1. Chocobo

    Instead of focusing on the variables, why not have the constant do the job? Have the mother walk her down the aisle.

  2. Erica

    Actually what’s important is that the daughter decides who SHE wants to give her away. Not the Mother.

  3. Winifred Rosenburg

    I agree with Erica that the daughter’s opinion is the one that counts. It’s not clear from the question whose idea was having both fathers do it together, but if that’s the daughter’s preference I really don’t see what’s wrong with it. Chocobo’s idea of the mother doing it is also a good one.

  4. Lilli

    If the daughter is worried about hurt feelings, why have anyone “give her away”? I personally think the tradition is a bit out dated – most women in the US today choose their own husbands and usually after living independly or with the future husband for a number of years. She’s really giving herself away to the man of her choosing. Granted – not letting anyone give her away may cause a whole other set of hurt feelings.

  5. Ashleigh

    Does she intend to have the traditional father/daughter dance? If so, maybe stepfather could walk her down the aisle and father could do the dance, or vice versa. This way they will both get to be included in some aspect and some amount of feelings can be spared.

  6. This describes my exact situation — so as a bride (in two weeks) I decided to include both of my fathers as I walk down the aisle.I couldn’t bear to hurt one over the other so after a lot of thought and tears I knew I had to do what was best for ME. Not for everyone else. So my father and stepfather are both walking me down the aisle. My stepfather is doing a reading at our ceremony and we are forgoing the traditional father/daughter dance and instead are doing a “family dance” to involve everyone. I will dance separately with my stepfather but not a father/daughter dance specifically.

    Doing this could cause a lot of hurt, especially for the bride. Dear Mother, let your daughter decide. I’m sure she’s already shed a lot of tears and had a lot of anguish like I have over this.

  7. JANET


    • Elizabeth

      The bride may have anyone she likes walk her down the aisle and ‘give her away’. It sounds like her mother’s fiance has been in her life for a long time and is a father-figure. I’m not sure why who’s paying for it has anything to do with it. I had both my parents walk me down the aisle. Where’s the controversy here??

    • Good afternoon, Janet,
      Two points:
      1) Please don’t use all caps when writing, as it is the internet equivalent of yelling (and can seriously foul up a person using a screen reader). The Caps Lock key is usually located to one’s left on a QWERTY keyboard.
      2) Thanks for your question. It is up to the bride who escorts her down the aisle. This may be her mother, father, both parents, grandparents, no one at all, or perhaps a brother or sister. The issue of who has paid for the wedding does not enter into this decision, as Elizabeth pointed out.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Can you please help us?
    I was asked to help research a dilemma for a couple who is marrying in September.
    The bride has asked her future father-in-law to escort her down the aisle, as she has no father or male relatives available. Her FFIL isn’t comfortable with her request and doesn’t want to do it, for personal (and well-founded) reasons. Should he comply anyway, just to be gracious, or should the bride not force the issue and realize that she can either walk alone, with her mom, or another significant friend?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Etiquette does not have strict restrictions on the subject so if all parties agreed it would be fine for FIL to escort her. However, because he is uncomfortable, the bride shouldn’t push him. Without knowing the family dynamics, I would guess that her mother would be the choice that makes the most sense as her daughter’s caregiver when she was growing up.

  9. As a stepfatgher that has a step daugther gettingmaried this coming sept. this is a question on my mind also. Her father lives over 1,000 miles away and has minimal contact. She asked if he would help with the wedding cost, he refused, as he has refused to do ANYTHING for either of his kids since they were about 14-15, now 21-22. I’v ebeen married to there mother since they were 8-9, but they lived with their father until they became teenages and it was no long convienent for him, so he dumped them on me (while still asking for his child support checks of course)……Anyway, she has invited him even though he refuses to pay toward anything, he’ll probably be the one to walk her down the alise to….My question is this….shold I feel as hurt as I do??? I’ve done everything for these kids since I’ve been in their lives, but it seems that even after 12 years of marriage I’m still just considered an outsider that is here to pay the bills and clean up thier messes……HELP ME

    • Alicia

      No you should not feel hurt. It serves no purpose but to make you feel bad. Your stepdaughter clearly loves you and likely loves her father as well. People can care for multiple people and weddings often bring up festering family conflicts. Be the bigger man as you have done and focus on making this time good for your step daughter and stop letting your ego be the issue.

    • Elizabeth

      Feelings are never “wrong,” but they can be (as Alicia pointed out) distracting and unhelpful. You say your stepdaughter did not live with you until they were teenagers. So while they likely feel love and fondness for you as a stepfather, they still have a father. It’s not unnatural or ungrateful for your SD to want her father to attend or participate in her wedding, and psychologically, it’s likely that she continues to hope that he’ll step up emotionally and financially (despite the last years of evidence to the contrary). I think you should continue to act with integrity and love (be the man that you’ll feel proud being), and you and your wife should discuss how much you can and want to contribute to the wedding. There’s nothing saying that you have to pay for all of it – the groom’s family can also contribute, and so can the couple themselves (or they can scale back). Good luck, and try to take some pride and joy in the wedding day and in your contribution to the woman your SD has become.

  10. Mon

    I am getting married June next year and have had the dilemma of who to have walk me down the aisle. I have my father who I have a good relationship with travelling from where he lives overseas to come to the wedding, but also my step-father who has no children of his own and treats me as his daughter, who I also have a good relationship with. I have broached the subject with my father, and knew it would be difficult to ask him to share this special honour with someone else, but it would make me happy for both of them to give me away. My father suggested that the aisle is split in half, so my step father walks me down the first half, then hands me to my father who then gives me away to my fiancé. I think this is a good idea, but concerned about the actual logistics of it – will it look odd to have my step father then walking behind my dad and I to take his seat next to my mother in the front row? Should I have a gap in the seating half way down the aisle to leave a good junction for the swap?! I feel that my dad would be less hurt by this method rather than fully sharing with one father on either side of me down the entire aisle. I would be grateful for some suggestions or reassurances of this unusual situation!

    • Alicia

      Step dad could hand you over to Dad and then proceed ahead of you and Dad to his seat while you and Dad pause say for a little hug and kiss on the cheek/photo op then proceed down the aisle. That way step dad has a minute to calmly but swiftly move down the rest of the aisle and be standing next to your mom when you and your Dad proceed down the rest of the aisle

  11. Renee

    I am way late on this thread but I need advise too. I grew up in foster care and the woman who was my child advocate is now the one I consider my mom. She has been in my life since I was 11. This is my second marriage (getting married in May 2014), as well as my fiance’s. I asked my mom to walk me down the aisle for my first wedding and would like her to do it again but I am very torn. I have a 4 year old son from my first marriage and want him to walk me down the aisle. We’ve already asked him to be the ring bearer but the more I think about it, I feel like he should walk me down the aisle. My dilemna is this… I want my mom and my son to walk me down the aisle but I don’t know how to do it and still make it look classy/elegant. My second dilmena is can my son walk me down the aisle and still be the ring bearer or is that too much? He will be 5 by then. Please give me any advice you may have. Thanks!

    • Alicia

      Yes your son can easily hold the rings while walking you down the aisle. Maybe putting the ring in his pocket so hands free to escort you down. Your son on one side and your honorary mom on the other is a lovely option. Either that or you could give your honorary mom the traditional mom role of being escorted in by a groomsman and then have yourself escorted by your son. Then have mom do say the parents toast at the reception.
      But really anything that works for you will be lovely.

  12. Emily

    I am getting married in a year and have a similar dilemma. My parents got dovorced when I was young and I stayed with my dad full time till I was 17. His new wife and I didn’t really get along so I got a job and moved out. Long story short my dad and I don’t really have a relationship anymore. My mum is still in the picture but I’m not really that close to her as I haven’t lived with her for most of my life. I feel like my dad made me who I am today but having him walk me down the aisle is not an option. I am paying for my entire wedding so that’s not an issue. I was just wondering if it was okay to walk myself down the aisle or should I have my mum even though i don’t feel close to her at all.

  13. Michelle

    My dad is deceased and I have a stepfather. I have asked my step father and my brother to walk me down the aisle. This is my second wedding and I am wondering what my step father and brother are supposed to say when they are asked who gives the bride away.

  14. Felicia Villermaux

    Who should I pick to walk me down the aisle my Step dad who has been in my life since i was 6 and has been there for me and my children or my dad who has been in and out since I was 6. I still love my dad very much even with are issues and don’t want to hurt his feelings but I worry about him not showing up or not having suitable clothing, he has a history of drug addiction. I have considered my oldest brother or mom but I feel both would be upset by not picking them and i don’t want to walk alone. Please help!!

    • Elizabeth

      In situations like yours, sometimes brides ask dad to walk them halfway down the aisle, and then have step-dad escort them the rest of the way (or visa versa). Personally, I would suggest you ask your stepdad to do it. It sounds as though he was the real father-figure in your life. Your dad’s feelings may very well be hurt. However, we reap what we sow, and his lack of involvement in your life doesn’t make him a great candidate for this honor now. I would give the honor to the man who has been there for you.

      Another way to think about it: you actually have two moments that are traditionally done with one’s father: walking down the aisle and the first dance. You could have each one participate in one of them. I would recommend having stepdad walk you down the aisle, and then biodad do the first dance, if only because he will have been there for awhile and a trusted friend can have time to assess the clothes/drugs situation in advance and quietly ask stepdad to step in if biodad is unable.

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