Who should give you away at your wedding? Are there certain rules and conventions you feel compelled to follow when it comes to this aspect of the wedding? Like most other wedding-related decisions, this really depends on you. There are definitely more traditional schools of thought, but does that mean you shouldn’t break the giving-away mold? A good start is knowing all your options and we describe a few below.
Father or Father-Like Figure
This is certainly the traditional choice and is a perfect one if you have a good relationship with your father. But what about those who have a father that’s passed or not present? Should they automatically forgo tradition? It’s up to you. Perhaps there’s a man other than your biological father who raised you, such as a step dad or grandparent. You may choose someone who has been like a father to you, thus fulfilling the father role ceremonially.
If you have a great relationship with your dad, should you go for this choice? Just because you have this as an option doesn’t mean it has to be your automatic decision. If going with the traditional route will make your day perfect, then great! Having your father walk you down the aisle is more than just tradition for some. It can be a deeply personal choice that makes the whole day feel complete and special. If this is you, don’t worry about being judged for going with the same old, same old. Sometimes things are traditional for a reason!
Now, does traditional mean you can’t have your mother walk you down the aisle? Absolutely not. For some, this is the obvious choice. If you have a close relationship with your mother, then this may feel totally natural. This is especially true if your mother has been involved throughout the whole process of your engagement. Choosing someone who feels close to not only you but to the relationship as well is important. Your mother may also be a natural second choice if your father is not present for your wedding.
This choice can be a special one. In some situations, a person’s grandparents act as or double as their parents. If your grandparents raised you, don’t feel trapped by tradition. Having your grandparents walk you down the aisle can be special for everyone involved. Some people also choose their grandparents to play this role because of their age—they want to share this moment with their grandfather or grandmother so they can cherish the memory forever, even after they pass. If you’d like to walk with a grandparent down the aisle to your soon-to-be husband or wife, but they have some physical limitations, you can always cater the walk to their needs. Consider placing them at the front for a very short walk or providing them assistance. You could also have your grandma or grandpa simply place your hand in your beloved’s, walking to them yourself so they don’t need to go far.
There may be some situations where an extended family member is the obvious choice. You may be very close to an aunt or uncle and want them to give you away. Should you make this choice even though it’s a bit different? If you feel closer to an extended family member than you do to anyone else, you’re not wrong in making that choice.
Is it appropriate to have your adoptive parents walk you down the aisle? Of course it is! These people have raised you. They are your parents. If there is awkwardness because of your biological parents’ presence at the wedding, you can either explain to them the significance of your adoptive parents walking you down or you can try to include them in the process as well. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Not everyone’s family is simple and straightforward. Some have multiple people they’d like to honor with the giving-away and that is totally okay.
If none of these options feel right, there’s always the option to choose no one. You can give yourself away. After all, you’ve been there the whole time. You’re the one who fell in love with your partner. You yourself have chosen to make a commitment to them, so you shouldn’t feel any shame in this choice.
Who should give you away? Follow your instincts. After you read this, which choice felt most natural to you? Whomever you choose, it should only add to the day’s happiness.