One of my best friend’s got married a few months ago and I was in the wedding party, I was also asked to give a speech. As I had known the bride and groom together as a couple longer than anyone else there (I was there the day they met), I was asked to speak about them as a couple and how they met. There would be two other speeches, a friend of the groom’s, who would be mostly talking about him and the bride’s father. The bride, I’ll call her J, and her father have a strained relationship, but he’d asked to give a speech and she had agreed, requesting that he talk mostly about her childhood. She figured it would be nice to have the speeches be about her, her husband and then my speech about the two of them together.
It was a very small wedding, less than 50 people, and had a very intimate feel to it, so she didn’t want too many long speeches. The wedding ceremony was beautiful and elegant and my friend looked radiant. The friend of the groom’s speech was wonderful and funny and very touching.
Then it was time for the father of the bride to speak. He didn’t talk at all about his daughter as a child, instead he told the story of how he met his future son-in-law, N. He talked about how N was introduced to him as friend of J’s and they were going on a trip together (with other friends) and how he, FOB, asked J about her boyfriend and she confirmed that they were still dating and that she and N were friends. FOB then followed this up with, “Next time I met N, he and J were telling me that she was pregnant,” to pretty stunned silence from everyone in attendance.
J looked like she was about to cry and her mom was furious (her parents are divorced). FOB ended his speech there, saying nothing positive about his daughter at all and it was my turn to go up. I quickly revised my speech to do as much damage-control as I could, explaining how N had been there for J when she broke up with her boyfriend, how they went from friends to more over a period of time and how well they dealt with an unplanned pregnancy and how perfect they were for each other, but her father’s speech still cast a shadow over the whole day and I felt so bad for J. 0709-12
Father of the bride has a relational death wish. There is no way such a poor “investment” into the relationships with his daughter, son-in-law and other family members will yield positive results. The only loser at the wedding was Father-of-the bride.