How do I tell my dad I don't want him to walk me down the aisle?

It's a tricky one. We are on speaking terms, but we're not super close. I think he would expect that I'll ask him, but I really don't want to. It's so awkward. Would love some advice.


Question Asked: 30/08/2022

Wedding Date: 21/10/2023

Most Helpful Response

Treasured Ceremonies

(16) · Byron Bay to Ballina , North Coast NSW and Gold Coast QLD

Posted: 18/03/2023

You need to be honest with him and start the conversation early. 
He needs to know.
He might not care, he might be releived or he might not come to the wedding - be prepared

Answered by: 6 Experts

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Maureen Miles Celebrant

(9) · Melbourne & Surroundings, Yarra Valley, Dandenongs, and Gippsland

Posted: 21/10/2022

Have the conversation sooner than later. Be clear about your wedding wishes, its going to be like this ... Consider giving him another role, witness and signing the legal paperwork for example.

Most fathers will support whatever their daughter wants, so know he will always love you no matter what happens at your wedding ceremony.

Christian Weddings Melbourne

(28) · All of Victoria

Posted: 14/09/2022

Hi Dad,

I'm so glad that you're coming to my wedding. This is a modern wedding, and we will be doing things a bit different to what used happen in the old days. I will be coming down the aisle but by myself. This is quite common these days. I'm coming down the aisle to meet the love of my life as an independent young woman who is making the desicion for herself and not so much as someone who is being "given away". I hope you can unsderstand this and enjoy being a part of this wedding. Times they are a changing!

Beswick Life Celebrations - Lesley Beswick

(4) · Ballarat, Daylesford, Ballan, Warrnambool, Bacchus Marsh, Geelong & Bellarine Peninsula

Posted: 3/09/2022

Your best approach is to keep things positive and not about the reasons why you don't want him to walk you down.

Keep things somewhat generalised. Tell him how you are happy to have him in your life. Tell him how you would like to honour him in (maybe) some other way.

DON'T have this discussion in public or in front of other family members. This is a private discussion between the both of you.

Be kind, be caring, but also be direct.

Narelle Spencer - Celebrant

(27) · Mareeba/ Cairns / Port Douglas

Posted: 31/08/2022

Very tricky one. As Sheralee said a positive approach is best, not focussing on why you don't want him to but rather why you want to walk down the aisle by yourself or with someone else. I would recommend your approach be simple in letting him know it is not about him but about you as an individual. If there is someone else you want to walk you down the aisle maybe you can talk about the importance of your relationship with this person. If you simply want to walk down the ailse by yourself to your partner then talking about what this means to you - ie the signficance of you coming to your partner as an individual and leaving as a couple. 

Have a practice conversation with your partner, thinking of the questions or comments your father may make and preparing yourself for the possible responses to his questions. 

I have had many brides not walk down the aisle with either of their parents, for various reasons. At the end of the day, the most important people on your wedding day is you and your partner and your wishes should be respected. 

Congratulations on planning your special day. 

Sheralee Everson - Celebrant

(9) · Gold Coast and Surrounds

Posted: 31/08/2022

The goal is to keep the conversation generally positive. Don’t make the conversation about the reasons you don’t want him to walk you down the aisle, but rather the ways you do honor him. You can also explain how you’re not following a number of wedding traditions, but customising the wedding to suit your personal wishes.

Context matters, too: Don’t spring the topic on dear old dad while in line at McDonalds and most definitely don’t do it in a text.

This is a conversation you’ll want to have in private ? face-to-face ? and somewhere you both feel equally comfortable.

Set aside a specific time and make sure your dad knows you have something important to discuss.

Nothing’s worse than being invited to lunch and then feeling ambushed by someone close to you.

Set expectations so you can both come to the table prepared to talk things out.

Once you’ve conveyed your wishes in an honest, considerate way, you may want to ask your dad if he’d like to be involved in the wedding in another capacity.

Some ideas are, having him walk down the aisle as part of the wedding party with a spouse... giving a reading at the ceremony, participating in the unity candle ceremony, sitting in the front row, or sharing in a special dance at the reception. 

Of course, it’s perfectly fine not to involve him in a prominent way. If that’s your preference, you can sleep easy knowing you’ve expressed your wishes as honorably and directly as possible.

While your message may cause hurt feelings, just remember that your delivery can still be kind. Directness can be difficult but it leaves no room for doubt ? your message is heard loud and clear. 

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