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Walking Down the Aisle Drama - Advice Please!

This issue has been plaguing the ceremony since the day FI and I got engaged. My parents are divorced and there has been question about who will be walking me down/giving me away. Right now, there are three options:

1) FI and I want: My mom AND dad to walk me down/give me away. This signifies that they both played a role in raising me and it isn't JUST my dad giving me away, when it really was both of them raising me. The problem is that my mom does NOT want any part of that. She feels that it's "weird" for her to walk down the aisle with my dad, even if I'm between them. My mom's husband doesn't feel comfortable with that either. He has blatently refused to let this happen. My dad says this is what he wants, and his wife is to the point where she's ready to stop doing anything she's doing to help with planning/decorating if this option doesn't take place.

2) Mom wants: A half and half aisle. Dad walks me half-way, mom walks the rest - or vice-versa. FI and I hate this idea, b/c we feel that it is a blatent show that they are divorced, and in FI's words, "We will not start out our marriage showing obvious divorce." I agree. I feel that this way is just awkward and just too chaotic.

3) My compromise: mom and step-dad walk down and stand to one side of the aisle, dad and step-mom walk down and stand to the other side (where both natural parents are standing on the inside of the aisle), then I walk myself down. I don't like this compromise because it leave me walking down on my own... And Dad refuses to let this happen, BUT it was an option so that we could move on to other aspects of the wedding and make everyone shut up about it.

Both sets of parents are paying the same amount toward the wedding, mom said at the beginning: "If I'm paying for it, I'm walking you down." I understood where she was coming from. Now dad is making his demands of, "I'm walking you down the aisle." And now I'm stuck. I don't know how to get mom to understand where I'm coming from and get her to agree to the minute-long walk.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, b/c I know I'm not the first child-of-divorce to get married! Thanks!!

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Re: Walking Down the Aisle Drama - Advice Please!

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    TheCranberryTheCranberry member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    That really sucks.  Can you have a heart to heart with your mom and tell her to get over her feelings about walking down the aisle with you and your dad?  Anyone who's close to the family will know they're not married and are just supporting their daughter.  Their divorce didn't change the fact that they're both your parents. 

    She'll also need to tell your stepdad to act like an adult.  What does he think will happen if they both walk you down?  Your stepmom should also not be adding fuel to the fire.

    You're not asking a lot here.  You want both of your parents to support you on your wedding day.  Just because they moved on from each other shouldn't mean that they can't work together just this once.

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    edited December 2011
    Have you ever seen "Reality Bites" where Winona Ryders character is having dinner with her divorced parents and their new spouses?  Sounds like what you are going through! 

    I am having a similar situation but it is my fiances family and where everyone is going to sit at the church and the reception (adults refusing to sit together like 12 year olds in middle school).

    We told the family that the day isnt about their divorce or drama.  That on that day they are parents to my fiance. 

    I would have a heart to heart with both sets of parents, better if you can do it all together.  Tell them what you want, and what you will settle for, and what is absolutely not going to happen, let them respond.  If no one will compromise, walk yourself down the aisle.

    Also- it sounds like you have four adults who, although they seem to hate each other- really love you. 

    Good luck!
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    greygarnettgreygarnett member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm in the same situation (except that my step parents are being pretty silent about the whole thing and staying out of it). I basically told my parents that it's one day, and if they couldn't be grown up for 2 minutes then they could just sit at the end of the aisle and stand up and respond to "who give this woman...". Neither were thrilled but in the end they chose to act like they can stand each other over losing the chance at walking me down all together. Just talk to them. I know it can be tough because you want eveybody to be happy and involved but in the end you just need to be firm but polite: "this is how it is, I know its not ideal for you but these are your options in the matter, walk together or I walk alone". Tell them how you feel, and ultimatly your step parents need to mind their own buisness on the matter. Mine have been around for 16 years and they kept their thoughts to themselves because in the end, the walk doesn't involve them.
    Stay positive. No matter who walks you or if you walk alone, your FI will still be at the end waiting for you with a smile. Good luck!
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    edited December 2011
    Nothing like making a mountain out of a mole hill, right?

    First, let's take the stepparents and your fi out of this particular decision. It should be between you, your mom and your dad.

    You want both parents to walk you down the aisle. I don't think it's unreasonable on your part to suggest that they can act like adults for the 60 seconds it will take to accomplish that. Tell them that you love them both and will not choose between them.

    I don't think the half and half aisle is quite as complicated as you think it would be. It's been done before and I think the three of you could figure this out, if you want to compromise. Please excuse my bluntness, but your fi's comment about showing 'obvious divorce' at your wedding ceremony is absolute nonsense. The fact is they are divorced and everyone should accept that. This has no bearing on the vows that you and fi will make.

    It sounds like no one likes option 3, so forget that.

    There's a 4th option: Have your fi meet you at the back of the church for the 'first look,' then he can walk you down the aisle.

    Good luck. I hope your parents decide to walk you together.

                       
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    edited December 2011
    It really bothers me when adults feel the need to act like children - ESPECIALLY when it puts their actual children in a tough spot.

    I'm going through a similar situation but was pleasantly surprised at everyone being cooperative. I had originally intended in asking my stepdad and dad to walk me down the aisle together, since they both played a part in raising me (albeit, not entirely equally but they are both a part of my life and have almost always been). My stepfather, however, was uncomfortable with this and has agreed to walk me from the doors to the back of the seats (outdoor wedding) where my father will be waiting to give me away the rest of the way.

    I, personally, don't see this as a reminder of divorce, but more as an honoring of both sets of parents, their happiness, and what they've done to get me where I am. FI (whose family has next to NO divorces, parents are HS sweethearts, etc.) agreed that it was a good compromise for our case.


    Ultimately, you need to do what YOU are comfortable with - and frankly, tell your parents (all 4 of them) that they need to shape up and act like adults. It won't kill them to be civil for a few minutes while they take part in a big step in the life of someone they all love.
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    edited December 2011
    Tell your Mom and Dad that you refuse to choose between them and pick one over the other.  You refuse to do any of this crazy half and half business for the reasons that you stated already. 

    Tell them that they need to compromise.  They both had a part in raising you and you'd like to honor them both equally for that. 

    I don't see why it's such a big deal to them, they could stand on either side of you and they wont' have to touch.
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    saric83saric83 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited December 2011

    I completely agree with you not wanting to do the 1/2 and 1/2 walk since it has no significance (unlike when a dad and stepdad do it, which I think is fantastic and can be very symbolic of both roles) and would be awkward and calling out the fact that they're unable to do anything together for your sake.  If I saw that at a wedding, I would be uncomfortable watching it.  But even if you had to do that, it wouldn't be the end of the world, and they're the ones who would look silly, not you or FI. 

    So I would let them know of you and FI's preference (again!) and maybe spruce it up a bit with suggesting that dad escort the stepmom down the aisle prior to the WP procession and have stepdad and stepmom waiting on the edge of the bottom pews to meet up with your mom and dad, so they can all be there to "present" you and can all respond when the pastor or whomever asks who gives the bride away. 

    If they still refuse to consider that, tell them that since they're both equally contributing, it wouldn't be fair to choose one of their preferences over another, and since they're unwilling to cooperate for the sake of your preference, you're going to put all of the choices in a hat and choose one.  Hopefully, that will get one or all of them to back down once they realize they will have no say whatsoever and may end up with a choice they like even less than your preference.  And if they don't, you might end up with a choice you might not love, but at least you will know that it was completely objective, and you don't have to debate with them over and over. 


    Good luck!!

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    edited December 2011
    I'm going against the grain here, but coming from a nasty divorce... I know it's your day and all, but if your mom really isn't comfortable walking with you and your dad, I don't think you should make her.

    I get where you're coming from, and I think it's great you want to involve her.  But if she's really uncomfortable with the idea, then I think you should respect that.

    Maybe it's not the same thing as the girls who come on here saying how they want their divorced parents to dance together, or whatever, but... still.  I think you should respect her.
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    LAK011LAK011 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all for the advice! FI and I are moving in with my mom and step-dad soon and I'm hoping to have a heart-to-heart with just her so that we don't have any outside forces (i.e. FI or S-D) pushing a decision. We'll see how things go...
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    edited December 2011
    I think you should just have your dad do it.  It's traditional and your mom doesn't want to do it anyway.  Tell her its either both of them or just your dad, since it is traditionally your dad anyway.
    Celebrate we will, cause life is short but sweet for certain....
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    edited December 2011
    Or...walk yourself up the aisle.
    My baby girl is a married woman...and now my baby girl HAS a baby girl. Time unfolds in such an amazing way. I've been blessed!
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    tracieteetracietee member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Money really does cloud everyone's judgement, doesn't it? "Well, I'm paying for this, so it's going to be MY way." Ugh. This day is about YOU AND YOUR FIANCE. It's not about your mother or father. It's about YOU. Just remind them that right now they are causing you pain and stress on what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. When push comes to shove though, if they're not willing to give you what you want, they will be the ones with the regret in twenty years, not you.
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    lalaith50lalaith50 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    don't walk down with either of them... walk down with your FI! It is about BOTH of you! 
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    vicki0508vicki0508 member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I would also suggest either walking yourself, or having FI walk you.  But, if you really want your parents involved in that part, I really think you should just let your dad walk you alone.  The officiant will ask "who gives this woman away" and your dad can say "her mother and I do" and that way your mom is involved.

    I do think your parents are being babies about it.  But even if you convince them to walk you down the aisle together, I think that moment will be tainted because you'll know how mad they are about it.  It's not going to be this magical moment signifying how your parents raised you, it's going to be really awkward and it's just going to piss your parents and step parents off.

    I'd rather walk down the aisle with my happy dad, towards my smiling mother and complacent step parents.
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    LAK011LAK011 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    I would love that, but the only issue is that my mom doesn't necessarily want my dad to walk me down... This is where the whole mess is coming from in the first place. I'm having a girl's day with mom in a couple days, so I'm hoping she and I can have plenty of time to talk it out and see exactly where her concerns are coming from. Thanks, everyone for the encouragement and advice!!!

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    tljarleytljarley member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    As the soon to be MOB, and the ex-wife of a man who had TWS(Tiger Woods Syndrome) after 30 years of marriage--the thought of not being included in walk down the aisle is another example of rejection.  It isnt the money(although I am footing more than half of the wedding)...it is the thought that  he shouldnt be able to "give away" the daughter from the family he walked out on.  
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