July 31, 2017

10 Takeaways from the Father of the Bride

1. Don’t bet on me crying at weddings.

Rumor has it that bets were being placed on whether or not I would cry at my daughter’s wedding. Allegedly, Randy, the Youth Pastor at The Ridge, was the bookie. I didn’t cry. But that’s because after giving my daughter away, I officiated the rest of the wedding. So I was in that “zone” which happens when I speak and do weddings. In other words, I was focused on the task at hand.

There was crying, though! During the rehearsal, as I walked Melanie down the aisle, her fiancé, Derek, began to tear up. When Melanie saw him tear up, she began to as well. Then, when the rehearsal ended, my wife began to cry. I thought we were in for a tearfest at the wedding. However, I think they got most of their crying done at the rehearsal.

2. Always bet on my daughter getting her way with me.

I don’t dance. I’ve never danced. I may never dance again. But when my daughter asked me to dance with her at her wedding, how could I say no? She may be the only person in the world who could get me to dance.

This won’t surprise those of you who know me, but I got some dance lessons, and Melanie and I rehearsed (and rehearsed). I couldn’t do it any other way. I can be spontaneous, as long as I plan to be.

3. Weddings cost a lot.

If you are a father who has a daughter, get a second job. Today.

When my wife and daughter told me how much the wedding dress cost, I had to sit down. A few weeks later I got another bill for several hundred more dollars. When I asked what that was for, I was told it was for alterations. I bit my tongue, but I was thinking, “If the dress cost THAT much to begin with, shouldn’t it have fit like a glove?”

4. Don’t forget your one and only line during the ceremony.

I didn’t forget it, but I thought I was going to! I walked my daughter down the aisle and stood there with her as Randy, Melanie’s youth pastor during her teen years, gave the introduction. His introduction was shorter than I thought it was going to be. Before I knew what was happening, he was staring at me and asking, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” I momentarily panicked. What was I to say? Fortunately, I remembered and responded, “Her mother and I.”

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve asked the father of the bride that same question when officiating weddings. But when the roles were reversed, and I was the father, my brain momentarily locked up.

5. A heat index of 102º will give you something to talk about in the years to come.

At 5:00 p.m., when pictures began, the heat index was 102º. It was an outdoor wedding with an outdoor reception. No air conditioning, in other words.

I have a 92-year-old aunt who was married for over 70 years. When she talks about her wedding, the first thing she always mentions is how hot it was that day—95º in a church that was not air conditioned.

102º is the stuff that memories are made of!

6. My daughter was stunningly beautiful.

Enough said.

7. My wife was just as stunning.

The wedding day was about the most stressed I’ve ever seen my wife. She wanted everything to be perfect for Melanie (and it was).

But when I saw her in the dress she had bought for the wedding, I have to admit, after 31 years, she still looks as attractive to me as the day we were married (both on the inside and outside).

8. I’m so proud of the young man my son-in-law has become.

Perhaps the best man said it best when giving his speech. He said, “Derek and I have been friends since high school. We’re not the same men we were then. We’ve changed. We’ve grown.”

I watched Derek get baptized over a year ago. I watched Derek begin reading his Bible. He and I did a Bible study together on what it means to have a close relationship with God. Through that he shared with me how God had changed and was changing him.

I’m proud of you, Derek.

9. My boys love their sister dearly.

Melanie’s two brothers might not express this openly, but they love their sister dearly. Don’t do anything to hurt Melanie, or you will have to deal with her brothers.

On the day of the wedding, they worked tirelessly (in a 102º heat index) to help set up for the wedding. We didn’t finish the tear-down until midnight. They were still there, working hard. Why? Because it was for their sister.

10. There is a way to make me cry.

After the wedding, one of Melanie’s bridesmaids made it a point to talk to me. She became friends with Melanie when they were both working on their graduate degrees at Florida International University.

She told me how she had a really difficult time while in Florida. She said that Melanie was such a good friend through that time. And, even though she’s not a Christian, she related how Melanie told her she needed to pray and trust God. She shared with me how much that meant to her.

She then added, “I’m still seeking and growing in my faith because of Melanie.”

That made me tear up! Even though I have many special memories of my daughter’s wedding day, that one may be the most special. Perhaps that was my proudest moment—to hear how strong my daughter’s faith is!

Whatever it takes,