Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Father & Step Father Dilemma

My parents got divorced 6 years ago. My father and I had never had the typical 'father-daughter relationship' and after the divorce, we grew even further apart. My mother has since remarried and I've become close with my stepdad. The dilemma: over the past year, my father and I have somewhat rekindled our relationship. Who walks me down the isle? Who do I have the father/daughter dance with? I have some ideas but I'm curious of what you all think. Suggestions?

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Re: Father & Step Father Dilemma

  • IMO I think your dad should be the one to walk you down the isle. Depending on if he's sentimental or not it might be something that he's been waiting for since you were young. I would definately explain to your step-dad why you made the decision and that it was hard to choose becuase he has been such a big part of your life. As far as the dance goes many people in that situation do two dances or dance with your step-dad as your FI is dancing with his mom. 
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  • I disagree completely with the PP. The choice is yours and yours alone, and should be based on who YOU WANT to have the honor. I understand your decision is trickier now that you are getting along better with your biological father. 

    My suggestions:

    1. Walk down the aisle alone, or have your FI escort you. Problem solved. 
    2. Have both men escort you, one on either arm, 
    3. Have your father walk you part of the way and then your stepfather the rest. 

    1. Skip the parent dances. Again, problem solved. 
    2. Do a dance for each- guests don't generally enjoy spotlight dances though
    3. Dance to the same song, half way with each man. 

    Another idea: Have your father walk you down the aisle, but dance with your stepdad, or vice versa. 

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  • I was married on the beach, so my setup may be different than a traditional ceremony, but my step-father walked me down from our beach house and down the steps to the sand where my father was waiting.  They shook hands and did one of those "man hugs" and step passed me off to my father who walked me down the rest of the way.  For me, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

    You have to do what is right in your heart.  If you feel that you want both of them to be a part of this, have one walk you halfway, etc.


  • I agree with em0, those are really good options and the ones I would have suggested.  If I had to pick one for each question, I would say have both men walk you down, one on each arm and then for the father/daughter dance, dance half of the song with one and half with the other.
  • I love the idea of a long walkway, so maybe I will  take OBX2011's advice and have my father walk me to the beginning of the isle and stepfather down the rest? I can't imagine walking with both men, holding thier arms, AND my flowers! That'd be a lot, not to mention the width of the isle would have to be increased.

    RoseofDeborah's idea of dancing with one father while my FI's dance with his mom. I'll have to ask his opinion on this.

    Thanks to you all for responding. You all had great ideas and opinions!

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  • I am having my dad walk me down the aisle. My step dad understands. We are doing 2 father daughter dances, and 2 mother son dances. Both of us are from divorced families. We talked to our DJ and photographer, and both agreed on editing the songs to be about a minute and a half. Long enough to get pictures and have a nice moment, but not so long that it becomes akward/guests lose interest.
  •  My parents divorced when I was young and my mom remarried when I was 5. Both my dad and step dad have played a very important role in my life. So They are both walking me down the isle. In fact my mother's youngest brother also broke off an engagement to be there for my sister. So I am being walked down the isle by all three. I am walking in with my uncle who will pass me off at the back of the isle and my step dad will walk me to my daddy to give me away. That way they all had a part but in the end my daddy still gives me away. I think this is a hard question to ask if you aren't a child from a divorced family who had step parents that really cared and really wanted to be a part of your life. In the end it is your decision and do what makes you happy. I have chosen not to do a father daughter dance but instead I will dance with my husband to be and my mom will dance with her husband, my dad with his wife, and my sister with my uncle that way we are all together. I hope it helps and I wish you luck but this is something you have to think about. It took me awhile to figure it out(: It will work out for the best.
  • I would say do what feels right to you; regardless of what stage you are in either relationship, someone is going to end up being hurt and it's an imperfect situation and it's ok.

    I wouldn't automatically assume Dad should be the one - think of the guy that was there the whole time that never left. He's bound to some sort of consideration. However, since there's no true way of knowing your relationship with him, it will be difficult to guage.

    I would walk alone; neither will have the opportunity to feel slighted since both will be honored guests. I would consider walking with mom - the one consistent figure in your life. In the end, it should be what's meaningful to you and not what society expects; either way, be prepared to let the other one down gently.
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  • edited April 2012
     OP, I have the same problem. My parents divorced when I was 5, my Step dad has been in my life since I was 6. My dad moved to florida when I was 8 and we have had a very rocky relationship where he usually doesnt include me in his life. I feel pretty guilty about keeping my father from walking his only daughter down the aisle but when it came down to it I thought I would rather be standing next to my stepfather since my dad left me, didnt really care to keep up a relationship, and my stepfather was a dad to me when you truly did not have to be. Also, my FI told me he would prefer my stepdad hand me over to him, they are very close. 
    Its a hard thing to deal with, and its hard for people to understand if they havent been in this type of situation.
    i was going to do the halfway down with dad, then halfway with stepdad but then i realized i didnt want to have to look away from FH when walking down the aisle and I didnt want it to be like everyone was handing me off. 
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