So you’re sitting in your favorite chair, watching your favorite team on TV, when the phone rings.  It’s your daughter’s boyfriend on the other end and he asks if he can take you out for a beer.  Ok, so your first thought is probably, “Why would I want to spend time in a bar with this guy”, but a free beer is a free beer, so you agree to meet.  As he hands you a tall cold beer, you can see right away that the boy has something on his mind.  He stumbles through some football talk, then mentions some odd weather report and downs his beer straight.  “I would like to ask your permission to marry Genevieve,” he blurts out.  The sweat beading across his forehead is starting to roll down his cheek as you slowly take a big gulp of your beer and reply “My Genevieve?”  “Yes Sir” he stammers, I love her, and I want to spend the rest of my life making her happy.  “Have you talked to her about this?” you ask.  “No Sir, not yet,” he replies.  “Good luck with that, Son,” you tell him as you reach across the table to shake his hand. 

 Congratulations, YOU are now a FOB (Father of the Bride).   Acquiring this new title can be both joyous and daunting.   Many have proceeded you in this endeavor, and all of them have asked these same two questions.  What exactly is a Father of the Bride supposed to do? More importantly, how much is this going to cost me?

 In days gone by it was always assumed that the FOB kept quiet while the MOB (Mother of the Bride) and the Bride made all of the decisions regarding the planning of wedding. FOB’s were simply supposed to pay the bills and not ask questions.  However, in today’s world, FOB’s are much more involved in planning their daughter’s wedding than ever before.

 With that in mind, here are answers to the above questions:

– The role of a Father of the Bride can vary from daughter to daughter.  Primarily your role is to stay involved in the decision making process,  keep the lines of communication open between your wife, your daughter, her fiancee and his parents, and be committed to making the entire experience a positive one.

– An Engagement Party is usually hosted by the bride’s parents. Cocktail parties and dinner are popular but there is no standard party format.  A formal party or a casual back yard cook out, whatever suits you, the engaged couple and the guests is perfect.  Generally, the guest list for an engagement party is limited to relatives of the engaged couple and good friends.  The only real rule for the guest list is not to invite someone who will not be invited to the wedding.  As the Father of the Bride, you will be expected to make a toast at the party to the couple.

– One of the first this you must do as the FOB is set a wedding budget.  You should take into consideration the type of wedding the newly engaged couple wants to have.  However, if their wishes exceed your budget, it is your responsibility to open the lines of communication and be frank about what you can afford.  While it is true that in most cases the bride’s parents pay for the majority of the wedding expenses, many couples are able and willing to assume some if not most of the wedding cost themselves. Sit down with your daughter and her fiancee and make decisions about who is paying for what.   Knowing what you will be responsible for is essential.  Never agree to pay for more than you can afford to spend.   

– After the budget has been worked out, share your thoughts on the wedding.  Every father has an idea of the type of wedding he would like to host. If you don’t speak your wishes early in the planning stages you may end up paying for a party you have no input in.   Most engaged couples take great care in making sure that the traditions and ideas of their parents are respected and represented when planning their wedding.  Speak up about anything that you feel is important. 

 Remember that a wedding should be a joyous occasion for everyone involved.  As the Father of the Bride you set the tone for this experience from the moment you give your daughter’s hand in marriage to the day you deliver her into the hands of her new husband.  Be considerate, be compassionate, be kind and have fun. 

About Janie Glade: Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans, Janie started her career in special event planning at the age of 23 in the sales office of the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel. In 1998 Janie started “An Event to Remember” and began planning special events across the United States on a full time basis.

After Hurricane Katrina, Janie opened “Weddings by Janie Glade”. In August of 2011 she expanded her Wedding Planning services to include a partnership with her daughter Marylyn Rigby and opened Old.New.Blue, a Wedding Necessities Boutique and Gift Shop on Magazine Street in Uptown.

Old.New.Blue: 6117 Magazine Street, New Orleans

Twitter: @OldNewBlue