, the people who had a role in shaping your perspective and character. Whether you have one dad, two dads, a step-dad, or a father figure, you can find some meaningful ways to help that important person feel special and loved on your wedding day. Discover some father traditions in weddings and adapt them to suit your own marriage celebration.  

Naming Your Dad on the Invitation or Wedding Program 

Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, or at least for part of it. As the primary source of funds, your dad will appreciate seeing his name at the top of your invitations, as in “John W. Smith and Jane S. Smith request the honor of your presence,” etc.  

However, most modern wedding invitations place the focus on the couple getting married and may not even mention the parents’ names. If you prefer to leave him off the invitation, include a special mention of your father in the wedding program instead. 

Placing the Announcement 

Sometimes, families place a wedding announcement in local newspapers to notify everyone they know of their good news. If you’d like to have an announcement in the local paper, ask your dad to be in charge of handling that. It’s an important job, but not too time-consuming; and chances are he’ll be happy you asked for his help.  

Helping with Wedding Planning 

Before you begin planning your wedding, sit down with your dad or your significant other’s dad and ask him how much he would like to be involved. Wedding planning doesn’t have to be a female-only affair; dads can help with color selection, budgeting, outfit choice, and other tasks. Your dad may enjoy helping you complete your registry, pick the band or DJ, or review the menu options 

Hosting the Festivities 

Your father and mother have hosting responsibilities before and during the wedding as well. Unofficial family gatherings will likely take place at your parents’ house as guests come into town. Your dad can get involved by welcoming those guests, making transportation arrangements to and from hotels, and ensuring that there’s enough food and drink for everyone.  

For the groom’s dad, the primary pre-wedding responsibility is the rehearsal dinner, held after the practice run at the wedding venue. The groom’s family pays all related expenses for this gathering, and they’ll be in charge of welcoming guests and planning the evening’s events.  

Walking Down the Aisle with Your Father 

It’s also traditional for the bride to walk down the aisle on the arm of her father. If you have two dads, you can give an arm to each. You may want to include your mother in this special moment as well, but that’s entirely up to you. For a traditional, elegant wedding, walking the aisle with your dad is a lovely way to honor his unique place in your life.  

Participating in the First Dance at Your Wedding 

Another charming tradition is the father-daughter dance during the reception. You can make it elegant and complex, sweet and sentimental, or fun and quirky— whatever type of dance reflects your relationship with your dad.  

No matter what your dad’s skills or interests may be, you can find a creative way to involve him in the wedding. At this turning point in your life, he’s probably feeling a mixture of sadness, pride, and happiness; and it’s important to acknowledge him, even in the flurry of pre-wedding activity. Contact Nanina’s in the Park today to schedule a tour of our beautiful venue with your dad, or to discuss wedding details with our teams of bridal experts.