Walking Down The Aisle

In a perfect world, every bride would be escorted down the aisle by a loving father who would then pass off the daunting task of caring for his little girl to her future husband. We all know that this crazy world we live in is far from perfect so, there are many cases when the question of  “Who will walk the bride down the aisle?” is tricky and or even painful.

 What happens when a bride’s parents are divorced and she shares a close relationship with her stepfather?  If the bride is closer to her stepfather, she may want to ask him instead, although if her biological father has stepped up to pay for the wedding, she should take that into account. Some brides have asked their stepfathers to walk them halfway down the aisle, where they meet their father and continue to walk the aisle escorted by him. If your father and stepfather have a friendly relationship, you could ask them both to walk you down the aisle, one on each arm. This is a lovely solution if everyone is in agreement.

What if the bride is estranged from her father for personal reasons or if  her father is deceased or otherwise unavailable? A bride may be escorted by a grandfather or favorite uncle. The bride may also choose to be escorted by her mother. 

What if the bride simply feels that it would be archaic to be given away? One modern solution has the bride being presented at one end of the aisle and then escorted by the groom, who walks down the aisle to meet her. Another solution is for the bride to walk down the aisle by herself.

And sometimes it is only appropriate that both mother and father escort the bride down the aisle.

The worst problems occur when there is a biological father who hasn’t been in the picture and a stepfather who has… then, suddenly the father feel entitled to walk his little girl down the aisle for a tearful goodbye when there have been too many missed opportunities over the years. 

In all cases, the bride needs to decide who, if anyone,  she wants to walk her down the aisle and then inform everyone of her decision… in person. If handled firmly and politely this will be the end of the subject.

No matter what your decision; mother, father, aunt, uncle or solo, it is important to remember that this moment does not have to be the end of a father/daughter relationship. It is only the beginning……


-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago