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Ask Kate: Don’t want to be ‘given away’

October 10, 2012

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.


For various reasons I don’t want my dad to walk me down the aisle. We get along now but my parents had a horrible divorce and I also really don’t like the idea of being ‘given away’! It would feel awkward to do it, but I don’t want to ask anyone to replace him as I don’t want to hurt his feelings. I’m thinking of just walking down myself, with my two adult bridesmaids just behind me, or, walking half way and meeting my husband-to-be half way down the aisle and walking the rest together. What do you think?




I agree that the idea of being given away by one’s father, to one’s husband, traditional though it is, seems out dated and unnecessary and while I can understand your not wanting your dad to give you away, it’s worth considering the fact that he may be looking forward to this aspect of his role as father of the bride. He may also be writing his speech already! If you would prefer to walk down the aisle with your bridesmaids then you could simply explain this wish for a more modern wedding ceremony to your dad as a way of asking him to step down from his role without upsetting him. Be prepared for the possibility of his wanting to change your mind and insisting on doing a speech though. I assume you are fine with this part of his role. Think through how you can put your point across effectively. If he’s not overly confident, you could reassure him that it will save him from the embarrassment of walking down the aisle in front of 100 people! If he does want to walk you down the aisle though, perhaps a frank discussion about it and a compromise of some sort (perhaps he just stands at the altar with you rather than actually walking down the aisle?) could help your relationship. I hope that helps and I wish you a wonderful wedding and  a long and happy marriage.

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