I DON’T THINK IT’S FAIR that wedding tradition seems to throw a huge spotlight on the father of the bride, while treating the father of the groom like The Invisible Man.
It doesn’t feel, I don’t know, Christian.
Granted, for social introverts like myself—tis true, I’m an introvert who loves solitude—The Invisible Man in a James Bond tux works well for me.
But consider this, especially for socially normal fathers of the groom. Wedding tradition assigns two minutes or more in the spotlight for every parent of the wedding couple except the father of the groom.
Father of the bride:
- Walk bride down the aisle and give her away.
- Welcome people to the reception, as host.
- Toast the couple.
- Dance with the bride.
Mother of the bride:
- Co-anchor the bride’s prep for wedding.
- Solo dance with son-in-law after bride and groom dance.
Mother of the groom:
- Solo dance with groom in mother/son dance.
Father of the groom:
- If there’s an open bar, try not to fall out of your chair.
You get the picture.
I’m thinking about this because in three months I’ll be the father of the bride.
I’ll get to do really fun stuff, unless my daughter changes her mind about what she’ll let me do.
I’ll have perfect opportunities not to cry in any one of several venues—meaning that now is the perfect opportunity to research pertinent medications.
There’s a father of the groom in this wedding.
I don’t yet know him as well as I hope to. But I suspect he’s a bit of an introvert, too. For one, he lives far away on a mountain. Monks do that.
For another, his wife says he’s a tad uncomfortable with public speaking. The reason I know this is because I asked for his help in the toast I’ll give the couple.
I asked his help for two reasons.
First, I want him not to be invisible. If he’s willing, I’d like for him to have something to do with one of the most important events in his family’s life. Something more than to not fall out of his chair.
Second, he’s got the inside scoop on information I need, and that I think the people would enjoy hearing. He knows his stuff. And his stuff is best spoken by the one who knows what he’s talking about.
I write easy-reading books about the Bible and the Christian faith. What does any of this have to do with any of that?
None of you should look out just for your own good. You should also look out for the good of others (Philippians 2:4 NIRV).
I’m not being the big-hearted guy here, looking out for The Invisible Man. I genuinely need the help of this particular Mountain Man. And if I don’t get it, I’ll be in trouble. So in a way, I’m looking out for my own good.
But as I was thinking about the wonderful things I’ll get to do in my daughter’s wedding, it occurs to me that there are Invisible People in other weddings who don’t want to be invisible.
Note to brides and grooms: be on the lookout. Two minutes in the spotlight for someone you love might not be too hard to arrange, and it could make that someone feel as important to you as you know they are.
For all of us—in weddings or not—there are Invisible Men and Women all around us who want to be a part of what’s going on in our life—whatever’s going on, for better or worse. People we love. But people we’ve gotten a bit too busy to make time for.
Maybe we should make time to think about that.
Give the Father of the Groom an autographed copy of one of your books…that always seems to work for me Lol…if that doesn’t break the ice…give him BUddy!
Personal experience – it’s pretty much the same for the mother of the groom.
Stephen M. Miller
Yeah, but didn’t you get to dance with your son while everyone watched? 2 minutes in the spotlight.
In the weddings I’ve seen, the father of the groom dances with the bride only when everyone else does, when they are paying for the dance.
Well, I said pretty much, not exactly! lol I don’t mind tho. I don’t like “standing out”, like the above dad!