How to tell your dad you’re walking yourself down the aisle

Elopement Tips

If you’ve made brave the decision to have a non-traditional wedding, we are here cheering you on from the side lines. Not many couples, chose to celebrate their wedding day in the most authentic way to them. So we think you are pretty badass! In todays day and age, it’s becoming more common than ever, to ditch the traditions and instead do what actually feels most true to you. So if your considering walking yourself down the aisle you should most definitely stay true to you!

Whether you are eloping, or having a non-traditional wedding in any sort. Chances are you may not feel aligned with the age old tradition, of your dad walking you down the aisle. It might be worrisome trying to navigate this difficult conversation with your father, or your mother, or whomever thinks they might walk you down the aisle someday.

This could be because you have a rocky relationship. Or perhaps your father’s passed, and you want to honour him. Maybe your parents are divorced and you feel involving your parents will create drama. Or perhaps you are an independent queen/king, who wants to strut their stuff all the way down that aisle solo! There is no right or wrong way to a wedding. There is no right or wrong reason to choosing to walk yourself down the aisle. When you’re choosing to forgo what’s expected of you, and go the non-traditional route, you make your own rules!

In this blog post were going to dive deep into some of the ways you can break this news to your dad, so you both feel comfortable and confident on your day!

Bride Walking Herself Down The Aisle at her Backyard Intimate Wedding on the Mornington Peninsula

Drop Hints Early On

If you know early on, maybe even before you are engaged, that you desire a non-traditional wedding one day. We suggest dropping hints to your father early on, before you’re even planning your wedding. If you are casually having a conversation with your dad, and the topic of marriage or weddings ever come up. Maybe drop a hint and say something like “I’m going to have a non-traditional wedding one day”. And if he asks what that means, you can further elaborate into the topic of, “not following the traditional aspects and rules of a wedding day. And in turn doing what feels most authentic to you.” You could even go further in depth of the areas you don’t want to include in your wedding, by saying “I would never do a flower toss, or that garter thing is a bit much, don’t you think?”

By having open conversations about your future wedding, and your vision for you day beforehand. Will open your parents mind to the idea, before the day even comes. That way, when you are planning your wedding, and you don’t mention anything about being walked down the aisle. They will just go back to your previous conversations, and remember you aren’t doing things the traditional way. Not only will this help you avoid an awkward conversation, it will also open their eyes to a new way of weddings and help release any further expectations they could have had.

Explain Your Reasons “Why”

The act of being “given away” is merely a tradition. Some people think nothing of it, and follow the heard. While others might feel so far disconnected to the term. At the end of the day, it is your wedding day, your marriage and you have 100% choice in how you celebrate your day. So if you’ve come to the decision, you are walking yourself down the aisle, and you know you’ll be faced with a difficult family conversation. We suggest explaining your “why” to your dad, or family, about why you do not want to be given away.

This could be…

  • You don’t feel aligned with this traditional aspect of a wedding day
  • This is a day centred around you and your partner, you don’t want to involve your family in the centre of that
  • Highly value your independence
  • You don’t like the idea of being “given away” by your parent
  • You don’t like to be the centre of attention, and would like to make this part as simple as possible
Bride walking upstairs to her elopement ceremony

Honour him in this decision

Instead of making this decision about all the reasons you don’t want him to walk you down the aisle. Make it about all reasons why you want your wedding to authentic to you. Rather than putting him down, honour him in this decision and make him feel good about. Talk openly to come to a mutual understanding, and be caring and considerate of his feelings during this conversation. He may react negatively at first, but just be open and honest. At the end of the day, your wedding is about your romantic relationship, not your relationship to your parents.

Give him a special role in your day

Going in line with the above point, of honouring your father in this decision. Instead of having your him walk you down the aisle, give him a sentimental role in your day. By doing this, you will show him that you care, and still want him to be involved. Just in your own special way, and not what’s traditional.

Some special ways you can include your father in your wedding day:

  • Have a father, daughter first look
  • Get him to drive you to the ceremony
  • Have you celebrant ask your fathers permission to marry you, in your ceremony script
  • Ask him to say a speech or thank him in your speech
  • If he has any special talents that you could include, such as if he’s musical to write you a song, or if he’s a great baker to make your cake, if he’s a carpenter to craft your arbour, etc.
  • Write him a hand written letter of your appreciation to read on your day
  • Incorporate a family heirloom that’s important to him
  • Take time during your portraits to get a few special photos, just the two of you
Bride Walking Herself Down The Aisle At Her Elopement Ceremony on the Mornington Peninsula

In Conclusion

Wether it’s your dad, your mum, your brother, your best friend, etc. Whomever is expecting to walk to you down the aisle. At the end of the day, you just need to stand true to you, and remember that your wedding day is only about you and your partner. Not anyone else. Despite the pressures, and expectations of the outside world, you are allowed to get married in your own authentic way. Especially if that means walking yourself down the aisle. You deserve to have the best day of your life, that feels comfortable and true to you. If that takes having one uncomfortable conversation, then we are here cheering you on! You can do it, and you will have your dream wedding day!