Post # 1
I have always, always known that my dad was going to walk me down the aisle. He brought me and my brother up when we were little and has been a big part of my life.
Unfortunately a couple of years ago he had a stroke and it’s seriously affected his balance. He is extremely unsteady on his feet and uses a walking stick in the house and a wheelchair when out and about which generally someone else pushes.
The wedding is still awhile away, but it’s something dad worries about and we’re trying to figure out what the options are. He could potentially walk me with the stick but it makes him really nervous as movement around him makes it worse.
If we use the wheelchair and he wheels himself then I can’t hold his hand/arm and we’re concerned about getting my dress caught. I’ve joked I could sit on his lap but I’m also genuinely thinking that’s a possibility – you know, try and make it fun, but it would mean that my fi doesn’t get to see the full look at it’s best (we’re not doing a first look and seeing me stood in my dress is something he’s looking forward to).
I could walk next to him and hold his hand if someone pushes his chair but if I was going to do that then I would want it to be my brother, but that would hurt my mum. She didn’t live with us when I was little but I did see her every weekend and speak to her every day on the phone and then she moved back in when I was a teenager. She’s now my dad’s carer. I love her dearly, but she will also drive my insane if she walks me down the aisle as she won’t be able to control her own anxiety which will set off mine – it’s a recipe for disaster which will result in snapping and tears and bad feelings right when I should be having nervous excitement.
My First has suggested a zimmerframe or k-frame (like a zimmerframe that goes behind you) but I’m not sure how my dad will feel about that at the moment as we’ve not had a chance to suggest it to him.
I know it sounds like I’m just thinking off all the negatives for each situation, and maybe I am. I think I just need some advise to see if there are any other options and maybe some opinions on the ones available to help us figure out what’s best.
Also, if anyone has been to a wedding, or is part of a wedding with a disabled father of the bride or other wedding party member I would love to hear stories, see pictures etc.
In a lot of ways we’re still fairly new to him being disabled and we’re still trying to get used to the new reality.
Post # 2
Can you practice walking together with his walking stick? You can see what pace is best and then do that for the wedding.
Post # 3
Hi Bee: Have you thought of you pushing him down the aisle in the wheelchair. I know that might mess up your FH view of you, but I think it might be a touching moment between you and your father. Your father might now even have to “walk” you down the whole aisle. Maybe you could be in the back by yourself (which would give your FH his moment) and then met your dad part way down the aisle either with his cane or in a wheelchair. Hope it helps. Good luck bee.
Post # 4
jezamor : does your father go to PT? Could this be something he works towards? Walking with you with his cane. You could go to appointments with him to practice. If all else fails, I love the idea of you pushing him. I think that’s sweet.
FWIW my dear friends mother has MS and is pretty much wheelchair bound. At her wedding her older brother wheeled her mother to the start of the walkway and helped support Mom down the aisle walking. It was so amazing. And slow. But beautiful.
PS. If you choose to walk with your dad wear solid shoes. Maybe wedges?
Post # 5
He’s done physical therapy but it unfortunately only had a limited effect. The part of his brain that was damaged is the bit that processes the information he’s recieving so it’s like having permeant vertigo (which is what they thought it was for a long time as he had none of the traditional signs of a stroke.) He’s fairly confident, if wobbly, with walking at home but that’s because there’s always something solid to grab hold of and he’s used to the surroundings. I’m hoping that maybe some practice of walking together might help though, just got to convince him to try (as I say, he’s extremely nervous about walking and potentially falling over).
I had not thought about pushing him in the wheelchair though. That’s definitely a possibility, and him meeting me at the start of, or part of the way down the aisle would still give fiancé that first look of me.
Post # 6
I once attended a wedding where the father could take a few steps but not many he was in a wheel chair, the bride came in with her bridesmaids, her father in his chair 2/3 of the way down the aisle, when she reached him he stood up and walked the last bit on sticks with his daughter to give her away. It was very touching.
Maybe you you could do something like that where he meets you 2/3 of the way down, he can still “give you away” but there’s less pressure on him to stay upright for longer?
Post # 7
my husband’s mom had a stroke and was in a wheelchair for our wedding. he pushed her down the aisle.
my brother was also in our wedding party, standing on my side. he mostly uses a wheelchair but can walk short distances. he walked down the aisle with a fancy cane (not his everyday cane), then used his wheelchair to dance at the party. we had a chair set up for him to sit on during the ceremony for when he needed it.
Post # 8
I think you have been given some good options, bee! Here are a couple more for your consideration.
You and your father stand at the end of the aisle. The processional music begins, everyone stands, the husband gets the first look, etc, THEN your dad sits in a wheelchair and you sit on his lap. I think this is very sweet!
Could you reconsider the first look? It doesn’t have to be hours before the wedding with pictures and the whole nine yards. It could be mere minutes before the ceremony, and dad could even walk you to him in private where he is more comfortable. Then dad can use the wheelchair in public.
Whatever you choose, I am sure it will be lovely. Best of luck to you.
Post # 9
Some great options here already, but would he steadierwith a walker?