Hitched 2.0: Why Both My Parents Will Walk Me Down the Aisle
I’m not one of those girls who started planning her wedding before even hitting puberty. I didn’t create a pre-engagement “Someday…” Pinterest board. Nothing against those girls, but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to wait to plan my wedding until it was a real, tangible thing. (Not to mention, my tastes change on such a regular basis that, if I were to go with a wedding I planned 10 years ago, I’d probably cry upon seeing my centerpieces.)
That said, there are a few elements of my wedding that were decided well before the ring was on my finger. One of those things: My dad won’t be the only one to lead me down the aisle; rather both my parents will take that walk with me. When my sister got married in 2008, our parents walked her down the aisle together. It was the first time I had seen or heard of that happening (then again, I never thought about it before her wedding), but it made so much sense. My sister’s was one of the first weddings I had ever been to, and I just kind of figured this whole both-parents-down-the-aisle thing was becoming common. I mean, it was 2008; why stick to the antiquated idea of the father being the one to “give the bride away”?
Nearly seven years later, I haven’t been to one other wedding in which the bride was walked down the aisle by both parents, and I’m a bit surprised. I know every family is very different, and that of course affects decisions like this one. For me, having both my parents there to “give me away” (I can’t seem to write that phrase without putting it in quotes; I mean, they’re not paying a dowry) is a no brainer. I see no reason for my mom to sit in the shadows while my dad gets all the glory, if you will. I love both my parents equally, and both have played such a huge role in shaping who I am today. Certainly, my mom is no less a guiding force in my life than my dad.
I’m lucky enough to have an extremely strong relationship with my mom. Though we occasionally have our differences, I have always looked up to and respected her. And, though I’m an independent adult, I still lean on her for more than I should probably admit. She’s the first person I call when I need advice or have a question about pretty much anything, whether it’s how to cook potatoes, what to do when I’m sick, what type of mortgage to get, or where to go for affordable appliances. She accompanied my fiancé and me while looking at condos; she helped me make the decision to quit my job to pursue freelancing; and she’s been there to help with all the wedding decisions we’ve made thus far. She’s basically superwoman.
My mom is a crucial part of my life, and of our wedding—and that should include walking me down the aisle. There’s no doubt I’ll still lean on her after I’m married (I don’t think my fiancé wants to take on all those questions from me; he already has his fair share), but in that symbolic moment of the parents “passing along” the bride to her new husband (oof), I want her there, in addition to my dad.
Again, I know every family is different and every child-parent relationship dynamic is different, but I can’t help but wonder why more brides haven’t come to this same conclusion. To be clear, I have absolutely nothing against brides who choose to have their dads walk them down the aisle. I understand the appeal of tradition, and that it just might make sense for them. I’m simply surprised by how few brides I’ve encountered (so far, just one) who’ve chosen to walk down the aisle flanked by both parents.
Regardless, my decision is set and, on my wedding day, my dad and my mom will be there to hug, kiss and hand me over to my fiancé at the end of that aisle—only to have me call them the next day asking how to go about changing my name.
Hitched, our weekly column about getting married, is back! This time around, we’ll be walking down the aisle (well, in spirit) with writer Emma Sarran, who will be sharing her thoughts on long engagements, the institution of matrimony and that godforsaken wedding industrial complex every Thursday. Follow her on Twitter!