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Rebecca
Just Said Yes May 2024

Not asking your dad to walk you down the aisle

Rebecca, on July 5, 2022 at 10:22 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 11
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My dad and I have had a rocky relationship for several years. In the past few months, a lot of stuff has come out and I have made the decision to distance myself from him for the foreseeable future. He's my dad and I love him, but being close to him emotionally always ends up with me being hurt and mentally drained.


I just got engaged last week and I've started wedding planning already, but I'm considering not asking him to walk me down the aisle. He'll definitely be invited to the wedding, but I'm scared that by letting him walk me down the aisle, I'll be doing away with the boundaries that I just recently set with him. I want those boundaries to hold, but I also don't want to regret not asking him later down the road. What should I do??

11 Comments

Latest activity by Scarlett, on July 9, 2022 at 6:40 PM
  • Imani
    Rockstar July 2022
    Imani ·
    • Flag
    Have you all set a date for the wedding? If so, you have been now & then to plan and work on your relationship with your dad. I know you don’t want to right at this moment, but depending on when you plan to get married it can be some time from now. At least that way you’re not going back on your boundaries and you’ll still be able to have him walk you down. Especially if you don’t want to regret letting him walk you.
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  • Kelly
    Rockstar October 2023
    Kelly ·
    • Flag

    You have no obligation to ask him to walk you down the aisle. In my opinion, that tradition is creepy anyway. Do what's best for you and respect your own boundaries.

    My fiancé and I are walking down the aisle together. It's a symbol of equality in our partnership and also a good reason for someone else not being able to "give me away".

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  • Brenda
    Dedicated October 2021
    Brenda ·
    • Flag
    My dad and I also have a rocky relationship, but not enough where he wasn't invited to the wedding. I just told him one day a few months before "oh, by the way, I'm planning on just walking myself down the aisle". I got a bit of pushback in the form of "why?" And I simply told him I wanted to walk myself.


    And that's fine, because at the very last minute (lining up for grand entrance) he decided he didn't want to do the father-daughter dance anymore and also left right after dinner without saying goodbye. Which explains our relationship and the reason I wasn't going to have him walk me down the aisle in the first place.
    You can just tell him you plan to walk yourself. You can also still plan on a father-daughter dance or another thing to include him elsewhere, and he'll still stand in family pictures at the wedding
    • Reply
  • Taylor
    Rockstar October 2022
    Taylor ·
    • Flag
    My dad and I have not had much of a relationship throughout my life. When I started planning my wedding I told him I was walking myself. The plan is to walk halfway, and then my fiancé will come meet me and we’ll finish the walk together. I’m going to do a very short dance with him because I know he’s like it although I’m super not looking forward to it
    • Reply
  • Ashley
    Beginner September 2024
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    Untraditional weddings are the new thing!! Do what makes you most comfortable and happiest!
    • Reply
  • Paige
    Rockstar October 2022
    Paige ·
    • Flag

    You definitely don't have to have him walk you down the aisle if you don't want him to. You also have PLENTY of time to mull it over if you're on the fence about it as well. I say give it time and re-evaluate closer to the wedding. Your relationship may be in a different place (better or worse) by then. If anyone asks, just say you haven't gotten to the logistics yet. At the end of the day, the walk is only about a minute, so don't stress yourself out too much.

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  • Jennifer
    Just Said Yes July 2022
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag

    You have time to decide! Enjoy the first stages of wedding planning before tackling the stressful things (Trust me, it gets stressful. I'm 3 weeks away from the big day). You will make the right decision. Wishing you all the best!

    • Reply
  • StephSparkles
    Savvy September 2022
    StephSparkles ·
    • Flag

    My dad and I have also had a rocky relationship for about a decade and my parents are divorced. The wedding has brought out even more crap between myself and my dad. Originally, I wanted both of my parents to walk me down the aisle, but seeing as my dad hasn't even really gotten to know me or my future husband for the last 5 years, I decided he hasn't been part of this part of my life and shouldn't be giving me away at all. Unfortunately, I told him in the heat of an argument, which wasn't the right time. But hey, that's apparently our relationship. I will report back on the awkwardness levels after my wedding on 9/24....

    At the end of the day though, do what you think is best for you. It's not anyone's else's day, not even your parents.

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  • Loretta
    Just Said Yes December 2022
    Loretta ·
    • Flag

    I feel the same way so do not worry. I am also distancing myself from my parents for my own mental health and will not be asking my father to walk me down the isle. I have decided it is my own decision to give myself away fully to my future husband and not my father's place to make that decision or action. I had yet to have the formal conversation with him that he will not be walking me down the isle but one thing to think about is in my situation, my parents have invested zero dollars into this wedding, so I am not worried if they get upset and do not come or say they aren't paying for anything because I have worked my budget around that already. Will it ruin your day if they decide not to be there because it is that important to him or financially help you?

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    Countless brides have escorts down the aisle and not a single word is mentioned at the start of the ceremony about being given away or the marriage being blessed by the escort, so it is an unfair assumption that that is the one and only purpose for the escort.


    Many brides prefer to have someone to walk with them, be it a father figure, mom, best friend, anyone. No one thinks that the mom or best friend is giving the bride to her partner, so why the double standard if any man walks with her? Because brides traditionally walk slowly down the aisle, it does happen where the bride is walking alone and either literally runs down the aisle or she freezes like a deer in headlights so a random guest will get up and walk with her. Some people say that never happens but it does more than you think. It’s not a bad thing to have an escort.

    However, if you have no relationship with your father, it makes no sense to ask him to escort you. It would be very strange for others to guilt you because of that because your relationship or lack of is no one else’s business. It’s also rare for someone who is estranged or whom you have gone low/no contact with to be invited, regardless if you are asking them to escort you or not. So do what you are comfortable with and keep those boundaries in place. I’m in a similar situation except I am no contact with my father and he is not invited and I will have a friend or other relative walk me down the aisle to deal with the nerves. No one has said anything negative about me not inviting my father even if they don’t understand the dynamics.
    • Reply
  • Scarlett
    Just Said Yes September 2022
    Scarlett ·
    • Flag
    The relationship between my dad and I is pretty much non-existent. I have invited him to my wedding, but I asked my mom to walk me down the aisle instead as she was the one who was there for me my whole life no matter what.



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