Post # 1
My dad and I have had a very difficult relationship. He was unfaithful to my mother and what I would consider emotionally abusive, and so I resent him for that. He has hurt me multiple times, including one time less than a year ago that was terrible and I didn’t speak to him for months. Basically, he forgot to hang up the phone and I heard him insult me and my Fiance to his wife for a good thirty minutes. It broke my heart. I have always known that I didn’t really want my dad to walk me down the aisle. I’m not close to him, I don’t feel loved or supported by him, and I don’t feel like he represents my family. That whole symbolism of him giving me away on behalf of my family would be a crock, pretty much.
So I asked my 18-year-old brother to do it months ago, and he was so honored. I felt good about it initially, but as the wedding nears, I am starting to wonder if I made the right choice. My dad has never been physically abusive, he has contributed financially to my upbringing and my college, and I know that he loves me in his own way – he is just a kind of messed up person.
The biggest thing I am starting to worry about is what other people will think. My dad will be there, on the front row, and I don’t want people to be whispering about, “Why is her dad not walking her down?” Granted, many of guests know the situation, but some of FI’s friends and family don’t. More than that, I think my dad’s family is going to be offended on his behalf. I didn’t really consider that at first, at least not fully. I have been trying to get in touch with my grandmother and she hasn’t been returning my calls, and I’m worried if its because my dad told her he won’t be walking me down the aisle.
Of course, I can’t take it back now. I already asked my brother and I would never take that away from him. I know on that day he will be so loving and supportive and excited – the perfect escort – while my dad would make it all about him, and I would not feel nearly as supported. I need to try to let go of these worried feelings, since the decision has been made, but I just can’t. I really hope I will be able to not dwell on it on my wedding day.
Post # 3
Given the situation I think you made the right choice. If people whisper– let them. It doesn’t sound like your dad has earned the HONOR of that duty… because it is an honor, not a right.
Post # 4
Wow, difficult situation! I can see where you’re coming from, but I think that your brother is the best choice! This is your big day, and your dad doesn’t seem very supportive of you or your relationship.
Post # 5
Ditto CorgiTales. You’ve done the right thing! (((HUGS)))
Post # 6
I agree–I think you definitely made the right decision in having your brother instead of your father walk you down the aisle. It does not seem like your father has been a very supportive person in your life, including your relationship with your Fiance. I’m sure people will wonder why you chose your brother instead of your father but people will always wonder and whisper about something–you can’t please everybody. What’s most important is how you feel and what you want and it seems like you want your brother to have the honor of walking you down.
Post # 7
I posted about a similar situation and trying to figure out if I would allow my dad to walk me down the aisle. http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/who-should-walk-me-down-the-aisle-2 I have finally decided that I am just going to let him do it. It will only last about 3 minutes and then he can go sit down! HE wont have to do anything else for that day. One of my little brothers will be a groomsman and the other (goes to school in AK) will escort my mom in. I am pretty much at peace with my decision and now there doesn’t have to be any added drama for me on my day. I am not telling you what to do, just sharing my story.
Post # 8
I wouldn’t worry about what people think, I’d worry more so about how you feel. I don’t have a father in my life so I may not be coming from a knowledgable place but I think you probably made the right decision. You chose to go with who you felt more emotionally connected with and I’m sure your brother loves you so much. He was honored for that reason. Maybe, you can opt to do the father daughter dance at the reception. That way he will be, in some way, honored.
Post # 9
I completely understand where you’re coming from. My dad and I have had a strained relationship for years. Luckilly, I have the best step dad a girl could ask for. When I got engaged, I debated for a long time on what to do. To me, “giving away” is symbolic – the man in your life giving you to your husband. At first, I wanted my mom. She felt both dads would be upset. So, I thought I’d have my real dad walk me half way, then hand me off to my step dad – symbolizing my dad being there for the first half of my life, and my step dad being there for the second half. But, my mom thought this would hurt real dad’s feelings as well (he’s completely deluded and thinks our relationship is great). So, I finally decided that real dad would walk me half way, then we would be joined by my step dad. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I was trying to keep the peace. Once my real dad found this out, he flipped. He said this wasn’t how he wanted it done. I said I understood, but it is my wedding, and this is how I want it done. To which he replied that if that’s how it was going to be done, then he wouldn’t come. I said fine, don’t come. I haven’t looked back since. It’s hard, and it hurts, but it was the right thing
The moral of this rambling story is: you have to do what’s right for YOU. If that’s having your brother walk you down the aisle, so be it. Who cares what other people say. It’s your day, and you should do what you want.
It’s a hard situation, and I hate that you have to go through it. Best of luck!
Post # 10
Even though your father hasn’t been the “stand-up” kind of father like he should be, he is still your Dad. What about having your brother AND your father walk you down the aisle? Whose to say that eventually your father will turn a new leaf in his behavior and thoughts one day and you regret not having that 5 minutes of him taking those big steps with you? I’m sure your brother would understand, you will have a dear family member on either side of you on your big day. Just a thought.
Post # 11
Wow, so many responses already! Thank you everyone for your support, especially those who are affirming my decision – it means a lot.
@jennifer_espos: We aren’t having dancing at our reception so a father-daughter dance isn’t an option. That would also feel just as fake and forced, though. I’ve thought about asking him to announce us cutting the cake or something like that, but I don’t know if that would come across as just a token gesture?
@Candy_Nee: I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Thankfully, my dad is still planning to attend, which is important to me. I just hope there aren’t any last minute blow-ups.
@GraySquirrelsBest: I have considered this, and I’m not 100% ruling it out. However, it is very unlikely my father will turn over a new leaf. He’s been this way for his entire life and its just getting worse by the day it seems. I think if I had them both walk me down, it would just be kind of a hot mess… my dad likes to hog the spotlight, and my brother is much more passive, and so it would kind of defeat the purpose of having my brother do it and honoring him. They also REALLY don’t get along and so I’d worry about some sort of pre-walk conflict.
Post # 12
I think given your situation you probably made the best choice for you. I made a similar decision for my wedding and I got so much crap from people over it. The guilt was eating away at me because at the end of the day I know my dad loves me in his own way, even if he is a little messed up. So, the day of the wedding, the guilt was eating at me and I made a very last minute decision and decided for him to walk me down the aisle. And you know what? I don’t regret it one bit! You could get it meant the world to my dad and he was all teary. So, my point is, can your dad still maybe walk you down with your brother?
ETA: I must have been typing when you were, so I didn’t know you said walking with both of them wasn’t really an option…
Post # 13
@Lillindy: Like I said to GraySquirrelsBest, I haven’t ruled that out, but I worry that it would create for conflict since my dad and brother don’t really get along. I don’t think they would have a big fight right before my wedding but there could be some awkwardness or tension, and I don’t want that. But if my dad and brother walked me down together, at least I would have the support and love of my brother there – my dad’s ego could never overshadow that!
Post # 14
That’s a great way to think about it Daniellemybelle! Grab onto each of their arms but hold your brothers just a little bit tighter, he will get the sense that even though there is man on your other side with the title of “father”, you hold your brothers love and cherish your relationship with him (your brother) just that bit more. If that makes any sense 🙂
Post # 15
Hmmm… First of all it’s very traditional for the father of the bride to walk her down the aisle. Second of all I think your brother would completely understand if you changed your mind and chose your father. It’s your wedding tho. Me, personally, even though my parents separated when I was about five and my dad only saw us on the weekends, I’m still having my father walk me down the aisle and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But that’s just me you have to do what feels right for you. Have you asked your father to walk you down the aisle yet? What would do you think he would say?
Post # 16
I think you made the right decision. If you think you would feel awkward having your father walk you down, don’t do it. I have a strained relationship with my father and I hated having him walk me down. And he did make a bit of a show about it. We walked to the back of the aisle where we met my husband. My father shook his hand and handed me over. I hated every second of it and still regret it to this day. I have absolutely no pictures of me smiling coming down the aisle. If you think your pictures will look the same, I wouldn’t advise it. I was talked into doing it, because my mother was concerned that people would talk and even threatened not to come if my father didn’t walk me down.