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Father of the Bride: Getting Him Involved

Dads represent the single largest untapped resource an engaged couple could hope for: Not only are they intimately familiar with the personalities involved in the big shindig, they will follow instructions to the letter. Here are some great ways to include Dad.

Conducting Background Checks

Need someone to scout limousine companies for that perfect stretch? Want to know if the hall you're considering is really suitable for a large sit-down dinner? Dads are great at legwork. Give him a checklist and the names and addresses of businesses to review, and then send him on his way.

Helping Around the House

If a menial job threatens -- licking 200 envelopes, folding programs, transporting favors -- ask Dad to lend a hand. He'll surprise you with his willingness to help, especially if you let him watch football while he works.

Making Decisions

Don't underestimate Dad's artistic sensibilities. He may offer the right balance of elegance and practicality when selecting everything from invitations to your groomsmen's boutonnieres. Just because he can't explain why he likes -- or hates -- something doesn't mean he lacks good taste.

Going for a Spin

Brides, you and your dad have a big dance number waiting in the wings. Pre-wedding waltz lessons can be a great break from planning stress. Just don't outdo your first-dance with your fiance.

Curbing Cold Feet

When you're suffering from pre-marriage jitters, your dad might be the perfect confidant. After all, he's been there. Instead of stressing about this "until death do us part" stuff, have a cup of coffee with your father and benefit from his wisdom.

Tying Loose Ends

No matter how much you try to get done before the big day, you'll always be frantic the day before your wedding. Enlist Dad to help with last-minute activities like confirming the number of guests with the caterer, calling your vendors to verify the correct time and place, and tranquilizing your mother.

Keeping Time

At the reception, ask your father to play wedding coordinator if you haven't hired one. Write up the event sequence beforehand and tell him to keep track of time. You'll be amazed how smoothly the reception flows, and he'll like having a position of responsibility.

Playing Watchdog

Post-wedding blues affect everyone, including your parents. Give Dad something to keep him occupied: Ask him to care for your house while you're on your honeymoon. Don't be surprised if you return to find your showers re-grouted, your leaky faucet fixed, and your lawn looking greener than ever. It's just Dad's way of telling you he loves you.

-- Lain Ehmann

See More: Basics for Moms