(Closed) Walking down the aisle… Alone?

posted 13 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 17
Member
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp

doctorgirl, your post couldn’t have come at a better time, actually.  When I read this to my fiance, he said, "that’s you, right?"

While I don’t have any direct solutions for you, the others, (or myself, yet), it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one out there thinking so seriously about this issue.

Take heart, ladies! 

Post # 18
Member
3230 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I just wanted to add a comment about a wedding I saw recently on TV where a bride walked down the isle by herself. She started walking down the isle with nothing in hand and had the guests that sat next to the isle hand her flowers as she walked, by the time she reached the alter she had her bouquet. If you arn’t comfortable having a family member walk down the isle with you, but you do want them to be included, you could do something like that, with multiple family members being involved. I thought it was really sweet and it was able to include everyone (not just dads) for that special moment.

Post # 19
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m walking down the aisle halfway alone and the other half with my Fiance. We will meet in the middle.

I wanted my mom to walk with me but shes a traditionalist and was not having it. Also, my relationship with my dad isn’t that great and I didn’t want to give that honor to someone who didn’t deserve it. I’e always looked up to my grandpa but some skeletons have come out of his closet recently and now I dont want him to walk me down the aisle either. I like my step dad, but not enough to let him walk me down, plus I have "I’m no one’s property" attitude so I really dont need to be given away at all.

Post # 20
Member
317 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t have a relationship with my father, which is a complicated story into itself.  Though he would like to be a part of my life, he is not, and he will not be invited or welcome at my wedding.

My mom, who I am incredibly close with, has her heart set on walking me down the aisle  – especially since I escorted her down the aisle at her second wedding ten years ago.

I’m of two minds – I would love to be able to honor my mom in such a nice way, but I like the idea of walking myself down the aisle – or having my fiance and I each enter from different locations, walk to meet each other, and enter together.  It’s something I’m struggling with because my mom wants to walk me down the aisle so much.

I think you should do whatever you want.  I’m a wedding officiant, and I’ve seen brides escorted by parents, moms, dads, brothers, dogs, grooms, uncles, grandparents and by themselves.  Whatever they choose ALWAYS works for their ceremony, and always reflects who they are.  Your wedding officiant can draw who ever does or does not walk you down the aisle into the intro of the ceremony, as a bit of explanation, to assuage nervous relatives or those family members who think you are bucking tradition.

But I can say, from personal experience, that trying to patch up a relationship that has fallen apart JUST so you can have someone walk you down the aisle – isn’t going to be an accurate or happy memory for you – I mean, it could, but there’s also the chance for a lot of messiness.  Of course, you all know yourselves better than anyone else – talk to your fiance, friends, and people who know you the best – for me, I would NEVER try to bridge the gap between my father and I JUST to have him at my wedding – but that’s something that I’ve gotten over and realized many, many years ago.

Post # 21
Member
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Well- honestly- this has been a large source of stress for me lately.  My parents are divorced and I’m not super close with my dad- but close enough that I never even questioned that he’d be the one to walk me down the aisle.  Well that changed significantly when he found out I was getting married.  He never seemed particular excited about it (or for me).  He thinks a wedding is a ridiculous thing to spend so much money on and even told me that it’s a crazy thought to put so much money into something that ends up in divorce a majority of the time!!  SERIOUSLY??  Plus- the fact that my mom and step-dad are paying for the wedding (my mom asked if he could contribute and that’s when the responses above came in to play)- I think it makes him embarassed to go and he said that with his issues with my mom on a number of things- he just didn’t think he would come.  YES- that’s right- now not only will my father not be walking me down the aisle- but he may not even be at the wedding!!  At that point- I was hurt and then I got mad- REALLY MAD.

So- while my wedding is in 7 months and my father and I still talk (but not about the wedding)- I think I’m planning on telling him that he doesn’t need to come.  I don’t need anyone there that isn’t fully supportive about what we’re doing and I certainly don’t need another thing to worry about like him and my mom fighting.  I’m also not close with his side of the family- so none of them will even be at the wedding (my grandparents have both passed away and I’m in no contact with any of my aunts/uncles/cousins).  So my plan now is to have my brother walk me down the aisle.  I thought about having my step-dad do it- after all- he’s helping to pay for the wedding with my mom and I thought it would be a nice way to include and thank him.  But he and my mom weren’t married until I was 22, so we’re really not close like that.  It may not be traditional but my brother walking me down the aisle is what feels right for me and, ultimately, me and my soon-to-be husband are what the day is all about!

Post # 22
Member
2 posts
Wannabee

I walked myself down the aisle for several reasons: my dad and I have a poor relationship (he wasn’t invited to the wedding) and my mother is deceased. I could have easily asked someone else I am close to to walk with me, but the main reason I walked by myself was that I felt that it was important to enter the ceremony the way I was entering our marriage: as an independant woman. And, under no circumstances, could I imagine being "given away."  I had also really liked the idea of me and my fiance walking in together, but he was surprisingly traditional about not wanting to see me in my dress before I entered the ceremony site. 

Although I had a lot of stress about telling my aunts and uncles that I wasn’t inviting my father, they were very understanding and supportive, which was a huge relief. 

I think that seeing a bride walk in alone was a surprise for some, but for the folks who know me, it was not at all unusual. No one made any comments to me.

I know our situations are different, but I hope that helps some!

 

 

Post # 23
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I wanted to walk down alone.  I blame it on watching The Sound of Music too much as a kid.  I love the scene of her marching down the aisle solo, all eyes on her, using both hands to hold the boquet (it’s just a prettier look, you know?)

 

My dad and I have a great relationship, though, and he would have been devastated if I told him I didn’t want him to escort me.  So I went down the aisle with my dad and it was very wonderful.

Post # 24
Member
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

i plan to walk down the aisle alone, but i’m starting to have nightmares about falling or tripping half way!!! i’m starting to wonder if i would be less worried to just have my mom, but i really liked the idea of going at it alone.

Post # 25
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

Well, I’ve always had feminist ambitions to walk down the aisle solo, but I’ve also always had a very close relationship with my father, so I never thought of it as a serious option (this is a man that cries when he watches Father of the Bride).  However, I caught him cheating on my mother several years back and vowed that there was no way that man was walking me down the aisle.  Long story short (too late) I’ve decided that it’s more important to me to have a symbol of forgiveness at the wedding as opposed to a symbol of revenge… or grudge… or whatever you choose to call it, because I think forgiveness is an essential ingredient in any relationship.  So we are going to walk down together. 

Post # 26
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’m having my brother join me and my father down the isle.  At first it was just going to be my brother, because my relationship with my father has not been the best since my parents got divorced.  The thought of the moment alone with him before we start walking which is supposed to be happy and that I had at one time looked forward to had me filled with dread.  But now I am trying to work on our relationship because I have realized, he is not the best father but he wasn’t the worst either, and he’s the only one I have so I should try to make the best of it.  But I had already asked my brother, so I will just have both and it will be great to have him there to break the tension.  He was always the one who looked out for me and did the "intimidate the boyfriend" thing so I wanted to be sure to honor his role in my life.

But I agree with others, do what feels right to you.  I realized I would regret not having my father with me despite the status of our relationship.

Post # 28
Member
9 posts
Newbee

I don’t have a close relationship with my dad at all, so my mom asked if she could be the one to walk me down the aisle YEARS ago. But even though I would love that, I would hate to think that it would upset my dad in anyway, so I`m considering walking down the aisle alone.

Post # 29
Member
18 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Like many of you, I don’t have a bad relationship with my dad, it is just that I don’t really have a relationship with him (my parents split when I was three and I see him a couple times a year, but he doesn’t call me on my birthday or anything like that).  It didn’t feel right to have him walk me down the aisle, especially given the overtones of ownership, although I do understand why some would like to do it for traditions sake. 

 At the risk of offending some, I think I agree with Miss Manners who said she doesn’t understand why weddings are like plays, where the ‘father’ role gets filled with the closest male relative. If I hadn’t decided to walk down alone, I wouldn’t fill the role with a male relative just because he was male, but with someone I was close to (a mother for instance).  I think it is important to avoid doing something just because it is ‘traditional’ – do it because you want to do it and it has meaning for you!

That said, when I told my father he wasn’t walking me down the aisle he was upset and was grouchy for a while, but eventually got over it.  My grandmother (who I am very close to) was very mad with me, but I explained my reasons (focusing on the ownership part instead of the no relationship part).  I think it helped that I am not ‘replacing’ his role with anybody: he won’t lose face that I am having someone else walk with me, because I have said I don’t believe in the whole concept.  It would have been much more difficult had I said ‘you aren’t walking with me because you didn’t raise me or see fit to parent me’.

I am still terrified of walking down alone, but confident that this is better than pretending to be  someone that I am not.

Post # 30
Member
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2022

Great thread… I am an encore bride, mom and dad were divorced 3 years prior to my first wedding… my relationship with my dad (immediately following the divorce) was not great, but it never occured to me to not have him at my side, he walked me down the aisle, and it was a very proud moment for him, and seemed like the right thing for me.  Not-so-fast-forward 18 years I’m older and wiser… becoming a widow has tainted my vision of the fairy tale to be sure, but I’m thrilled to be deeply in love with a man that I cherish.  This time, I will walk solo, with my mom, dad and his wife in attendance, along with our dear friends.

Post # 31
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2010

My dad will probably be at the wedding (I think), in any case he will not be walking me down the aisle.  Though I wish my mom could do me the honor, she is no longer here, and so I am having my cousin Steven give me away.  He was her favorite nephew, and my male role model for most of my life.  Though I think it will be difficult to tell me dad (who has not really been a part of my life), I really don’t feel that he has earned it.  Though I don’t want to hurt his feelings, I also want to honor the man that has been a huge part of my life.  My dad will still get a front row seat if he comes, but the honor of walking me down the aisle goes to the man, who taught me to catch and throw a ball, and wiped my tears when I broke up with boys.  He is the person I feel most comfortable going to for advise, and hopefully my dad will understand.

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