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Mom & Dad Walking Bride Down Aisle - Advice Please

2016 Brides Etiquette

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#1 ashhtayy

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 05:29 PM

Last week my family and I were chatting about our wedding and I blurted out "well of coarse you'll both be walking me down the aisle". The look on my fathers face literally broke my heart. I felt as if I had told him he couldn't come to my wedding. He quickly remarked "well that's a nice idea - I've never heard of that. It's your day Ash, whatever you'd like".

A little background on my family - I grew up in a house without gender roles. My parents raised me to know how to change a tire, cook a meal, re-shingle the roof, sew a button and made sure my brother could do all those things too. I've played hockey since I was three but would show up to the arena wearing a dress. My parents have always shared roles within the house - if the laundry needed washing, my dad would do it; if the hinge came loose, my mum fixed it. There has never, ever been a time where I've be told or shown the women do this and men do this.

In my mind, why would I have it any other way? My parents raised me, I want them, together, to walk me down the aisle. I hate the idea of being "given away" - I'm no ones possession.

I did not mean to offend my father and am looking for a better way to articulate this to him. I wasn't raised in a "traditional" way, so why would I walk down the aisle in a traditional way?

Has anyone else had this conversation with their father? How did it go? Am I over-analyzing this? I've asked my mum if it bothered my dad and she said she didn't know. He also never said anything to my brother. My mum is so shy she'd probably rather just my dad walk me down the aisle but for many different reasons, I feel so strongly about both of them doing this.

Help!

#2 acw271011

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 08:04 PM

I think a direct talk with your dad will hopefully let you know for sure if he's hurt or not. You may have been raised without gender roles but it's entirely possible that your dad has always envisioned walking his daughter down the aisle.

 

As a mom of married kids, I look at some of the things that are "ok" for weddings now days and truly cringe, and it's only because I'm old and it's things that are new. Sounds like that's what it is for your dad to have both your parents walk you down the aisle. If your mom is shy, would she object to doing the "traditional" thing and sit and watch your dad walk you by himself? It's hard as a parent to realize that you might hurt your children's plans by having your own wishes incorporated so that also might be what your dad is thinking. It might be what he truly would like but he would acquiesce to what your wishes are.

 

I see nothing wrong with what you would like and have both parents walk you down the aisle. It's definitely something you see quite a bit now, but if your dad has his heart set on doing it on his own, is that something you could live with? Just something for you to think about.

 

Good luck!


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#3 nadiakat17

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 02:27 AM

Even without gender roles maybe it's just how he always envisioned it? It's how I envisioned it and I'm a successful woman in a male dominated career so it has nothing to do with feminism, gender roles, etc to me. It was just something sweet I've seen throughout the years that I wanted to capture. Sometimes it feels good to be traditional.

#4 veryvalentine

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 04:18 AM

hmmmmmm, interesting point you raise.  I'm in the thick of all the planning and I can see you are too with your wedding being weeks away.

 

I was thinking of having my dad and sister walk me down the aisle.  1.  I don't believe in being given away 2. after my mom passed away my dad, my sister and I had to really stick together and heal from the major loss

 

I never even thought about how my dad would feel if he wasn't the only one giving me away.  Now I'm a bit nervous.  I definitely do not want to hurt him but I thought it would be an equal honour for my sister to walk me down the aisle. 

 

I can imagine how you probably feel after seeing your dad's reaction and I thank you for posting this because I didn't even think about how my dad would feel. 

 

Have you heard anything from him? 



 
 
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#5 pjay

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 05:30 AM

I actually thought about this before, but I know that it may take away from our 'father-daughter moment'. My family is a bit more traditional with my dad being a more dominant role in our house, but with that being said, I wouldn't have an issue asking them both to walk me down the aisle, but I'm a big daddy's girl and for me this moment is really special between me and my father. I've decided to incorporate my mother in another way.

 

Regardless of gender roles, I do think that most fathers think of this moment as a 'father-daughter moment'. With that being said though.. I don't think it's wrong to have your mother walk you down as well. I could see why it may have caught him off guard a bit.

 

I'm sure that whatever you choose to do, it will work out. Us brides tend to over think these things.


 

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#6 MissJen3

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 05:51 AM

Just an idea, but what if you have your mom join you half way? In my head I am picturing your mom sitting in a chair next to the aisle and when you reach her you stop briefly and pick her up. This way you get your father- daughter moment that maybe your dad is looking forward to, but at the same time, they are both there at the end. 

 

Edit: I googled some options, because now I am thinking about how I want to go about this as well, and I found this idea on weddingwire that I thought was pretty cute. 

Another idea, which I incorporate all the time, is a flower ceremony for your moms. I also think that they don't have enough of a part and it is a huge, huge day for both of your mothers. In this ceremony, (which I always keep as a surprise to them) I call the moms up to join the couple, the bride and groom then present them with a single rose (pink, ideally, since that is the color of gratitude) and I talk very briefly about how the couple became the wonderful adults they are because of the mothers' lifetime gifts to them. It is a sweet way to incorporate the moms and still let your dad have that 'moment'.



#7 TinkerSofi

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 06:00 AM

I think that what he said is right, and you can do whatever you want. I find the whole "dad giving away the bride" can be a little sexist in the sense that it leaves your mom out when she has also been a super important part of your life. Initially I told them that I wanted both of them to walk me down the aisle but then my mom said that she didn't want to because she felt like she'd be stealing my thunder. I don't quite agree, but she said that she will just stand up when I get to the front row and they'll both salute Juan and sort of "give me away". I'm ok with that and I just want her to be happy.

 

She had been making a lot of comments about "well, what role do I play? I just sit there? Why can't I walk you down too?". I felt that she was feeling left out so I had asked them both to do it, but then she came up with the other idea and said that she felt better doing that so that's what we're going to do :)


Just an idea, but what if you have your mom join you half way? In my head I am picturing your mom sitting in a chair next to the aisle and when you reach her you stop briefly and pick her up. This way you get your father- daughter moment that maybe your dad is looking forward to, but at the same time, they are both there at the end. 

 

Edit: I googled some options, because now I am thinking about how I want to go about this as well, and I found this idea on weddingwire that I thought was pretty cute. 

Another idea, which I incorporate all the time, is a flower ceremony for your moms. I also think that they don't have enough of a part and it is a huge, huge day for both of your mothers. In this ceremony, (which I always keep as a surprise to them) I call the moms up to join the couple, the bride and groom then present them with a single rose (pink, ideally, since that is the color of gratitude) and I talk very briefly about how the couple became the wonderful adults they are because of the mothers' lifetime gifts to them. It is a sweet way to incorporate the moms and still let your dad have that 'moment'.

that's such a lovely idea. I might look into it as well :)



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#8 vancouverpetunia

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 06:03 AM

I'm debating what to do with this as well. My sister had both of my parents walk her down the aisle, so I don't think there is any issue there. But I'm leaning towards having no one walk me down the aisle and I'm wondering if my parents would be upset by that. I just can't get over the idea of being "given away". I realize it doesn't have to take on that meaning, but it bugs me. I'm also thinking of my dad only (I'm a daddy's girl), but since my sister already had both parents, I wonder if that will upset my mom. Sigh.  :blink:


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#9 ashhtayy

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 08:20 AM

Thanks for all the feedback ladies.

 

@acw271011 - re: direct conversation with my father > Although I am open to that and will likely go that route, I know it will be hard for him to come right out and say "I want to be the only one to walk you down the aisle" because all he wants is for me to be happy. Its a tough situation - I'm going to have to really read between the lines here because I don't think he will ever come out and tell me his honest feelings. I have likely made him feel bad for thinking he would be the only one walking me down the aisle...which really, really sucks.

 

To clarify, I am by no means knocking traditions. When I spoke to gender roles within my own family I was only trying to stress the fact that I wasn't brought up in a "typical, old-school" fashion. My girls that have gotten married were walked down the aisle by their fathers because that is what they wanted and I loved it. Each persons situation is different and I respect all the many reasons people make the decisions they do.

 

@veryvalentine - I'm getting married in 2016, so luckily, I do have time to sort this out. Since I already blurted it out to my parents though, I'd like to do damage control as soon as possible. If you are now thinking that your father may react similar to mine (hurt in his eyes), DON'T blurt it out like I did. Ask him how he envisions your ceremony - this will let you know 100% if its even in his mind that he may not be the only one walking you down the aisle.

 

Randomly while re-shingling the roof last weekend, literally at the top of the roof with the sun beating down, he made a comment about when my mum and him walk me down the aisle...he said it nonchalantly BUT, in hindsight, I feel he was giving me the opportunity to ask him how he feels about it. I didn't take the opportunity :(

 

@MissJen3 - re: weddingwire idea > I LOVE IT! my mum would be shy but my egocentric MIL would be in her glory. Hey, its her day too and that is a lovely way to honour her.

 

re: the halfway walk idea > also love this. thank you for both of these suggestions. I think either way I go, weddingwire or halfway walk, I will be making multiple people happy.

 

@vancouverpetunia & @TinkerSofi - the idea of being given away drives.me.crazy! I am no where near writing our ceremony script but I can assure you it will not include anything about "giving" me away.


Edited by ashhtayy, 13 May 2015 - 08:22 AM.


#10 beckys98

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 08:20 AM

I absolutely adore my dad, but I am not having him walk me down the aisle for a few reasons. Mainly because the idea of being 'given away' offends the feminist in me. I also don't like the idea of walking down the aisle by myself - I don't want all eyes on me and I want everything to be about BOTH of us. So, we are walking out together hand in hand! It is just what feels right to me. (No judgement on the way others do it at all!)

 

I was worried about my dad's feelings. He knows I'm not a very traditional kind of gal so I don't think he was surprised. I'm sure he is a little disappointed but I am still doing a father/daughter dance at the reception and I'm going to do a "first look" with him in my room (I have a small gift for him) before my first look with my fiance. So we can still have a special moment together. I think these 2 things make him very happy! Oh, and he is still doing a speech at the reception.

 

That said, my mom passed away last year so I don't have that factor to consider. I absolutely think it is okay to have them both walk you down the aisle! I think it sounds lovely and your dad was probably just not expecting it. Sounds like you have very loving, progressive parents so I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it. They'll be trilled to be with you on your day in whatever capacity you choose!







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