The father of the bride's role
Grooms are more involved in wedding planning than ever, and the father of the bride is stepping up a little, too. He's no longer expected just to sit tight and pay the bills, his opinions and thoughts matter, too. Even if Dad isn't paying the bills (more and more couples are footing the bills for their own weddings), he's still usually seen as the wedding's host, so it's nice for him to have a part in the planning.
This is also good news for many dads who, after years of having daddy's little girl come to him with questions, now find that their little girls don't want anything but a signature on the dotted line. What's more, today's busy brides need all the help they can get -- from grooms, mothers, friends and fathers.
Involving fathers can be complicated, though. With stepfamilies, one couple alone can have four fathers! There's also the question of what, exactly, a father's job should be. The only responsibilities listed in most wedding books are walking the bride down the aisle and making a toast. That a lot of fathers aren't all that sure where to start with wedding planning is no surprise. The best place to get your father involved depends on him and his interests.
The organization freak
Is your father one of those super-organized guys who likes to make sure everyone else is organized as well? Have him come up with a spreadsheet to help you track finances, vendors, RSVPs and table assignments. For a DIY wedding, have your handy dad help with building or designing. Be careful though: If your dad and your groom are a little competitive, make sure they work on different tasks.
Solicit his advice on which flowers are in season or what plants might make good centerpieces.
Involve him in working with the caterer or helping choose items for your kitchen registry.
He could start the ball rolling on photographer and videographer interviews.
the dancing father
The father/daughter dance can be a huge source of tension for dads, and that can make talking to him about other wedding ideas difficult. Many brides and grooms take dance lessons to prepare for their first dances; there's no reason your dad and you couldn't do the same. As a bonus, taking a class or two together can be a precious bonding experience.
If you can't find a task with which to get your dad involved in your wedding, then just look for a little extra time to spend with him. Leave wedding planning behind for an hour or so and go back to a simpler time when you and Dad could just hang out.