Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Father/Daughter wedding traditions...or lack there of

My father was not really around a lot as I grew up, and is still not at this point in my life.  He seems like he is trying to make amends, and I acknowledge that and would like to continue (very) gradually working to have a better relationship. I honestly hated him for the longest time until I recently decided hating him did not do me any good, and I just let it go.  It has made me a happier person all around. This is obviously not a problem...but...

The problem comes in at the wedding.  He is invited and assuming he comes I have some questions on how to handle different situations.  He is not helping me financially (I wouldn't expect him to), and as I have expressed, we are not close. 

He will most defintely not be walking me down the aisle.  I do not have any Grandfathers, as they have both passed, so them walking me down is not really an option.  My brother is younger than me and, though I love him tremendously, having him walk me just doesn't "feel" right. 

Would it be appropriate for my mom to walk me?  The more I think about it, the more I realize that is what I want.  Afterall, she is my best friend and has done an impecable job as a single mother.  The other option would be for me to walk by myself, which wouldn't be horrible, as my mom raised me to be very independent, so that would also kind of be a tribute to her (mostly justa thought shared between her and me though).

The other problem is for the mother/son father/daughter dance.  My mom will be hurt if I have a father/daughter dance.  I do not want one, and I totally agree with what she is saying --- she would be upset that she worked so hard to raise me and he gets all the glory.  I am just worried about the awkwardness at him being there, and there just not being one with me just standing around while my FI dances with FMIL (not having a mother/son dance is not an option, it would crush my FMIL and I cound't do that to her!  I actually like my FMIL :) ).  I originally wanted to actually have a mother daughter dance, but is that to bold?

Like I said, I don't hate my father so I don't want to parade it around in his face that he screwed up and haha you don't get a spotlighted dance with me on my wedding day.  But, my mom means so much to me and i think it would mean a lot to her?? 

 I know I shouldn't care about other people's opinions, but I feel like it is just going to make it awkward for his side of the family (I am still close with them) and I also don't think they know the severity of my previous disdain for him (I may not have liked him, but I at least had tact) so they may be confused.

Let me know what your thoughts are on this, either way.   TIA!


Re: Father/Daughter wedding traditions...or lack there of

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    You can absolutely have your mother walk you down the aisle, this is actually done a lot and really it's a personal choice of the bride's who she wants to have walk her down the aisle.

    As for the dance... I would probably just skip it. It might be a little weird having him there and not doing a dance, but I think it would be even more embarassing / rub it in even more if you had a dance with someone else while he was there. You might talk to him and see if he would understand if you had a dance with your mom. If he's really trying to understand, he might be totally ok with it. Or, maybe you could do something where you start the dance with him, and at an agreed upon point he passes you off to your mom and you finish with her so that they're both honored.

    Really, part of me wants to say "if he wasn't around then he can just suck it and deal with you doing all the traditional father stuff with your mom, who is the one that actually raised you"... but if you're trying to start some good relations with him it might be worth making a couple of compromises in order to avoid hurting his feelings or making him feel embarassed. I think you should talk to him about it though, he may surprise you and not feel at all hurt or like you're rubbing it in if you dance with your mom!
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    I think it is a wonderful idea to have your mother walk you down the aisle.  Both my parents are deceased and my only other family is my sister so my 3 boys are walking me down the aisle.  It's your wedding and you should do what makes you happy.  As for the dance, I agree with the PP, just skip it.  Strained family relationships can make things awkward, but they don't have to ruin your special day.  We have all sorts of off things going on with family and friends, but in the end, this is your day so while I'm all for being respectful and not wanting to offend anyone or hurt their feelings, there's only so much you can do. 
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    I have been to a few weddings where the bride was raised by a single mother and the mother walked her down the aisle.  I thought it was beautiful. 

    As to the parent dances, my FI mom passed away when he was a child, and his father remarried.  He has a good relationship with his stepmother, but he was a teenager when they married.  He does not want to dance with her at the reception, and it would crush my dad if I did not dance with him, so I am doing a Father Daughter dance, and we are skipping the mother Son dance.  I know it is not the same, since she is a stepparent and not an actual parent, but that is what we chose, and I think she will be understanding of it.  At some point throughout the evening, he will probably dance with her, but just not during the "spotlight" time.  Maybe you can ask him to dance later in the evening? 

    I would personally skip the mother daughter dance.  I think having her walk you down the aisle will be a huge honor and your mom will be touched by that... LEave it at that!
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    My situation is similar to yours.  I think you should have your mother walk you down the isle, She would feel honored at that point, and it has been done before, so don't worry about breaking any rules.

    For the dance, have your FI dance with his mother, and then have the band/dj start up a great song that you, your FI, and the wedding party all jump in and dance to.   It doesn't have to be choreographed, but make sure the wedding party knows the next song you would love to see them all out dancing with you.  If you want to go one step further, you could choreograph the group dance.  I had a friend do that, and it was so fun to watch, and started the dancing off on a great note!  You might not like the idea, but something like this could be a great distraction, and make you feel more comfortable with what you think others might notice. 

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    I was in a similar situation and I walked down the aisle by myself and skipped the father/daughter dance.  These are both easy solutions.

    I think having your mother walk you down the aisle would be also be nice.
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    I agree skip the dances if they are going to cause anyone pain....guests usually get bored during them anyways. You can have your mom walk you down or you can walk down by yourself, whatever your more comfortable with. You could always do something else that honors your mom without 'dishonoring' your dad - gift her your flowers or another set of special flowers or have her involved in another part of the wedding (lighting a candle or something)

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    I think it would be awesome to have your mom walk you down the aisle. :) And if you think it would be best, I think it's ok to skip the father-daughter dance. I wouldn't however suggest your fiance skip the mother-son dance. I am sure that is something he has always wanted. And as a mother, I would be extremely sad if my sons didn't have a mother-son dance. They are still little kids & I already think about it. Best of luck!
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    My dad passed away and my mom is walking me down the aisle. I actually didn't think twice about it. Everyone I've mentioned this to just says "Oh, how sweet!" not "Wow, how unconventional!"

    I haven't decided about the dance. I considered doing a mother/daughter, but I don't know. My mom kind of assumes we're doing one, though...
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    my situation is very similar to yours my mom is walking me down the aisle i couldnt imagine anyone else doing it and were doing a mother daughter dance
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    If what you want is a mother daughter dance, I don't think it is too bold.  My best friend did that at her wedding as her mom was the one who raised her and her father was in and out (mostly out) of her life growing up.  Granted, he did not attend the wedding, and I was unable to tell if that was something that would bother you (him being there while you dance with your mom). 
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    I am having the same problem.  I would really love my mom to walk me down the aisle, since she was the one who spent her time raising me.  My FI mother doesn't like the idea of this at all.  I haven't really asked why, but I don't want to upset anyone.  I think she might not like it because its not traditonal and her side of the family might find it weird.  What should I do?

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    In Response to <a href=" BoardsForum:36Discussion:5e2fc41b-c460-4dc9-907c-e766bfe938d2Post:9e72d06c-ec15-4e11-98fb-ba065d8be8ea">Re: Father/Daughter wedding traditions...or lack there of</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am having the same problem.  I would really love my mom to walk me down the aisle, since she was the one who spent her time raising me.  My FI mother doesn't like the idea of this at all.  I haven't really asked why, but I don't want to upset anyone.  I think she might not like it because its not traditonal and her side of the family might find it weird.  What should I do?
    Posted by shanabug40[/QUOTE]

    I don't think your FMIL should have any say in who walks you down the aisle.  She may not like it but really it isn't any of her business.  I would have your mom walk you down and tell her that you're sorry but she has earned that honor.  End of discussion.  If she tries to bring it up, I simply wouldn't engage in conversation with her about it. 
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    I have the same thing going on with me! My brother will be walking me down the isle and assuming my dad will show up, that may be humiliating enough. I don't know what I want to do about the dances because I won't take that moment away from my FI and FMIL. I don't want any awkwardness!!
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