Customs and Traditions

Is this too strange?

My father and I have little to no relationship. He does not approve of my life choices, as he is Muslim, and I am not. Even so, I still plan on inviting him because I love him. He has no interest in participating in my Catholic wedding, and I feel conflicted about who will fill his role. I'm not particularly close to any male family members, and I don't want a woman filling in for him. Nor does anyone want to.

I have a very close male friend, who could be considered a father figure, and I want him to take on that role. I volunteer as an emergency medical responder, and he was one of my dispatchers. We became very good friends, even though there is a 16 year age difference. I've already asked him if he would walk me down the aisle, and he happily agreed to. I also want him to dance with me for the Father/Daughter dance. It feels right for me. But we are worried that will come across as inappropriate.

Do I just ignore any sort of less than supportive/positive reactions to this?

Answers

  • I think it's a bit off.  First, in Catholic weddings there is often no role for the father of the bride. You certainly aren't given away. Second, for the dance, why? If he's a friend 16 years older than you, is he really a father figure?  Ultimately if you want to do it go ahead, but I think it's a bit strange. 
  • I know that it's a very strange situation. But he has always been very fatherly, ever since I first met him. Every Catholic wedding I've been to, the bride was f=given away. Not that she has to be. But even my priest asked if anyone will be giving me away. My father also thinks that dancing is a sin, so he will be offended by everything that I do. Meaning it won't hurt his feelings that I'm dancing with someone other than him.

    For the Father/Daughter dance, it will be open to all fathers and daughters, not just me. My fiance will be dancing with my daughter, as she calls him 'Daddy' even though he isn't her father, etc. So it will by no means be any sort of "spotlight dance," as it would make me exceedingly uncomfortable to have that much attention on me. I am a worrier though.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    I'm confused by the bride being given away during the Catholic wedding as well.  My dad walked me up the aisle, my father shook by Hs hand and said "I don't want her you can have her, she's too fat for me" (a LONG running joke - tradition now - about what my granddad said to my dad at my parents wedding).  He then took his spot next to my mom in the pew.  All of that went on while the processional still played.  We had a full Catholic Mass.

    When you priest asked about who was giving you away, are you sure he didn't mean escort you in?  While you have already chosen someone to escort you, the most traditional Catholic processional is with the B&G coming in together.  It's to symbolize that B&G are entering the marriage together and freely. 

    As for the dance, I think your open Father/Daughter dance sounds lovely as you have it planned.

    charlotte989875STARMOON44MairePoppyahoywedding
  • He asked if anyone was walking me down the aisle. I took that to mean "give [me] away." I will ask him just to be sure, especially since we are having a Latin Nuptial Mass.
  • Something about it reads odd to me; but not entirely sure what. 

    You describe this man as a very close male friend that "could be" considered a father figure; I guess it's up to you, but do you really consider him to be a father to you; or is he just someone you are close to? You definitely don't need anyone to walk you down the aisle. Sure, many people choose to do this, but you definitely don't need to. Basically you don't need to find someone just to fulfill the role, which is kind of what it sounds like to me. 
    STARMOON44InLoveInQueens
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
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    Walk in with your future husband. It symbolizes you two coming into this freely, and in agreement, as is necessary for your sacramental marriage (Tridentine or otherwise).

    Even this "father figure" has no standing whatsoever to give you away - not that that's what's happening - and while it may be traditional (and I know many Latin Mass-goers are traditional types), you definitely do not need an escort into church per the rite or sacrament, and the symbolism of someone who's not your actual father doing it is just confusing.

    Anniversary

    MairePoppyOliveOilsMomSTARMOON44ernursej
  • Hey OP, while we have you here. . . . you indicate that your daughter is dancing with your fiancé and that he is not her biological father.  You aren't planning any vows for him to say to her at the ceremony or anything, right?  I know that wasn't your question, but just thought I'd check!


  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    kaos16 said:

    Hey OP, while we have you here. . . . you indicate that your daughter is dancing with your fiancé and that he is not her biological father.  You aren't planning any vows for him to say to her at the ceremony or anything, right?  I know that wasn't your question, but just thought I'd check!



    Pretty sure there's not a space for that during her Mass, and I'm guessing the priest would be not even remotely on board, so I doubt that's a worry. Fair question, though.

    Anniversary

    MairePoppyOliveOilsMomILoveBeachMusic
  • kaos16 said:

    Hey OP, while we have you here. . . . you indicate that your daughter is dancing with your fiancé and that he is not her biological father.  You aren't planning any vows for him to say to her at the ceremony or anything, right?  I know that wasn't your question, but just thought I'd check!



    Pretty sure there's not a space for that during her Mass, and I'm guessing the priest would be not even remotely on board, so I doubt that's a worry. Fair question, though.


    ugh @Flantastic, just go away with your rational logic. . . . . . .


    flantasticjustsie
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    Catholic brides aren't given away in marriage. The bride and groom give themselves to each other, as they enter the sacrament of marriage. They may choose to be escorted down the aisle by a family member or friend. The perfect solution, for you, would be for you and your fi to walk down the aisle together, as equal and consenting adults. 

    Skip the father/daughter dance. Your father will be present and doesn't want to participate in something he considers sinful. Why rub salt in the wound? Of course, you may dance with your friend or anyone else, without making it a spotlight dance.

                
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMomLadyCatherineDB
  • I am not trying to fill a role. He means that much to me. If I could have him as my father, instead of the man that is, I would. I can't guarantee that my father will even show up. And I'm not going to miss out on an opportunity to share a special moment with Robert, just because of formality.

    I wanted to be escorted about 3/4 of the way down the aisle, and then my fiance and I were going to walk the rest of the way, together. My fiance will not be making any kind of vows to my daughter. Even if it was allowed, the very thought of it rubs me the wrong way, to say the least. I hope that answers any questions you guys had.

  • I am not trying to fill a role. He means that much to me. If I could have him as my father, instead of the man that is, I would. I can't guarantee that my father will even show up. And I'm not going to miss out on an opportunity to share a special moment with Robert, just because of formality.

    I wanted to be escorted about 3/4 of the way down the aisle, and then my fiance and I were going to walk the rest of the way, together. My fiance will not be making any kind of vows to my daughter. Even if it was allowed, the very thought of it rubs me the wrong way, to say the least. I hope that answers any questions you guys had.

    I mean, you asked if we thought it was strange. I don't understand why, if your response is just well he means so much to me I'm doing it anyway. Like, fine. But why bother?
    InLoveInQueens
  • Maybe it's the way you framed it OP. You didn't come here saying "My Dad isn't in my life, but Super Close Male Friend is; he's been like a father me my entire life, he's mentored me, cared for me, helped me, so I want to acknowledge it in some way. I really want to ask him to escort me down the aisle. Is this weird even though my birth father is alive and well (and may come to the wedding)?" 

    If that was what you had posted I would have said "Great, have anyone you want walk you down the aisle. Or walk by yourself, this is a choice only you can make." 

    This isn't about formality in my opinion. You can have anyone you want escort you, not escort you; you can walk in before everywhere and be standing at the alter, you can walk in together with your FI; whatever feels right to you. If you really feel this man is so important to your life that you want him to escort you down the aisle and you really don't care what your father thinks and feels, then do whatever you like. But, you do say you love your father, if you're worried that he might be upset, and you care about avoiding that, maybe a spotlight dance and/or him escorting you isn't the right choice. 

     nmvaladanzouj said:
    My father and I have little to no relationship. He does not approve of my life choices, as he is Muslim, and I am not. Even so, I still plan on inviting him because I love him. He has no interest in participating in my Catholic wedding, and I feel conflicted about who will fill his role. I'm not particularly close to any male family members, and I don't want a woman filling in for him. Nor does anyone want to.

    I have a very close male friend, who could be considered a father figure, and I want him to take on that role. I volunteer as an emergency medical responder, and he was one of my dispatchers. We became very good friends, even though there is a 16 year age difference. I've already asked him if he would walk me down the aisle, and he happily agreed to. I also want him to dance with me for the Father/Daughter dance. It feels right for me. But we are worried that will come across as inappropriate.

    Do I just ignore any sort of less than supportive/positive reactions to this?
    I am not trying to fill a role. He means that much to me. If I could have him as my father, instead of the man that is, I would. I can't guarantee that my father will even show up. And I'm not going to miss out on an opportunity to share a special moment with Robert, just because of formality.

    I wanted to be escorted about 3/4 of the way down the aisle, and then my fiance and I were going to walk the rest of the way, together. My fiance will not be making any kind of vows to my daughter. Even if it was allowed, the very thought of it rubs me the wrong way, to say the least. I hope that answers any questions you guys had.


  • Have you been asked your parish if they would find this appropriate?   I'd vote for walking alone or with your FI.   Take some photos with Robert later.  
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited September 21
    Anyone can be your ESCORT.  They walk you down the aisle where the groom is waiting.  This does not mean that they become or symbolize your father.  They are simply your ESCORT.  You may choose anyone you like.  Robert can walk you, but this does NOT make him the father of the bride!

    The father-daughter dance is not appropriate.  I didn't do it at my wedding because my father was deceased.  It would be very weird for you to do it with anyone who is not your father.  If he prefers not to participate, then skip the whole thing.  It is not a requirement.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    You do realise you can dance with Robert without shutting down the dance floor and calling it a father/daughter dance? 

    Whoever you want as your escort is fine, but where I am from, we have very traditional weddings and I have never seen a formal, shut down the dance floor 'father/daughter' dance. Even at catholic weddings. I think this might be a North American tradition. People here are just as married. 

    It just seems a bit like you are ticking boxes of things you think you need rather than what the reality is. No one needs a father/daughter dance. Robert, as much of a friend/mentor he is, is not your father. I know what it's like to be disappointed by family but it's just not appropriate. Just open the dance floor after your first dance and share a special dance with him and don't call it father/daughter. 
    eileenrobCMGragainahoyweddingshort+sassy
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