JIM SHEA The Father of the Bride has his say
June is the month for weddings.
Weddings, of course, are all about the bride — and the MOB. No, not the MOB. Although I’m sure some are connected, MOB in this instance is wedding-industry shorthand for mother of the bride. But what about the bride’s father? Where does he fit in?
A conversation with the FOB (Father of the Bride).
Q: So, June is the month for weddings, how do you feel about that?
FOB: The June wedding has evolved into a marketing-based tradition that encourages all women to get married in the same month thereby assuring all the wedding venues can charge top dollar, and all the other wedding related-expenses can be exorbitant.
Q: That seems a bit cynical.
FOB: Cynical? Hey, I’ve been the father of the bride more than once. I’m kind of like Tyrion Lannister in “Game of Thrones” now. “I drink and I know things.”
Q: What role does the FOB play in the typical wedding?
FOB: As far as the actual ceremony goes, the father’s main responsibility is to look like “an international man of mystery” in his tuxedo. Other than that all he has to do is walk his daughter down the aisle without stepping on — “The Dress.” The father’s role gets a bit trickier at the reception.
Q: How so?
FOB: Well, you have to stand up and give a formal toast without offending major segments of the audience. Then you have to do the father/daughter dance (again without stepping on “The Dress.”) And after that you have to mingle, which if you are not careful can quickly turn into a situation in which you drink and don’t know things.
Q: What about leading up to the actual wedding. How involved is the father?
FOB: As far as the planning goes, the father is pretty much expected to, one, stay out of the way. And, two, transfer funds into the wedding/bankruptcy account when ordered to do so.
Q: So the FOB has no control over how much is being spent?
FOB: None whatsoever. What the father can do from time to time is rant and rave over the costs, although no one will pay any attention. He can also whine about such “absolute necessities” as the $500 for trained doves.
Q: Trained doves?
FOB: You don’t want to know.
Q: There are so many decisions that have to be made prior to the wedding, surely the FOB must be involved in some of them.
FOB: Actually, the father is consulted on a regular basis leading up to the wedding, but the manner in which it is done is often insulting.
Q: I don’t understand.
FOB: Say there is a disagreement among the bride and her mother and the florist about what colors the flowers should be. So they will come to you and ask your opinion.
Q: OK, so they are trying to include you. That seems nice.
FOB: Sure, on the surface. But the only reason they are asking you is because when it comes to anything wedding related they see you as being the antithesis of good taste.
Q: I still don’t get it.
FOB: OK, let me give you an example of a typical interaction.
Mother/daughter: What color flowers would you prefer for the altar, red or yellow?
FOB: I like the red.
Mother/daughter: That settles it, we go with the yellow.
Q: The FOB must have mixed feelings when the big day is finally over.
FOB: You do. On the one hand you are sad to see your daughter leave, but then you are happy you won’t have to pay her car insurance anymore.
Q: Well, thank you for your time, it’s been enlightening.
FOB: No problem, and if you know anyone looking for slightly used doves have them give me a call.
Jim Shea is a lifelong Connecticut resident. firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter @jimboshea