Dad: You’re not giving me away

posted 7 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
1843 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m having my son walk me down the aisle but I’m also 40 years old and this is my second wedding.  My dad wasn’t hurt at all and was completely understanding (I’m a grown woman with my own responsibilities – was just “weird” to imagine him walking me down….again).

Post # 3
Member
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I made the decision to not have my dad walk me down the isle because I finally got tired of putting up with his crap. My “dad” has never been that great of a father, he was always verbally abusing my mom or saying things that were unsupportive etc. I finally just told him actually a couple weeks ago that I didn’t want him to walk me down the isle because i don’t feel that he deserves to do it given the fact that he abandoned his family for another woman then decided to blame us for his actions. I was pretty blunt with him and he ended up saying he would not come. Instead I’m planning on just walking down by myself. :]

Post # 4
Member
811 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I am toying with this idea, but have not yet broken it to dad.

Unlike other bee’s this is my first marriage, I’m not over 30 (yet), but I just plain feel like I’ve chosen to marry. I’m not my father’s toy which he can “give away”.

I have yet to come up with a way of doing this that won’t cause a HUGE fight.

Post # 5
Member
3672 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I haven’t had a good relationship with my father in a while so I had my brother walk me down the aisle.  I just told my dad one day because I wasn’t sure if he had assumed he was walking me down the aisle.  It turned out he thought he was.  I explained why and it upset him a lot.  He actually only came to the ceremony and skipped the reception because he said he felt betrayed and like I didn’t want him there.  

I wouldn’t trade walking with my brother for anything because he calmed me down and kept me sane the whole wedding day but it still hurt that my dad reacted that way after everything he had put me through in the past (yes we were trying to mend our relationship but I didn’t feel like it was enough yet).  Plus I didn’t want to decide between him and my mom (who also assumed she was walking me down the aisle and was pretty hurt by it) but he still didn’t understand.

He did in fact come to the ceremony and left before the reception which hurts sometimes but when I start to think about it, I just think about how I made the right decision and still had fun on my wedding day.

Edit: I did let my parents “give me away” after I finished walking to keep the peace a litttle bit.  The officiant asked who gave me away and they both just said “I do”.  

Post # 6
Member
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@kermie: My dad was actually the one who decided he didn’t want to give me away, for that exact reason. He said a lovely speech about how i was too precious to have ever belonged to him anyway.

He is going to walk me down the aisle though, just not answer the priest when he asks who gives me to my husband or hand me over, he will simply move to his seat immediately. So i still get my daddy by my side!

Post # 7
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m so conflicted on this.

On one hand, I don’t like the message that I am being given away. I’m 33. I’ve lived totally independently of my parents for over a decade. It seems odd to walk down the aisle as if I’m a 22 year old, just out of school.

Then, of course, there is tradition. There’s fear of upsetting people in my family. There’s the question of whether my wedding is the time to let on that I’m not as close to my father as some (he was a workaholic when I was young, but that’s what men of his generation saw as virtuous and their duty). We have a good relationship, but I don’t see myself as Daddy’s Little Girl.

Part of me is probably being selfish, too. I got myself where I am. Maybe I want to drive that message home to my family?

Post # 8
Member
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I was tempted, sooooo tempted and even said I wasn’t sure about it.  THEN, I realized WHY my dad is the way he is and actually appreciate him.  It only took until I turned 29 to figure it out! LOL!  Now, I’m gonna have him walk me down the aisle ’cause he IS my dad and really HAS been there for me.  And he does love me in his own way.  

Plus, my uncle died when I was three, or I’d have been torn between my dad and my uncle! 

 

Post # 9
Member
283 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think it’s important to remember that sometimes we project our own feelings about this tradition on to the men in our lives. I really don’t feel like the vast majority of fathers out there actually see that special walk as an opportunity to give a possession away. The way it has evolved now, it is just a special way for fathers to be involved in a very important day, to acknowledge the important relationship that father and daughter have. In many ceremonies it is no longer even being given away, but rather the father presenting or escorting.

I am having both of my parents walk me, so I don’t have personal experience. But I do think that the reason the walk is so important to dads is because it gives them a way to be involved in a special way. Maybe you should think of another way to include your father in a nice way (provided the 2 of you are close). Stay away from preaching about how you aren’t an object to be given away — most men just don’t see it that way. Just tell him you are bucking tradition and will instead be doing XYZ, but that you still want to acknowledge his importance to you and would like him to be involved by doing XYZ.

Post # 10
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@mrsbacon:

I like what your idea! He gets the walk, but none of the archaic language.

Post # 11
Member
3482 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Yup. I told my parents I was really not comfortable being given away. I told them it wasn’t at all personal, but the thought of being walked down the aisle just didn’t sit well with me; I’m a grown woman, I’m nobody’s property, and it’s just (in my eyes) a horrible outdated patriarchal tradition that has no place in modern times.

They claimed to understand and that they just needed time to get used to the idea, but then made a huge fuss about it closer to the day saying that they were really shocked and hurt and that people would think I didn’t love my dad. Our marriage commissioner was 100% behind us having the ceremony we wanted, but when I told my father this he called her a kook and said that if I wasn’t walking down the aisle with him then I had no right to walk down an aisle at all, that I didn’t deserve to be the center of attention.

DH and I actually considered eloping for a while. But we went through a lot of explaining about how the symbolism of being given away didn’t fit us and how the thought of it actually made me physically ill, and eventually I proposed that DH and I would meet each other in the center of the aisle and walk the rest of the way together. That way we still got the symbolism we wanted and I wouldn’t walk the whole aisle alone.

My parents agreed to this and that’s how it happened on the day. Our parents walked down the aisle in their respective couples and took their seats of honor, DH and his GMs moved into place at the front, the BMs walked in and took their places, I entered the room, and DH and I walked towards each other to meet in the middle of the aisle, joined hands, and walked up to the marriage commissioner. Everyone thought it was beautiful.

Post # 12
Member
1488 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@Jeannine @ Small Chic: I’ve heard of the dad saying something along the lines of “she gives herself freely, with her mother’s and my support” when the priest/pastor/officiant asks “who gives this bride away” You can change the words to make them your own if you still want to walk down with your dad.

Post # 13
Member
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

My oldest male cousin who is like a brother to me will walk me down. When the officiant asks who gives me away, my 3 daughters will all say “We Do”.

Post # 14
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I have a great relationship with my dad and I love him very much… and I have absolutely no desire to be walked down the aisle by him. Never have had any, as a matter of fact. I’ve always pictured making that walk myself. I think it’s sweet when other brides walk down the aisle with their parents, but it’s something I’ve just never wanted for myself. My parents are going to walk down the aisle ahead of the bridal party, and I’ll walk alone.

My dad and I are going to have a father-daughter dance, though. That’s important to him and I’m really looking forward to it — my FI isn’t really a dancer and he doesn’t want to do anything too special for our first dance, so I love that my dad wants to make our dance something memorable.

ETA: My dad and I never had a specific conversation about the aisle walk, per se… I didn’t think it would hurt his feelings and I don’t believe it has, but we haven’t really talked about it. I did mention to my mom early on that I wanted to be sure Dad would be OK with not walking me down the aisle, and she indicated he would. I think my parents have been surprised by how traditional our wedding is, so I don’t think it ever would have occurred to them that I would want to be escorted down the aisle.

Post # 15
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

My grandpa is walking me down the aisle.. my dad is just too flakey!!

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