Originating in the year of 1908 leading to the year of 1972, there were several initiatives to begin the official day to honor “Fathers” across the United States.  The first record of celebration began in 1908, when a West Virginia church decided to honor fathers during a Sunday sermon to reflect on the life of 362 men who had died in a coal mine explosion.  July 19, 1910 was the next campaign of recognition of Fathers.  Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, went to local churches, the YMCA, local governments, etc. to gain support for her initiative to celebrate Fathers.  Sonora’s efforts were a success – Washington state became the first of US States to recognize Father’s Day as a semi-official holiday.  In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge was the first US President who tried to get Father’s Day as an official holiday but was unsuccessful.  Years later in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day an official holiday!

As a wedding planner, I observe the love between parents and their children on wedding day and festivities exudes an overwhelming emotion.  A Father’s love for their children is one that is bittersweet because it is rare when Fathers show emotion.  However, on wedding day, Fathers beam with emotion when they see their children open a new chapter in their life crossing the threshold of marriage; meaning they are “really” leaving the nest and spreading their wings.  The emotions range from tears of joy to the radiant and wide smile that stays consistent on their face throughout the entire wedding day.

We feel that every day is Father’s Day!  During your wedding, we have suggested 5 ways to honor your Father during your wedding no matter if you are the Bride or Groom.

Father’s Favorite Meal:

During the week of the wedding, prepare your Father’s favorite meal cooked by you – no chefs, no restaurants.  A meal prepared by your hands, means its cooked with love, and the fact that you are cooking his favorite meal will touch his heart in so many ways.  This can be dinner for two (just you and him), or make it family night in honor of him.

Music Selection During Father-Daughter Dance:

This is for my lovely Brides.  When you are looking for your program music for the reception and you need to select that one song you and your Father need to dance with each other, allow him to choose the song during the Father-Daughter dance.  Most Father’s love music – some even think that they are music buffs that know all of the latest and greatest during their era.  Give this responsibility to your Father to select his favorite tune that he wants to dance with his special little girl.  Anything from “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, to “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, to “You’re a Big Girl Now” by the Stylistics…this will be a moment that will last forever in his heart – dancing with his little girl to his favorite tune that he had the honor of choosing.

First Look Photograph:

Traditionally, Brides have their first look with their soon to be Husband.  You can still keep this tradition.  Take a little twist and add to your picture agenda a first look with your Father.  Yes, he sees you every day and probably the day before during the rehearsal.  But having the opportunity to see you for the first time in your wedding dress with your radiant glow before he hands you off to your new life is priceless.  A photograph like this will have lasting memories and to commemorate in years to come.  For my Grooms, although it is not a first look, have your father there to assist with suiting you up to cross over into manhood.  Your Father adjusting your tie, assisting with putting on your coat, or adjusting your cufflinks, will be a monumental moment for both of you to provide that secret nod to each other, “Yes, I am here, I am now a man, thanks Dad” (and will affirm your graduation into manhood)!

A Special Day Just for the Two of You:

It’s usually the Moms that get pampered with their children right before the wedding or have that private time; let’s pamper Father’s also.  Have that special time set aside the week of the wedding to take Dad out to do what he loves best.  Golfing, sporting events, a game of chess, concert, or out to a movie – create a special day where it’s just you and him and no one else doing his favorite thing.  This will bring a moment of reflection of the years past leading up to now.  His inner thoughts of emotion will be,  “I can’t believe my child is all grown up”!  Reflection for both of you, and the opportunity for you to say “thank you for all that you have done for me”, will be what this day is all about.

Memory Book:

This will take some preparation.  Start collecting photographs from the time you were born and special moments of you and your Father together throughout the years.  Place the photographs in chronological order and tag with special sayings under each photograph.  The last picture will be of you and your Father on your wedding day.  This will be a post wedding appreciation gift, however, it will be one that will sit on the coffee table or one that he will bring out every time you come over to visit, and eventually one he will share with your kids, his grandkids!

(Here are a few pictures of our clients during their wedding with their Fathers  |  Photography credit in order of pictures – Blue Palm Photography, David Abel Photography, David Abel Photography, Michael Clark Photographers, Bella Photography, Paired Images, DHT Photography, DHT Photography)

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(all pictures featured are all “Real Weddings” by Perfect Planning Events)