It might be traditional for a father to walk their daughter down the aisle, but now that we are all a little bit more open-minded, the traditional aisle walk has seen a bit of a shift. Some of us just don’t have great relationships with our dads, if at all; others just want to do something a bit different. A lot of women are rejecting the being given away tradition because we are no longer considered the property of the men in our family. Whatever you’re reasons for it, chances are you’re looking for what to do instead and how to handle it. Today, I am going to be covering it all.
So, what do you do if you don’t want your dad to walk you down the aisle? Firstly, decide what you want to do instead. You could be walked down the aisle by someone else, say a brother or a close friend. Perhaps you want to walk that aisle all on your own. Once you know what you want to do, you will have to broach the subject with your father.
In this article, I am going to give you some ideas for alternative aisle walks if you don’t want your dad to walk you down the aisle and also some tips on how to let him know that you have other plans for your wedding ceremony.
Is It OK To Not Be Walked Down The Aisle?
Of course, it is completely OK not to be walked down the aisle by anyone, including your father.
The only reason we are traditionally walked down the aisle by our dads was that women were thought of as their father’s property.
So, on their wedding day, ownership was handed over from the father to the new husband.
Nowadays, our views are a little bit more acceptable.
Women are no longer the property of the males of their families, and we can do whatever we want when it comes to our wedding ceremonies.
But it is not just this idea that has many of us walking down the aisle without our fathers.
Some of us don’t have a father in our lives for one reason or another. You may have a strained relationship with your dad, or you might want to use your walk down the aisle to honor another special family member or friend.
However you dream of walking down the aisle, and whoever that may be with, it is completely OK to do it your own way.
Alternatives To Your Dad Walking You Down The Aisle
If you can’t have your father walk you down the aisle or would rather he did not, here are some alternative ideas for that special part of your wedding ceremony.
Whether you have your father around and do not feel comfortable with him walking you down the aisle, or if he is no longer in your life, you can always choose your other parent to walk you down the aisle.
If your mother has been an absolute rock of support, this can be an incredibly special way of showing her how much you value her.
For those who have a non-biological father figure, trust me when I say they won’t expect you to ask them, but it will mean the world when you do.
They may have supported you from the sidelines or been a truly active father figure throughout your life, and it can be a lovely way of showing them how important they are by asking them to walk you down the aisle.
As they say, blood does not mean family.
A Close Friend
Having a close friend walk you down the aisle can be a beautiful way of involving them in your big day.
They may feel like a sister or a brother to you. Perhaps they have been by your side for every other important moment in your life, and it would feel wrong to walk down the aisle without them.
It is becoming more and more common for brides to be walked down the aisle by one of their closest friends.
If you already have children, you could have them accompany you down the aisle. They are, after all, some of the most important people in your life.
This can be an especially meaningful moment to signify your partner accepting you all as a package or as a way of taking that final step with their father.
You don’t have to have anyone walk you down the aisle. If you would rather take this big relationship to step on your own, that is OK too.
Take this time to honor yourself and walk yourself down the aisle to your future husband.
Many of us are far more independent than we would have been 50 years ago, so who says you can’t enjoy this moment alone in the spotlight?
How To Tell Your Dad You Don’t Want Them To Walk You Down The Aisle
If you do not want your father to walk us down the aisle, you may still need to tell him.
Firstly, prepare yourself that he may be a little disappointed and may even try to convince you to change your mind.
However, if you are firm with your decision and they love you, they will eventually accept your decision.
Here are three tips to help you tell your father you do not want them to walk you down the aisle.
Prepare What You Are Going To Say
Definitely don’t enter this kind of conversation without some sort of idea of what you want to say. Keep it simple and direct, but also be considerate of their feelings.
By preparing what you are going say first, you will avoid going ‘off script’ and saying anything that doesn’t help or actually makes this kind of conversation go a way you want to avoid.
Expect Him To Be Hurt
Look, regardless of the relationship you and your father have, many fathers just assume that their role in their daughter’s wedding will be to walk them down the aisle.
This expectation will inevitably lead to some hurt feelings.
He may surprise you and take it like a champ, but if he doesn’t prepare yourself that he won’t be completely happy with your choice at first.
Don’t Get Bogged Down In The Details
Whatever your reasons are for not having your father walk you down the aisle, this conversation is not a time to dredge up past mistakes.
Keep the conversation simple and avoid going into too much detail about exactly why you don’t want him to take that role, especially if there is a lot of pain and hurt in your past with your father.
Stick to your simple reasons – bucking tradition, wanting to honor someone else, or just wanting to do this on your own – and leave it at that.
Choose A Quiet And Private Place
The queue at Target is not the place to let your dad know he won’t be walking you down the aisle.
Make sure you choose a private place where you can both talk openly without worrying about others overhearing.
By jumping this kind of topic on your father in public, you could both end up feeling far more humiliated by the talk than if you were somewhere quiet.
Write A Letter
If the idea of talking face to face about this kind of topic has your anxiety kicking up a notch, consider writing your father a letter.
This way, you can craft the kindest way of telling him, and there’s no way of you saying anything you didn’t plan to say.
It’s always better to have these conversations face to face, but sometimes your relationship with your father may better suit this topic being written down in a letter.
Both you and your father can process the information without having to worry about the other’s feelings.
It’s OK To Not Have Your Dad Walk You Down The Aisle
Just because having your father walk you down the aisle has been the tradition for wedding ceremonies for decades doesn’t mean you have to do this too.
There are many reasons why you may not want your father to walk you down the aisle; just know that if this decision feels right for you, you should do it.
Your wedding day is all about you and your partner. That’s all that really matters in the long term.
Make sure you tell your father about your decision to change who walks you down the aisle, with plenty of notice, so that he has the chance to overcome his feelings – although he may surprise you.
He may know you well enough that it was something he expected.
There are so many ways you can organize your walking down the aisle. You can have your children join you, a friend, another parent, or even do it by yourself.
There are no rules when it comes to weddings anymore, so do what works for you and your husband-to-be.
Other guides you may want to check out:
- How Long Does It Take To Walk Down The Aisle? [On Average]
- Who Walks The Mother Of The Bride Down The Aisle?
- Does The Groom Walk Down The Aisle? [How Does He Get To The Alter?!]
- Who Walks The Bride Down The Aisle When The Father Is Deceased?
- Who Walks The Bride Down The Aisle When Parents Are Divorced?
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!