Post # 1
Sorry that looked weird.. here goes again:
Need some advice, ladies. My parents divorced when I was 5, and my mom remarried when I was 8. I have always had a good relationship with my Dad, but technically I have spent more time with my step-father, being that I lived with my mom growing up. My step-dad and I have an OK relationship, but there have been some ups and downs.
Hot topic is: who walks me down the aisle? If I’m being completely honest, I want my dad to walk me. I LOVE my dad, and this is how I have always imagined it. My step dad and I do not have the same "love", in fact, I have never called him "dad" and we have never exchanged "I love yous". It never felt appropriate. My dad is not jealous, and I know he would never say so, but I feel that deep down he does not want to share this job with anyone.
How do I deal with the fallout with my mom and step dad? My mom has been harping on "alternative" weddings for years (even before I was engaged) basically assuming that both would walk me down the aisle. I have never told her that I would do this. I feel more so than my step dad, my mom’s feelings will be hurt if her husband does not walk me down the aisle. I think my mom has always wanted me and my step dad to be closer. It just never happened.
Is there a way that I can honor my step dad without having him walk me? Is there any comparable alternative? I thought maybe I’d have 2 father daughter dances (will this bore my guests?) or maybe have my step dad do a reading during the ceremony. I stress about this 24/7. Basically, I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I feel like I should be happy, too. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2007 - The Wellington House in Fayetteville, NY
Could you have your step dad be one of the groomsmen maybe? Or what about including him in a unity candle ceremony or something like that? Either of those options might feel a little more special than having him be a reader.
How long is your aisle? If you had a 100 ft. ailse you could always have you step dad walk you down the first half and then have you dad walk you the rest of the way to the altar. That could work.
You could do 2 father daughter dances if you picked 2 short songs or had the DJ fade a song out after 2 minutes.
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2011 - in the woods
One of my friends faced this same thing; she had her step-dad walk her down half of the aisle and then her biological dad walked her the rest of the way. It worked well and there were no hard feelings.
Post # 5
I agree with Jess, do a half and half. 🙂 I have seen this done in a video and it is actually very sweet and meaningful. You can have your biological father walk you the second half when he gives you to your new DH. 🙂
Post # 6
Well – I only agree with having them split the job – if you want them to split the job. But from your post – it’s sounds like you want your Dad having the honors of walking you down the aisle – which I totally understand.
I would vote for honoring your step-dad in another way. You could have one father/daughter dance song and just have step-dad cut in halfway through it if you don’t want to bore your guests. Or two short songs would work.
Ya know – your mom and step-dad may be a little disappointed when they first find out – but hopefully they love you enough to honor your wishes!! Like you said your mom would prob be more hurt than your step-dad – which just doesn’t make sense. And that moment should pass rather quickly. (Your mom is not the type to hold lifelong grudges is she?)
(I was in a wedding this summer that had a similar issue. My friends parents had divorced long ago, and her mother had passed away. Her dad was remarried – and she doesn’t have much of a relationship with the step-mon. There was a ‘mothers’ portion of the ceremony where the grooms mom walked up the aisle. Then there was a pause representing her mom. That pause was very important to her. Her Dad wanted the step-mom to fill in the gap – but she stood her ground. The step-mom didn’t even care – it was her dad who was causing the scene! And he got over it.)
Post # 7
If your dad escorts you down the aisle, maybe your step-dad can escort your mom down the aisle? That way everyone gets some aisle time and you still get your wish?
Post # 8
It’s not entirely the same scenario, but I’m having both parents walk me down the aisle. My parents were divorced when I was 6 and I’ve never really had the relationship with my dad. It would mean a lot to him to give me away and I don’t want to take that away from him. However, my mom really should be the one giving me away since I feel I was entirely raised by her and I am the person I am today because of her, not my father.
Post # 9
Oh no! I feel your pain. I hadn’t been engaged two weeks and my mom suggest a similar situation. She wanted my step-father to walk me the first half and meet my dad the second. (It IS a long aisle.) I have an amazing step-father who has been a part of my life since I was 7 or so. I don’t call him Dad, but I refer to he and my mother as my parents. We do say I love you. My dad has always been a part of my and we are very alike, even if he is an bit offbeat. I am his only child and he has never remarried. He and my mom and step-dad are friends even (I am a lucky lucky woman, I know!!).
Either way, I am not taking the spotlight from my father. I’ve been putting more thought into this and because my mom really has done a lot of the heavy lifting in my life, I want to honor all of them. I’m hoping that when the priest (officiant, in your case maybe) asks who gives this woman? I want my father, mother and step-father to all stand and say, "We do," instead of having my father answer for my mother and himself.
If not, you might consider inviting your stepfather to do a reading or as some of the others have suggested dancing with he and your father at the reception.
Post # 10
I like the reading idea, personally. That way both of your dads are "featured" and have a part in giving you away.
Post # 11
I’m very close to my step-dad but also to my dad. It was never a question of whether or not my dad would walk me down the aisle…it was his job.
The question was how to appropriately honor my step-dad who also had a huge hand in raising me.
I handled it by having my step-dad walk my mom down the aisle, and then had him give the "opening toast" (my dad gave the "closer"). Then I danced with my dad first…and later in the evening with my step-dad.
I’m sure it wasn’t perfect for either of them, but it was the best I could do and in the end I think they were both happy.
Post # 12
Katiethelady – Not to sound like a bridezilla or anything but it’s your decision who should walk you down the aisle, not your mother’s. I think it’s messed for a parent (not necessarily yours) to put their children in the middle like that.
Jilian – I’m glad your friend stood her ground on having that pause for her late mother. It was pretty disrespectful of her dad though to make such a fuss about his wife taking her mother’s place.
Post # 13
I like the reading idea too. If you want just your Dad to walk you down the aisle, then that’s what you should do.
However, if you want to be sneaky and make it less of "insult", if you mom brings it up, mention that the aisle just isn’t wide enough for you, your dress and two adult men in a row (hopefully this is true) and you can’t figure out where the bouquet would go if you were holding arms with both men. That way it is just more logistical. Then mention right afterward the thing you would like your stepfather to do, so she knows he’s still involved.
Or you can ask your mom to be on your other side instead of your stepdad. Then there definately wouldn’t be any room for stepdad.
I definately would NOT have the stepdad cut in on the dad during the father/daughter dance. The potential symbolism there would be awkward. 🙂
Maybe you can have your stepdad do a toast?
Post # 14
I like the idea of reading during the ceremony. Also, how about having him give a toast at the reception at the wedding ? I wouldn’t split up walking down the aisle. Perhaps faather-daughter dance can be split up if you are ok with it. Good luck !
Post # 15
I had a similar problem and asked my step dad to be my witness and sign instead of my MOH. But my sister who is my MOH is under 21 and can’t sign fo rme anyway. It all worked out though… and it will for you too. Just make sure you phrase things in a way that don’t offend your mom and/or step dad.
Post # 16
Thanks everyone for the kind supportive advice. You all have helped a lot, if even just to listen. CS, I like the way you think! The logistical problem of the bouquet is a real concern I hadn’t thought of before, and I will also have a cathedral length train, again, two extra feet to step on it. Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that my mother loves me unconditionally, so she will understand and respect my wishes. I will give my step dad a choice of what other role he would like to play (reader, toaster) and give him his own seperate dance. I’ll be sure to let you all know how it turns out.