- 4 years ago
Just over one month until the wedding and I really need to rant about something causing me a ton of anguish.
From the beginning of planning our wedding, my FI and I knew we would walk down the aisle together. It just makes sense to us – we’ve known each other for a decade, been together for seven years, and have lived together for five. We are two conscious adults making the decision to marry the other person, and we want the ceremony to reflect this.
I never pictured myself getting married, or at least not having a wedding, so walking down the aisle with my dad was never really a thing I thought about or pictured. My parents were divorced soon after I was born and live on opposite sides of the country. I grew up mostly with my mom, but spent all school breaks with my dad and step-mom. I love my dad and he adores me, but as any child of a messy divorce knows, it hasn’t been easy and even after a fair amount of therapy there are still raw nerves and touchy subjects and elephants in the room (hence my previous statement about not sure I’d ever even get married).
We aren’t having a bridal party other than our sisters (I have 1, Fiance has 2), so our plan for the processional was to have our parents walk down with their respective partners, followed by our sisters with their partners, then our officiant asks, “Who accepts a new family member into their lives today?” and they all respond, “We do” and sit down. This way, everyone dear to us is honored. People walk side-by-side with their partners, no one is escorted, no one is being given away, we’re all just being our authentic selves.
Anyways, it did eventually occur to me – hey, I should probably let my dad know our plans about this whole aisle thing. And then I got scared, like really scared, that I would hurt his feelings, and that he would think I was making this decision as a slight to him. I kept putting it off and putting it off, and we were all together a few weekends ago for his birthday – and I should have told him then because it was the last time I would see him in person before the wedding, but I chickened out – and as we were saying goodbye, he jokingly said, “I guess the next time I’ll be seeing you I’ll be walking you down the aisle.” I bit my tongue because we were in a rush to leave, and I smiled and told him I loved him.
My sister overheard the exchange, and later said to me, “You’re really going to hurt dad’s feelings. I know you guys want to walk down the aisle together, but dad’s not going to be around forever and I think you’re going to really regret this decision.” She suggested I have both our parents walk me down – that’s what she did – as if this wasn’t something I’d already considred. I explained all our reasonings for our decision. I cried. I expressed how much I hate wedding planning and know I might be doing everything “wrong” in other people’s eyes, but I can’t do something I don’t believe in just because I’m afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. A grown man’s feelings, at that. Plus, this way my step-mom isn’t left to just walk in and sit down like any other guest, she is also honored in the processional, something that’s important to me.
My sister finally agreed it sounds nice and it will be fine, but now I am about 100 times more terrified to talk to my dad. It’s funny, it’s almost like if he and I had had a closer, healthier relationship growing up, I wouldn’t be at all afraid to tell him. But since we are kind of emotionally distant (we talk a ton on the phone, but never conversations about feelings), it makes me more terrified that I will hurt him and that he and my step-mom and all of his family will think that it’s my passive-aggressive way of telling him, “You don’t deserve to walk me down the aisle.” When that is the furthest from the truth.
Has anyone had this conversation with their father, and do you have any pointers on how to do it? Do I just come out and say it? Do I apologize? Someone suggested that I don’t make it a thing at all – to just state, this is what is happening instead of saying this is what’s not happening. Which makes sense, I’m just afraid that that might discount any expectations he might have.
My apologies for being such a basket case! A lot of this whole wedding planning experience really has been a struggle for me, but it’s also challenging me to grow a lot, especially in regards to my long history as a people-pleaser. I guess I’m just experiencing serious growing pains Thank you all for your time and insight!