For many brides (and some grooms) walking down the aisle with Dad and/or Mum is a given. But there are so many reasons why it’s not always that simple.
- Dad has passed away or is no longer part of your life: While it’s tradition to be walked down the aisle by your Dad – anyone who is a big part of your life, anyone who you want to be there to support you as you walk into your marriage is absolutely fitting. But alternately, if for you it’s Dad or nobody… nobody is absolutely fine too.
- You have to choose between a biological father and a stepfather: This is probably the toughest one, especially if you have a good relationship with both men. Depending on their relationship you might not have to choose – having them both walk you down the aisle is an option. If you choose one to walk you down the aisle, is there something else the other could do, and be happy with? Eg. Sign the register as a witness? Your other option is of course neither. Leaving you with the option of walking down the aisle by yourself (which if it’s something you’re comfortable with, is totally badass). Or this was the solution a friend used on her wedding day. She walked as far as the garden gate with her Dad. The groomsmen came to the gate, collected their partner bridesmaids and walked down the aisle together. My friend’s husband to be came and collected her and they walked down the aisle together (as she so eloquently put it they walked in together as boyfriend and girlfriend and left as husband and wife).
- You would prefer your Mum/ your son/ your husband to be to walk you down the aisle: If you know what you want, deciding what you want to do isn’t the problem. Telling Dad, and finding a way to include him, without hurting his feelings is your issue. Maybe you have a Dad who will be stoked to avoid the walking down the aisle duty. If you know he really wants to do it, could you walk down the aisle with both? If not maybe having your Dad and your husband or wife to be’s Dad sign the register could help diffuse the situation?
- Your inner feminist is struggling with being ‘given away’: If you want to arrive by yourself, you absolutely can (chances are good your husband to be did!) But if you want to be walked down the aisle by your Dad and/or Mum there are so many options to take away the inferences of you (the bride) being property to be handed from her father to her husband (in case you didn’t know, that’s where the tradition began). My favourite is once you have made your arrival next to your husband or wife to be – thanking both sets of parents for helping you both get here, ready to marry. And/ or instead of asking both your parents if they bring you here with permission to marry, asking your guests to support both of you and your marriage in the years to come.
Congratulations on your engagement! And I hope whatever challenges you face planning your wedding and your ceremony, you find a way to enjoy your day with everyone important to you.
If you’re planning to marry anywhere in Central Otago (or beyond) I’d love to hear from you. I’m a fun young celebrant up for a wedding challenge.
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