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Customs and Traditions

Father of the Bride Handicapped-Bride Lost on What to Do?

Hey Ladies, 

My father is handicapped, he has MS and is in a wheelchair. He is able to walk with a cane, just not very well and I know dancing is out of the question. I will not allow my brother to take his place, he has personal hygiene issues and takes very poor care of himself, I am embarrassed to even have him at my wedding. I have considered having my dad stand at the end of the aisle and having my Uncle (who is also my Godfather) walk me down the aisle to him so my dad can still give me away. As far as the father/daughter dance goes, I have no idea what to do. I would hate to take that away from my dad, after all it is not his fault he is handicapped. My dad is a very emotional person and I would hate to hurt his feelings in any way.

Has anyone dealt with a similar situation? Do any of you have any input or insight on what I should? The last thing is to hurt feelings of the people I love, especially on this very special day. 

Re: Father of the Bride Handicapped-Bride Lost on What to Do?

  • You could have your FI walk down the aisle with you, and then he hands you over to your father for the ceremonial presentation.
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  • falsarafalsara Northside of Chicago member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2014
    You could always walk down by yourself and then have your dad give you away at the altar.

    As for the dance, have you asked your dad what he wants? There are youTube videos where there is a similar situation and the person in the wheel chair wheels around the floor with the other person.... this would be dependent on what your dad is comfortable with.

    You can also cut the father/daughter dance or you can dance with your uncle. There could even be a hand off from your dad to your uncle at the beginning of the dance.

    I hope some of these ideas help.

    Congratulations on your engagement!

                                               

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  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    Hey Ladies, 

    My father is handicapped, he has MS and is in a wheelchair. He is able to walk with a cane, just not very well and I know dancing is out of the question. I will not allow my brother to take his place, he has personal hygiene issues and takes very poor care of himself, I am embarrassed to even have him at my wedding. I have considered having my dad stand at the end of the aisle and having my Uncle (who is also my Godfather) walk me down the aisle to him so my dad can still give me away. As far as the father/daughter dance goes, I have no idea what to do. I would hate to take that away from my dad, after all it is not his fault he is handicapped. My dad is a very emotional person and I would hate to hurt his feelings in any way.

    Has anyone dealt with a similar situation? Do any of you have any input or insight on what I should? The last thing is to hurt feelings of the people I love, especially on this very special day. 
    I do not mean this to sound rude at all, but really? This is the reason you don't want your brother to take your dad's place, because he has bad hygiene? Not because he isn't, well you know, your dad and nobody could take his place anyways? I'm sure you didn't mean it to come off that way, but that's how I read it.

    I like PP's, I think it would be very sweet to have your dad waiting at the end of the aisle to give you away and just walk by yourself to him. 

    As far as the dance, this is a personal preference thing. I would suggest, to first, ask your dad what he is comfortable with. I think dancing with him in his wheelchair would be very sweet. You could also dance with your mom or a family member you are very close with. Another option is to just skip the dance completely. 

    Congratulations on your engagement and I hope you figure out what works best for you! 



    OliveOilsMomholyguacamole79
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with Emmaaa, the stuff about your brother was unnecessary info. You could have simply said you have a brother, but you don't want him to be the one to walk you down the aisle.

    Could you have your dad in his wheelchair walk you down the aisle? Your Uncle could push your father's wheelchair down the aisle, while you walk with your dad.

    As for the father/daughter dance, my friend used to date someone in a wheelchair and they would still dance with each other at weddings and such. If your dad is comfortable with it, you can stay by and sway with your dad while he is in his chair.

  • I have a severely handicapped family member who has a power wheelchair. When we go out together, I often hold her hand and walk right next to her. It's NBD. When she was in a manual wheelchair, I either pushed her or my sister would push her while I walked next to her/held her hand.

    It sounds like you want to process with your dad. And that your dad wants to process with you.

    Make it happen! If it's a power wheelchair, he can hold your hand and operate the chair with his other hand. If it's manual, you can just walk beside him with your hand on his shoulder (if he wants to wheel it) OR someone (your Uncle?) could push him and you could hold his hand and walk beside him.

    As far as the dance, go on YouTube. Lots of people do this. Even B&Gs where one is handicapped. If you and your dad decide it doesn't work for you, just skip that spotlight dance all together. 

    You could still pick out a song together and have the DJ play it at some point in the night. You could sit by your dad's side and just listen to it together.
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    danamwMollyandDweddingcactus[Deleted User]
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Have you asked your dad what he wants?

    Can your Uncle push your dad'd wheel chair down the aisle while you hold your dad's hand? Or can your dad use a power chair?

    I would just skip the father / daughter dance entirely.

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    CMGragaindanamw
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited October 2014
    Just a thought here.  You are so lucky to have your father be able to attend your wedding.  Mine died when I was 15.  I envy you.  Have a wonderful wedding day!
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    butterscotchjbeans
  • I love the ideas of having your uncle walk you down & then handing you off to your dad. Of if your dad has a wheelchair & would be ok with it, then having your uncle push the chair. Just to through out another option is to have your mom walk you down & have your dad meet you half way & then have both parents walk you down the isle. Or you can walk half way down by yourself & meet your dad. Talk to your dad and see what option he feels most comfortable with.

    In regards to the dance. If your dad can stand for a short period and he would be ok with it, try to find a short but meaningful song for you. Then work it out with the DJ that if given an prearranged signel from either you or your dad, the DJ fades the song out ending it early if necessary. Even if it's only 60-90, you'll still have the memory and the photos. Also let the photographer know that it's important the are on top of things for that dance since it won't last very long.

    Knottie3261273
  • Oh I can relate to you about your brother. One of my husbands closest friends doesn't have the best hygiene either. Surprisingly he agreed to be a GM because he told me months ago that he wouldn't wear a suit and that's what we were requiring.. Well we paid for his tux rental which made sure he was dressed nice. Hubby also invited him out for a guys night about 1 1/2 weeks before the wedding where they went to the salon and both got haircuts (again we treated) and GM got a beard trim. We DID NOT require a certain haircut and didn't require him to go to the salon, we extended the offer & he took it. The day of the wedding, we invitied him to the house to get ready with husband & he took a shower at our house & then was given a little grooming kit that had axe bodywash & bodyspray & deoderant in it (told him figured he might like something of his own to use & then be able to take home). Because he liked the scent, he was excited about the gift. He enjoyed himself that day knowing he was looking very good. Maybe some of this stuff you can use to help deal with your brother.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I personally would consider asking my dad in that situation if he would allow me to push his chair down the aisle during the walk-assuming the chair is manual.
  • I sent you a PM with the video of my husband and I dancing. Hopefully that helps!

    Thank you I appreciate it and I think it is wonderful that you shared that with me, you truly have been a wonderful help:)
    slothiegalweddingcactusvmj23
  • My mom has MS and I've recently been trying to come up with ideas of how to keep her included. She isn't someone who likes any attention being directed towards her, so she can sometimes be extra sensitive. I've just made a point to ask her about what she wants. She usually says, "Oh, i dont know...", but then i proceed to give her ideas i've recently thought of, and tell her it is allll up to her and she can always decide what she wants to do the day of. I want to make sure she is comfortable with whatever she chooses. 
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    Knottie3261273
  • Thanks, my dad is the exact same way. I appreciate your insight, thank you
  • I can't believe there is so much discussion! The wheelchair is how your dad manages, so your wedding day is no different. It should all be up to him though, whether you push him down the aisle in the chair, or he meets you at the altar. In that case, you should walk alone. You don't feel the same about your brother or uncle, so the heck with that.

    If he wants to, you can both be on the dance floor for the father/daughter dance, and you can dance around the chair and move it a bit, simply. For part of a song, or the rest of the BP can join you, or the mother/groom.

    Just treat the wheelchair as a known, routine part of life.


    vmj23mrssursely
  • Have you thought how your dad will feel if you dont have him walk you down the aisle... MS takes so much from a person anyway dont take that from him.
    KatWAG
  • For the father/daughter dance, I advise really thinking about what you and your father both want, and discussing it with him. My father has Parkinsons, and for me personally (and this has nothing to do with his condition) I did not care to have a father/daughter dance at my wedding. It was a tradition I could do without. I discussed it with my father, and he said he would do a dance if I wanted, but he really didn't mind not doing it. My father has never liked to be the center of attention, and he is rather self conscious about his Parkinsons. In the end, we were both relieved not to have our own dance at my wedding. He was nervous enough about walking me down the aisle. A lot of friends questioned my decision to forgo this dance, but it doesn't matter what other people want. No one noticed it's absence at my wedding. If the dance is something important to you, discuss this with your father and see what he is comfortable with. But please know it's not something you have to do if you don't want to. 
    vmj23
  • Ask your father. How he feels matter most.
    Since he can stand, he may want to wait at the altar while you walk down, and rise or not to give you away.
    My cousin's grandfather uses a chair mostly, but stood to introduce her and groom for their dance, just a few words about how proud he was. But no dance. That acknowledged his role as the one who raised her very nicely.
  • vmj23vmj23 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 250 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2014
    My Father too is handicapped, but being his only daughter I would not take any of the traditions he lived his life looking forward to, away from him.    He had a stroke which left him in a wheelchair/partially paralyzed.  He can take a few steps with a cane.  I let him choose what he wanted to do on my wedding.   He "walked" me down the aisle in his wheel chair, staying seated in the chair the entire time.   (my nephew pushed his chair for him as i walked next to him.  he also has a motorized chair, but choose to have my nephew push him in the manual chair) As for our dance he literally stood still while i basically swayed back and forth holding his hand.  For pictures he stayed in his wheel chair.  Basically we just went with the flow to see what he'd be able to handle.   I would suggest just talking to your dad to find out his opinion, and what he is most comfortable with.  Good luck! 
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