Post # 1
I am looking for a little help with my ceremony processional
I want my mother and father, according to jewsih tradtion, to
walk me down the aisle… but my father has told me he isnt compfortable doing that given their history.
My dad wants to walk me on his own but I dont want to hurt my mothers feelings as I know she has looked forward to this for a long time.
I am also struggling to find an apprpriate
roll for my step mother and dont want to offend my mom by inadvertantly giving her a bigger role to satisfy my dad.
We arent having a wedding party so there are no groomsmen to usher people…OY.
Any suggestions bees? THANKS!
Post # 3
I know you’ve probably talked to them already about how it’s your day and they should suck it up, so that’s probably out of the question. What if your step mom and dad walk you halfway up the aisle to your mom, and she walks you the rest of the way? That way you would still honor your stepmom, your dad would quit whining, and your mom would get to walk you too. A few people on these boards mentioned that they were doing similar things. With a situation like this, I would think your rabbi would be totally fine with you bending the tradition a little.
Post # 4
I would ask your father to grow up and allow you to carry out your wishes for your day. If not, ask your mother to do it and let your dad watch. I don’t think you should have to ask your stepmother to do anything just because your father is acting like a giant baby. I’m sorry you are having to deal with this…why are men such whiners?
Post # 5
I had the same problem, with my dad and stepdad. I posted here actually, and with the support of everyone I managed to stand up for what I wanted! My dad refused to give up his "right" to give me away. I ultimately had to tell him that it wasn’t about anything else besides the fact that it was my wedding, and I had two fathers who raised me. and that was the end of it. And if he felt his pride was more important than seeing his oldest daughter get married (because he DID threaten not to come if he did not get his way), then so be it, but he would be the one to regret it, not me. And so they each walked me halfway. And no one thought it was weird, or insulting, an anything negative towards either of them. It was overly emotional actually, they shook hands, which they have never even spoken to each other since I was 5 so that was huge….and most people who knew the situation said it was wonderful that they were able to come to terms finally and both give me away. Just talk to him, remind him that they loved each other once, that is why you are here in the first place…..and if he could show you he loves you now, and accept that he and your mother created you together and should let you go together, this would be the way. As for your stepmother, I don’t know how Jewish ceremonies work, but we had ours do readings….
Post # 6
stick to your guns on this one. It’s so traditonal for mother and father to walk a Jewish bride that I’m sure people will be talking if they see your mom slighted this way. Obviously I don’t know the situation and maybe your Dad doesn’t consider your Mom to have been a real mom to you, but this really isn’t about him. I’d be tough on this one and say either you all walk down all together or you walk alone….his choice. Hopefully he’ll be able to see past himself on this one day…if not then I think that says a lot about his character.
Post # 7
I agree with the others. Hopefully your father will understand that the day is about you and your parents…regardless of whether those few moments (that would make you very happy) make him uncomfortable. Sometimes parents need to be uncomfortable for their children. Part of the job.
I don’t know about Jewish ceremonies, but if you had a brother, male cousin, etc who could escort your stepmother, maybe that would be ok.
Post # 8
When they arn’t looking, hand cuff them together and force em! 😉
Okay so that won’t work – well hun, I’m first off really sorry people around you are being a bit selfish on your day. (Or in the details for your day rather) I think that you need to explain this to them…it’s tradition, it’s for me not you, lay it on thick, explain it, be heaertfeldt like you are here here explaining it.
I think it’s totally wrong IMO to have step mom join in and be "bigger" then mom, and your parents need to understand that for one day, all the issues aside they are joining together for the happiness and love of their daughter. You’re wahts important that day and if they can’t look past that for a few hours, they could regreat it for the rest of their lives. And really hurt you in teh process.
Good luck and keep us updated.
Post # 9
First, I’d like to say that I’m really sorry for your situation. It’s too bad that families sometimes can’t be as friendly as we might want them to be.
However, I’m not sure what the history is here, and I have to say that I disagree with the other posters. My FI’s ex-wife cheated on him in a very public way, and also in the bed where they slept together. When he caught her (in their bed with her boyfriend) she left him and the kids, after telling them that the marriage (and the kids) had been the biggest mistake she ever made. It took him a long time to get over that, and while he’s clearly been successful, he’s never going to walk down an aisle with her, or even sit at a table with her.
I don’t guess that this will necessarily be a problem at his son’s wedding, as his son still (6 years later) will still barely be in the same room with his mother. His daughter is another problem – she has a tendency to want to pretend that nothing had really changed. However, the facts are that her mom screwed her dad over big time, in a way that’s completely unacceptable. My FI’s relationship with his ex is civil, in that they don’t fight. It will never be friendly, because he still feels (and I agree) that her actions were really unforgiveable. His daughter would really love for us to all be friendly, but that’s not up to her. And for her to ask him to pretend a relationahip that simply doesn’t exist – which is how he would see walking her down the aisle with her mom – would be unfair.
And you don’t have to feel caught in the middle. If your dad won’t walk with your mom, you are free to walk with him alone, to walk with your mom alone, or to have another male friend or relative walk you. It is also more and more common to walk with your FI, or by yourself – especially given that the "tradition" of the bride as the property of her family (primarily her father) until given to her husband really no longer exists.
I hope that what you want is just an expression of support from both your parents. You may have to accept that while they both love and support you, since they are no longer a family, they need to do that separately. Try to recognize that asking them to "suck it up" for some kind of pretend family photo opportunity may be very offensive to them. It’s equally valid to say that perhaps you need to learn to accept your actual family situation, which appears to be sufficiently civil to allow them to all be in the same room without worry, and find a way for both your parents to support you that works for them too.
Post # 10
WOW! Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond with such constuctive and caring answers! You all are the best.
This morning, after I posted, I thought about my options…. and I sent my father 3 variations I was comfortable with — only one of which actually had him and my mom walking me together. At the end of the day – they have been divorced since I was 2 and it might feel unnatural for all of us, even if it is ‘tradition’. i think we should all feel as comfortable as possible on that day, whatever it takes.
Let me know what you think of these variations… I can check in and let you know what we come out with in the end! Again, Thanks so much!! C
Groom in position at front
2. Parents of the Groom
5. Ring Bearers (grooms nephews)
6. Flower Girls (grooms nieces)
7. FOB and Bride
OR some variation of (2)…
2. Parents of the Groom
3. Ring Bearers (grooms nephews)
4. Flower Girls (grooms nieces)
5. FOB and MOB with Bride — StepMom standing in aisle 3rd row-ish – Bride gives kiss, FOB sits with StepMom, MOB continues with Bride to the end, or all sit and Bride walks the rest herself.
OR variation (3)
All parents flanking aisle at end (or up by chuppa)
2. Ring Bearers (grooms nephews)
3. Groom (hugs kisses parents, stands at front)
4. Flower Girls (grooms nieces)
5. Bride collecting flowers from friends for bouquet* (hugs kisses parents who are all then seated — depending on ceremony participation)
*There is no formal wedding party so this would honor close girl friends and family other than parents
Post # 12
Are you close to your mother? How does she feel about this whole situation?
I understand that your parents have been divorced since you were 2, but seriously, there has to be a time when they need to come to terms with the past and get over it and move on.
If it is important to have your mother with you, then let there be an option for just your mom to walk you down the aisle- that’s what I did and you know what, I loved it and it was perfect for me.
So just remember- it is not about them- it is what YOU want. It is who you want to be on your side, taking you to the next step in your life. The people that raised you and were there for you…
Post # 13
I actually like #3 quite a bit. It’s very diplomatic – recognizes all the parental figures without trying to pair them up in potentially uncomfortable ways, or choosing one over the other – and lets them all show their love and support.
And really, while it’s you that is getting married, it’s a special day for all your family. Thinking of it as "your day" in which everybody needs to put aside their feeling for your desires is ignoring their feelings, which isn’t good. Speaking as a soon-to-be stepmom, and recognizing that my FSD is pretty attached to her mom, I am interested how she will eventually handle this. I will tell you that, since her mom is almost completely uninvolved in her life (financially or otherwise) I am already the one who makes her doctor’s and dentist’s appts, makes sure she gets there, helps with her homework, buys her a new dress for a special date, and will undoubtedly be the primary help in planning (and paying for) her wedding. Honestly, you can say all you want that parents (and step-parents) need to recognize what the bride wants. But as the bride, you need to recognize (and it sounds like you do) that you have the potential to arrange something that really hurts one or another of your various parents. And having any one of them remember your wedding day primarily as a slight to them is not going to make for a lot of future happiness. That’s why I think the very best thing is not to play favorites at all – but to recognize everybody equally, if possible.
Post # 14
I think Option #3 captures the spirit of the Jewish ceremony best. The way my rabbi explained it, the reason why all the parents (and grandparents) walk down the aisle is because the bride isn’t being given away (so it’s not like, a point of pride for the father or anything), but because families are coming together. I think it’s important to recognize all family members (and friends!), and this seems like a good way to do so.
In Option #3 though, the groom’s parents aren’t walking him down though, right? It would seem strange to me to have the groom’s parent’s walk him down the aisle but not the bride’s walk her down the aisle. Just a thought.