Photo: Parker Young
While you're worrying about sinking your heels into the grass, tripping over your cathedral-length veil, or your tears washing your mascara down your face as you walk down the aisle, your father is likely having his own internal dialogue — a beautiful mix of joy, love, and even a little wistful sadness. Want the inside scoop? Here, five dads dish on how they felt as they gave their daughters away.
"My daughter was 31 when I gave her away," says one father, "so you'd think I would have been prepared. I wasn't. I could barely hold back the tears. I couldn't help but think that the time had flown — that this beautiful young woman, I swear, had just been small enough to fit in the crook of my arm."
"I didn't have the pleasure of getting to know my son-in-law very well before the wedding day," says another. "So as we started to walk, I remember thinking, Am I doing the right thing, giving her to this man I don't know? Is he good enough for her? Then I looked from my daughter, who was smiling from ear-to-ear, to her fiancé, who was choking back tears as he watched. And I knew it was going to be OK."
"I was proud, and so happy," says one dad. "My daughter had accomplished so much by her wedding day, and I knew she was about see another dream come true. I was so glad I got to literally help her take the steps toward that dream."
"To be honest, I was nervous I would trip over her veil!" admits another dad. "She had such a long veil, and they had an outdoor wedding on a very, very windy day. That thing was whipping around like a kite! And I just thought, Please God don't let me embarrass her on her big day!"
"I felt all the feelings: Pride, joy, but also sadness," says another. "Because even though I was happy for my daughter and I liked her fiancé very much, there was a sense of loss. I knew that after we finished that walk, she was officially someone else's responsibility, and I wasn't ready to give up my little girl."