Tradition has been that the father of the bride walks her down the aisle. I’m finding that more and more couples are breaking from tradition and adding their own special touch to the ceremony.
What happens when a bride’s parents are divorced and she shares a close relationship with her stepfather? What if the bride is estranged from her father for personal reasons? What if her father is deceased or otherwise unavailable? What if the bride simply feels that it would be archaic to be given away? You are now faced with the dilemma of who will walk you down the aisle. You have some choices to make.
Having your dad escort you can be a great moment for the two of you – arm-in-arm with dad as he walks you to your groom, however, it is not the only option. Often the mother of the bride will walk with the bride and her father since mom played a huge role in your life too. You don’t want her to feel like she’s not included or recognized in your wedding. With one parent on each arm, you’ll show your guests just how important both your parents are to you. The father or whoever escorts her always walks on the bride’s right side.
If you have a closer relative or friend – like a brother or sister – it’s perfectly acceptable to have that person walk with you. Another choice can be a grandfather and/or a grandmother who raised you most of your life.
Often blended families may add a complication. If the bride has a step-father and her birth father has not been in the picture, the step-father can walk her down the aisle. In a similar situation, one bride had her birth father walk her to the back of the rows of chairs and her step-father walked her the rest of the way to the alter. If she was closer to her birth father then this way can be reversed. Or… if you have enough room in the aisle, you can consider having one father figure on each arm the whole way.
If your father is estranged or has passed away ask an uncle, grandfather, or one of dad’s close friends whom you respect to walk you down the aisle.
If your father isn’t available, or you don’t have anyone in mind, make the trip solo. By carrying yourself to your groom, you certainly can symbolize your independence as a woman as well as your choice, not anyone else’s decision, to join with your groom in marriage.
Another non-traditional solution has the bride being presented unescorted at one end of the aisle, the groom who is already standing at the front with the minister walks down the aisle to meet her, then they walk to the alter together.
Another option can be to walk with your soon to be husband all the way. Walking down the aisle together can be a way of showing that you are already in this together. It’s a great symbol of beginning your life together.
If you are getting remarried and your father has already walked you down the aisle, he could, if willing, do it again. A son or daughter of the bride who is old enough and mature could be another choice. Ask him if he would like to participate in your new marriage in this way.
If you are afraid of upsetting too many people by choosing who they think is the wrong person, remember, as a bride you get to make the decision of who will walk you, not have it made for you. Never let family drama deter you. You must decide what makes YOU happy! You may need to calmly explain your reasons for your choice. Whichever family member you choose for the aisle walk, they’ll all be there as guests to support your marriage. You have to find what best works for you, your family, and your groom.
When you walk down the aisle at your wedding, choose someone who loves you and supports your decision to marry your groom.
Photo Credit: Lower right: Bohemian Noir Visions, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
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