Post # 1
For the most part, it’s a secret that my dad and I don’t get along. My parents are married, so, physically, he’s always been in my life. He put food on the table and a roof over my head.
Emotionally, on the other hand, he’s been absent. As a child, I fought for his affection and never got it. Rules I had to follow suddenly disappeared when it came to my brother and sister. As a teenager, I got angry and we started fighting. He has always yelled at my mother for stupid things. Then, it got directed mostly towards me, and I wouldn’t stand there and take it like she did. When I was 15, he slapped me across the face when we were arguing. Only a few friends know any of this.
Needless to say, I don’t want him walking me down the aisle. If I could have my way, he wouldn’t be invited, but I know I can’t get away with that.
This is the South. People expect my father to walk me down the aisle, especially knowing he’ll be at the wedding. I’m usually the type to appease people at all costs – and I don’t want to have to explain myself to a hundred people – but I know I just can’t be a pushover this time.
There’s only one person in my life who I would even consider asking – my high school best friend. Aside from FH, he’s been the most loving and influential (male or otherwise) figure in my life. I love him deeply, but definitely not romantically. FH approves of the friendship, but I’m not sure that he would like the idea of this friend walking me down the aisle. I haven’t mentioned it yet.
I’m not opposed to walking on my own, but I’m also afraid I would trip and embarrass myself.
Bees, I’m not sure what I should do and something about it is eating me tonight.
Post # 3
@mepayne: It sounds to me like he wasn’t a bad father, just didn’t get on with you, and was inconsistent. (Though as a parent myself I must say: being consistent is hard). He supported you growing up and I assume he loves you. Yeah your high school friend was a good friend, but did he provide for you the way your father did?
In my opinion, having someone else walk you the aisle when your dad is there, is a slap in the face to your dad, who has failed in many ways but still gave you a lot. If you don’t him to walk you, you should walk alone (or with your husband).
Post # 4
I have no advice but I can sympathize completely. I am in the exact same situation. My dad was emotionally and physically absent for long periods of my childhood. He and my mom would split up, he’d vanish for months on end, then suddenly reappear, and then – poof – after a few months he’d be gone again. It gave me serious trust issues and when I was a teenager it caused huge fights between us.
Now my parents are split up for good but I still see him occasionally. He wants to walk me down the aisle and I hate the idea but I just don’t know how to say no without causing insane amounts of drama. I tried asking him to play his guitar and sing me down the aisle instead (because music is the one thing we’ve ever even semi-bonded over) but he claimed some sort of stomach/throat issue has messed with his voice and he can’t sing anymore. So that’s out.
Sorry, I know my story’s not helpful, I just wanted to say that you’re not alone and I understand how you feel. I like the idea of your friend walking you down the aisle instead. If your FI supports the friendship, I don’t see why he’d be against your friend giving you away. Especially if you feel closer to that friend than you do your dad.
Post # 5
I think if your Dad doesn’t walk you down the aisle and someone else does then there will be more explaining to do (you know what happens when people get their tongues wagging!)
If you walk alone then people will probably think it was a decision based on independence rather than the father-daughter relationship being not-so-great. And it’s an easy “oh well I don’t need my father to give me away in this day-and-age” “excuse”. But I know what you mean about the fear of tripping up! I’m sure it’ll be fine 🙂
I do know how you feel, my Dad has been a terrible person these last few years (long-term affair) and I feel he doesn’t deserve the privilege. Moreover, it’s important to me that someone who respects the sanctity of marriage “gives me away”. Fortunately I don’t have to make the decision just yet. But whatever you do, do for you and not to appease others.
Post # 6
@mepayne: Sorry things are bad between you and your father. You definitely shouldn’t feel pressured to let him walk you down the aisle. I’m personally not into this tradition because it reminds me of women-as-property and other sexist nonsense. Can you use that as an excuse, even if you don’t really feel that way?
Post # 7
My dad was very absent most of my life. Choosing drugs and alcohol over my brother and I. But even then I can’t imagine anyone else walking me down the aisle. That’s just me though.
Post # 8
I was going to suggest walking yourself down the aisle and saying you father has a medical reason, sore leg maybe? I’m not sure how you could go about getting your friend to do it though, sorry.
Post # 9
Why not walk with your fiance down the aisle? I went to a wedding where the bride did that and it was really sweet. It really reinforced that there were 100% invested in supporting each other. Because it was so cute–no one even gave a second thought to the fact that her dad didn’t walk her down the aisle.
She later told me that she did it because she wanted it clear that no one was giving her away. She was entering the marriage of her own free will. As was her husband. Again, it was a really nice moment. Plus, it gave them a private moment together before the ceremony.
Post # 10
OP – you mention that the expectations are high in the South for a father to walk his daughter down the aisle. If you have your friend do this, it WILL be the topic of discussion during cocktail hour and dinner – especially since your father will be there and is still married to your mom. I would not want that.
Either walk alone or with your FI and it solves everything. Adding your friend in the mix is going to stir up incredible drama and gossip.
Post # 11
I would ask your mother and father to walk you down the aisle together, personally. I think it will upset your father too much if you snub him like this by asking a friend to do it.
Post # 12
I guess I should’ve added that I don’t really see my friend walking me down the aisle as a realistic option, just that he’s the only one who I would even consider.
@ladyartichoke: Unless my father walks with me, then I think people will be talking. I have really, really old-fashioned and gossipy family members, some of which would not be afraid to say it straight to my face on my wedding day.
@lanalnoco: I refuse to be “given away”, but I want(ed?) someone to walk with me.
@CelticBeachBride: My great aunts would have a fit if I did that, especially if they knew we saw each other before the ceremony. I don’t talk to them much, but my poor grandma would never hear the end of it. Plus, I think my guests would start wondering where he was and if he was showing up. I’ve heard of meeting halfway, but I’ve never seen it and have no idea how that even works… I should probably look it up.
@lunalyra: Not really an option either, I’m afraid, but more for a logistical reason. My parents are big people and I’m rather small. I’m getting married at a relatively small church, and the aisle isn’t very wide. The three of us wouldn’t all fit. And, if we did, I’d be so smushed in the middle that no one would be able to see me.
Post # 13
@mepayne: Honestly? I would just walk down the aisle by yourself. Let people talk.
I don’t really have a great relationship with my dad either (divorced parents; he was absent most of my life, etc) and I likely will be walking down the aisle myself.
Post # 14
@mepayne: Well…you’re going to upset someone if you don’t have your dad walk you down the aisle. You can’t avoid that. And by the way–there will always be SOMEONE who is going to question SOME ASPECT about your wedding. My biggest piece of advice for you is stop trying to please everyone. It’s impossible. It cannot be done. Do what makes YOU and YOUR FIANCE happy. Everyone else will deal. Seriously.
True. Your great grandmothers might be bothered, but here’s the thing. The tradition of the bride and groom not seeing one another before the ceremony is based on the VERY outdated practice of arranged marriages. That ancient tradition was started because the bride’s fathers would want the groom (who he made a business deal with…a.k.a. promised a dowry in exchange for the bride’s hand) to see the bride for the first time when he “unveiled her” at the altar and was already standing in front of the entire community. That way, he couldn’t back out and run away. So–unless YOU are concerned that your groom might get cold feet and back out (and that’s a whole other issue), there’s no reason not to see your groom before the ceremony.
In fact, in modern day it’s INCREDIBLY common for brides and grooms to see one another before the ceremony. Most people do a “first look” these days…so they get a special, private moment together when the groom sees the bride for the first time.
Frankly, seeing one another before the wedding has absolutely no bearing on how long your marriage will last. My sister and her husband did NOT see each other before their wedding, and sadly they were filing for divorce within a year.
Post # 15
@mepayne: Walk down the aisle with your man! 🙂 We didn’t have any walking in our ceremony, but if we had, that’s what we would have done.
Post # 16
- Wedding: November 2013 - Garden
What if you walk half way and then your Fiance walks up to meet you and escorts you the rest of the way? I think that’s really symbolic and sweet, and he wouldn’t need to see you before hand and you’d still get your aisle moment.