Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Who To Walk Me Down The Aisle?

I apologize ahead of time for how long this post is, but I'm stuck between 2 options & I'm just looking for opinions... I bolded the main points...

My mother had me when she was young, & I didn't meet my father until I was 7. He has been married to my stepmom since I've known him, & I love her to pieces. I visited them off & on for a few years until the visits stopped, I'm not sure why. When I did have my visits, it was because my stepmom would reach out & invite me over. My stepmom & dad had 2 girls together, & she had a son from a previous marriage. I have always been relatively close with my stepmom & all 3 of my siblings, but I have never really had a relationship with my father, & he has never been the one to reach out & invite me to anything himself.

Thanks to my fiancé pushing me to try & change things with my Dad, I started visiting them again, at least twice a month for the last few years, still only because my stepmom invites us or we reach out & ask what they are up to. When we go over & visit, my dad & I hardly speak to each other-not out of anger or anything, we just don't really know each other or know where to start. I still haven't called him "Dad" & don't have much of a relationship with him, but he & my fiancé have frown close. It seems like he is putting in effort now, & I'm really trying too, it's just hard trying to build that father/daughter relationship as an adult.

My mother raised me & has been there for me through everything. I had always pictured her father walking me down the aisle as he had been the only steady male figure in my life, who I loved more than anything-but since he passed, I had decided it would be my mom.

Now that we are going over to visit with my dad's family more often, I am confused on what to do. I feel like because my dad is making some sort of effort, I should have him/would like him to walk me down the aisle, but at the same time, I would like to honor my mother for having raised me. It is strange to even think of my father walking me down the aisle because it is something I never even considered until recently-But now that he is putting effort it, I am nervous it would hurt his feelings if I had only my mother walk me down the aisle... I have considered having both of them walk me down the aisle, but I am not sure how my stepmom or my mom's boyfriend of 12 years would feel about this... I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I also don't want to walk down the aisle without my mom... I'm sure this sounds like an easy decision to some, but I am really struggling with what to do here. I get one wedding day-once chance to walk down the aisle, but the wedding isn't just about me and my fiancé, it's about our families too....

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Re: Who To Walk Me Down The Aisle?

  • I apologize ahead of time for how long this post is, but I'm stuck between 2 options & I'm just looking for opinions... I bolded the main points...

    My mother had me when she was young, & I didn't meet my father until I was 7. He has been married to my stepmom since I've known him, & I love her to pieces. I visited them off & on for a few years until the visits stopped, I'm not sure why. When I did have my visits, it was because my stepmom would reach out & invite me over. My stepmom & dad had 2 girls together, & she had a son from a previous marriage. I have always been relatively close with my stepmom & all 3 of my siblings, but I have never really had a relationship with my father, & he has never been the one to reach out & invite me to anything himself.

    Thanks to my fiancé pushing me to try & change things with my Dad, I started visiting them again, at least twice a month for the last few years, still only because my stepmom invites us or we reach out & ask what they are up to. When we go over & visit, my dad & I hardly speak to each other-not out of anger or anything, we just don't really know each other or know where to start. I still haven't called him "Dad" & don't have much of a relationship with him, but he & my fiancé have frown close. It seems like he is putting in effort now, & I'm really trying too, it's just hard trying to build that father/daughter relationship as an adult.

    My mother raised me & has been there for me through everything. I had always pictured her father walking me down the aisle as he had been the only steady male figure in my life, who I loved more than anything-but since he passed, I had decided it would be my mom.

    Now that we are going over to visit with my dad's family more often, I am confused on what to do. I feel like because my dad is making some sort of effort, I should have him/would like him to walk me down the aisle, but at the same time, I would like to honor my mother for having raised me. It is strange to even think of my father walking me down the aisle because it is something I never even considered until recently-But now that he is putting effort it, I am nervous it would hurt his feelings if I had only my mother walk me down the aisle... I have considered having both of them walk me down the aisle, but I am not sure how my stepmom or my mom's boyfriend of 12 years would feel about this... I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I also don't want to walk down the aisle without my mom... I'm sure this sounds like an easy decision to some, but I am really struggling with what to do here. I get one wedding day-once chance to walk down the aisle, but the wedding isn't just about me and my fiancé, it's about our families too....

    Personally, I think your mom should walk you down the aisle, but I only know what you've told me.  If you're okay having a dance with your dad at the reception or doing some other father/daughter thing, that can be for dad.  Your mom should walk you.
    Username100108SP29
  • I'm in a situation that isn't exactly like yours, but involves not having a relationship with my dad. I'm having my mom walk me down the aisle. I do not get why a man has to be the one to do it at all. I think that might be the best bet for you - I can't imagine your biological dad expecting something like that, and you say repeatedly that your mom raised you. I don't think just putting in some effort (which it really doesn't sound like he is) makes him more worthy so to speak of this honor.
    Username100108vturnipseed1
  • adk19 said:

    I apologize ahead of time for how long this post is, but I'm stuck between 2 options & I'm just looking for opinions... I bolded the main points...

    My mother had me when she was young, & I didn't meet my father until I was 7. He has been married to my stepmom since I've known him, & I love her to pieces. I visited them off & on for a few years until the visits stopped, I'm not sure why. When I did have my visits, it was because my stepmom would reach out & invite me over. My stepmom & dad had 2 girls together, & she had a son from a previous marriage. I have always been relatively close with my stepmom & all 3 of my siblings, but I have never really had a relationship with my father, & he has never been the one to reach out & invite me to anything himself.

    Thanks to my fiancé pushing me to try & change things with my Dad, I started visiting them again, at least twice a month for the last few years, still only because my stepmom invites us or we reach out & ask what they are up to. When we go over & visit, my dad & I hardly speak to each other-not out of anger or anything, we just don't really know each other or know where to start. I still haven't called him "Dad" & don't have much of a relationship with him, but he & my fiancé have frown close. It seems like he is putting in effort now, & I'm really trying too, it's just hard trying to build that father/daughter relationship as an adult.

    My mother raised me & has been there for me through everything. I had always pictured her father walking me down the aisle as he had been the only steady male figure in my life, who I loved more than anything-but since he passed, I had decided it would be my mom.

    Now that we are going over to visit with my dad's family more often, I am confused on what to do. I feel like because my dad is making some sort of effort, I should have him/would like him to walk me down the aisle, but at the same time, I would like to honor my mother for having raised me. It is strange to even think of my father walking me down the aisle because it is something I never even considered until recently-But now that he is putting effort it, I am nervous it would hurt his feelings if I had only my mother walk me down the aisle... I have considered having both of them walk me down the aisle, but I am not sure how my stepmom or my mom's boyfriend of 12 years would feel about this... I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I also don't want to walk down the aisle without my mom... I'm sure this sounds like an easy decision to some, but I am really struggling with what to do here. I get one wedding day-once chance to walk down the aisle, but the wedding isn't just about me and my fiancé, it's about our families too....

    Personally, I think your mom should walk you down the aisle, but I only know what you've told me.  If you're okay having a dance with your dad at the reception or doing some other father/daughter thing, that can be for dad.  Your mom should walk you.

    Thank you for your input! I'm thinking about skipping the father/daughter dance completely as even the thought of it makes me extremely uncomfortable... He may be my bio-dad but I hardly know him and we can't hold a conversation on a "regular" day... The thought of dancing with him and having nothing to talk about terrifies me...
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  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    My mom and brother walked me down the aisle. My parents are divorced now. They were married my entire childhood, but my mom is the one who raised me. My father and I haven't been on speaking terms for years, so I didn't invite him to the wedding. Even if I had invited him he wouldn't have been the one to walk me down the aisle.

    I vote have your mom walk you. Don't worry about having a father/daughter dance if you aren't comfortable with it.

    Username100108
  • adk19 said:

    I apologize ahead of time for how long this post is, but I'm stuck between 2 options & I'm just looking for opinions... I bolded the main points...

    My mother had me when she was young, & I didn't meet my father until I was 7. He has been married to my stepmom since I've known him, & I love her to pieces. I visited them off & on for a few years until the visits stopped, I'm not sure why. When I did have my visits, it was because my stepmom would reach out & invite me over. My stepmom & dad had 2 girls together, & she had a son from a previous marriage. I have always been relatively close with my stepmom & all 3 of my siblings, but I have never really had a relationship with my father, & he has never been the one to reach out & invite me to anything himself.

    Thanks to my fiancé pushing me to try & change things with my Dad, I started visiting them again, at least twice a month for the last few years, still only because my stepmom invites us or we reach out & ask what they are up to. When we go over & visit, my dad & I hardly speak to each other-not out of anger or anything, we just don't really know each other or know where to start. I still haven't called him "Dad" & don't have much of a relationship with him, but he & my fiancé have frown close. It seems like he is putting in effort now, & I'm really trying too, it's just hard trying to build that father/daughter relationship as an adult.

    My mother raised me & has been there for me through everything. I had always pictured her father walking me down the aisle as he had been the only steady male figure in my life, who I loved more than anything-but since he passed, I had decided it would be my mom.

    Now that we are going over to visit with my dad's family more often, I am confused on what to do. I feel like because my dad is making some sort of effort, I should have him/would like him to walk me down the aisle, but at the same time, I would like to honor my mother for having raised me. It is strange to even think of my father walking me down the aisle because it is something I never even considered until recently-But now that he is putting effort it, I am nervous it would hurt his feelings if I had only my mother walk me down the aisle... I have considered having both of them walk me down the aisle, but I am not sure how my stepmom or my mom's boyfriend of 12 years would feel about this... I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I also don't want to walk down the aisle without my mom... I'm sure this sounds like an easy decision to some, but I am really struggling with what to do here. I get one wedding day-once chance to walk down the aisle, but the wedding isn't just about me and my fiancé, it's about our families too....

    Personally, I think your mom should walk you down the aisle, but I only know what you've told me.  If you're okay having a dance with your dad at the reception or doing some other father/daughter thing, that can be for dad.  Your mom should walk you.

    Thank you for your input! I'm thinking about skipping the father/daughter dance completely as even the thought of it makes me extremely uncomfortable... He may be my bio-dad but I hardly know him and we can't hold a conversation on a "regular" day... The thought of dancing with him and having nothing to talk about terrifies me...

    I was going to suggest what adk19 said but since you don't feel comfortable doing a spotlight dance with him that changes. I do think it sounds like your mom should be the one to walk you down the aisle. Perhaps you could ask your dad if he'd like to do a reading during the ceremony so he feels involved in some way? If you don't want to you don't have to. He wasn't there for you much growing up so he shouldn't feel surprised and should be able to be an adult and just be honored to be a guest. 

    Some other ideas maybe have a non-spotlight dance with him so if you find out a song he likes have the DJ play it and just ask him to dance which other people are on the dance floor so it's not like you have an awkward 3 minutes with nothing to talk about while all eyes are on you. Or if even that is too weird maybe just dance next to them with you and your new husband for a song you know he likes. Or if nothing else just stop by his table during the reception and talk to him and your stepmom for a bit and tell him how happy you are that he is there.
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    Username100108OurWildKingdom
  •  If I do decide to have only my mother walk me, does anyone have an tips on how to tell my father? :#
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  •  
    I was going to suggest what adk19 said but since you don't feel comfortable doing a spotlight dance with him that changes. I do think it sounds like your mom should be the one to walk you down the aisle. Perhaps you could ask your dad if he'd like to do a reading during the ceremony so he feels involved in some way? If you don't want to you don't have to. He wasn't there for you much growing up so he shouldn't feel surprised and should be able to be an adult and just be honored to be a guest. 

    Some other ideas maybe have a non-spotlight dance with him so if you find out a song he likes have the DJ play it and just ask him to dance which other people are on the dance floor so it's not like you have an awkward 3 minutes with nothing to talk about while all eyes are on you. Or if even that is too weird maybe just dance next to them with you and your new husband for a song you know he likes. Or if nothing else just stop by his table during the reception and talk to him and your stepmom for a bit and tell him how happy you are that he is there.
    Hmm.. Maybe I will ask him to do a reading during the ceremony. Not a bad idea. Thank you!!! :)
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
     If I do decide to have only my mother walk me, does anyone have an tips on how to tell my father? :#
    I'm not really sure that such a conversation is necessary.

    When it comes to inviting guests to a wedding, we always advise that you are under no obligation to inform friends or family that they are not invited, regardless of the reason.  In fact, it's rude to do so.

    I think in your case, it would be presumptuous for your bio-dad to assume he would be walking you up the aisle.  For all you know, he may be just as uncomfortable at the thought of you suggesting that, or a spot light dance.  I don't intend for this to come across as insensitive, but you are under no obligation to make any excuse or explanation to him.  Nor should he expect one.

    You can include your dad and step-mom in the processional if you wish.  You can also acknowledge them with corsages/bouquets and boutonnieres.  I agree that you should walk with you mom.  I'm sorry about your grandfather.  You could include him in spirit by attaching a picture of him in a locket frame and attach it to your bouquet.

    SP29OurWildKingdomMyNameIsNot
  •  If I do decide to have only my mother walk me, does anyone have an tips on how to tell my father? :#
    Just say 'After some time thinking about it, I thought it would be best to have mom walk me down. She was there for a lot of good/bad times and I would like to honor her. But I would love to have you at the ceremony too'

    I'm in a similar situation, I just asked my mom to walk me down and give me away. My dad isn't even invited, nor is my step mom. It was the right choice, as my mom said ' I did my very best to raise you right and keep you happy ' and so she did. 
    so I vote: do what's right
    OurWildKingdomUsername100108
  • Personally, I would have your mom walk you down the aisle (or no one, or you meet your FI at the start of the aisle).

    Sorry to hear about your grandfather :( I can understand how having him walk down the aisle would be very meaningful to you. I like the idea of a picture tied to your bouquet.

    Just because someone is a blood relative doesn't make them family. No one is owed a role in your wedding. The only requirements to a wedding are the bride, groom, officiant and +/- witnesses. The rest is either icing on the cake, or tradition. Things like a wedding party, a processional, seating of the mothers, the father walking the bride down the aisle all stem from tradition, but none of these are required.

    As for telling your dad, I don't think you need to. Unless he outright asks. Even then, beyond telling him "I've asked mom to walk me down the aisle", you don't owe him an explanation or apology. He will receive an invitation just like every other guest, so he'll know he's invited.

    If you *want* you could have a special dance with him, or ask him to perform a reading at the ceremony, or give a blessing before dinner- but ONLY if you want. If the idea makes you uncomfortable, don't do it. Again, you don't owe him a role or "special shout out" because he is your bio-dad. This also doesn't mean your relationship is bad or that you cannot continue to develop your relationship in the future.
    OurWildKingdom
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You can walk down the aisle with whomever you like.  It doesn't have to be your biological father.  I myself would have your mom do it.

    As far as dancing goes, if you don't want to do a spotlight dance with your biological father, that isn't necessary either.  I would just skip it. 

    You don't have to give your biological father any special role in your wedding besides that of "guest." His being your biological father doesn't entitle him to more than that (and that's if you choose to invite him).  But I don't think you need to have a "conversation" with him explaining why these things aren't happening.
  • :) Thank you all for your input!!!
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  • kylexokylexo Finger Lakes, NY member
    500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    Echoing what PP have said it definitely seems like your mom would be the right person to walk you down the aisle. If you need to involve dad, a reading is a great option, but do what makes the most sense to you. Don't force closeness just for the sake of what is traditional.
    OurWildKingdom
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