How to Tell Your Dad Who You'd Like to Have Walk You Down the Aisle

Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette
telling dad you want someone else walking him down aisle

Photo: Parker Young

From the moment their daughter is born, dads start dreaming about one day walking their little girls down the aisle. It's a tradition that is sweet and heartwarming, and you'll treasure those photos for years to come. But what if you're not that close with your dad, or there is someone else who means just as much to you who you'd like to have accompany you down the aisle? Here are our expert tips for letting your dad know you'd like to walk down the aisle a less-traditional way.

Changing the game plan for something like who will walk you down the aisle can be a sensitive subject, especially if you and your dad are really close and he's been waiting for this moment since you were in diapers. Whether you've decided you'd prefer to make the walk alone, are hoping your mom will be there on your other side so they can both escort you to the altar, or have a completely different person you'd like to have walk you down the aisle, be sure to tread lightly.

Before you and dad sit down to chat, think through your reasoning. Are you older, incredibly independent, or opposed to the idea of being "given away"? Were you raised by your grandfather, so you think he should have the honor? Or maybe you've got a stepfather you're just as close to as your biological one, and you're looking for a way to involve them both in such a momentous occasion?

See more: How to Coach a Shy Flower Girl to Walk Down the Aisle

Once you've gotten down to the bottom of why you're leaning away from tradition, go see your dad in person, or at least give him a call — this is not a conversation to have via text or email! Let him know that, while tradition states that he would be the one to give you away, you have really thought about it and had a different idea that you wanted to discuss with him. If you're planning to have two people walk you down the aisle, let Dad know why this other person has earned that spot in your mind. If you're going to walk solo, or would prefer that someone else walk you down the aisle, think about other ways your dad could be involved in the ceremony. Maybe there's a reading you'd love him to share, or you'd like your parents to participate in lighting a unity candle.

If you and your father aren't particularly close, the decision to have someone else walk you down the aisle may not be much of a surprise. You should still give him a seat in the front row, but aren't required to give your dad a special role if it doesn't reflect your relationship with him.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from