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Although it's traditional for a bride's father to walk her down the aisle, that arrangement isn't ideal for everyone. Today's families can sometimes be complicated, and 21st-century brides may have mixed feelings about being "given away." Keep these tips in mind as you decide what's most comfortable for you.


1. Ask your father to walk you down the aisle if you are on good terms with him and if this tradition feels like the natural choice for you.

2. Choose your stepfather if he has been your paternal substitute and if your natural father is estranged from you or unavailable.

3. Consider walking with both your father and your stepfather if both of them agree. Your natural father might walk you halfway down the aisle and turn you over to your stepfather to walk the rest of the way, or they could both walk all the way with you.

4. Consider walking with your mother or with a beloved grandfather or uncle if there is no father or stepfather to accept this honour.

5. Choose your adoptive father, who would be a more appropriate and loving choice than a biological father whom you may have met as an adult, if you are an adoptee.

6. Consider having both of your parents accompany you down the aisle. This is traditional in Jewish weddings, and it's becoming more common in non-Jewish weddings, as it allows both parents to share the honour equally.

7. Walk down the aisle alone if you prefer it. British royalty do it, and you can, too.

8. Think about walking down the aisle with your husband-to-be if you don't want any suggestion of being given away, and if you prefer not to walk alone.

9. Consider letting children from a previous marriage walk with you and stand with you at the altar, but resist the temptation to have them give you away. After all, you are not leaving them, and your new marriage will not change your relationship to them.

10. If you have a stepfather or biological father who will not be walking down the aisle with you, consider including him by dancing with him for your father-daughter dance or by asking him to make the first toast.

Remember that this is your wedding, and it's your decision to make. Do what feels right to you.

 

 


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