For some women, walking down the aisle with their father (or fathers!) can be a really beautiful way to honor the role that relationship has played.
For me, despite the fact that I'm a total daddy's girl, it wasn't a tradition that felt like a fit with my ceremony. I love my dad, but he wasn't “giving me away.” Separate even from the patriarchal history of a bride being property that was “given away,” I wasn't comfortable with the message it sent about my relationship with my father: my relationship with my partner and my relationship with my father are separate and equal. My relationship with my father shifted when I became an adult — we became peers, colleagues, co-conspirators. My relationship with my father did not shift when I found my partner. My dad and I remained peers, colleagues, and co-conspirators.
There was no sense of loss with my father when I got married. He'd raised me to be an independent, self-sustaining woman, and I'd been one long before I got married.
Because of this, walking down the aisle with my father felt odd — what was being given away? (Nothing.) What was changing? (Nothing.) For our ceremony, my partner and I decided to honor my father's role in my life in a different way — he's a poet, and so we asked him to read one of his poems. It was beautiful, and infinitely more meaningful to me than being walked down the aisle.
[related-post align=”right”]We've featured all sorts of ways to get down the aisle, including
- Walking with one or both parents
- Walking together with your partner
- Walking by yourself
- Walking with a child
- Walking with a sibling
- …We've even written about ideas on how to skip the aisle completely!
While I firmly believe there's no right way to get down the aisle, I do want to recognize that for some of us, it's not just about getting down the aisle… it's about finding a ceremonial way to reflect and recognize our relationships.