Walking the aisle alone is not as rare as you may think. A few people have asked who’s walking me down the aisle on my Wedding Day. Traditionally it is the Father of the Bride who “Gives the Bride away” – having its origins of course in the daughter being his property (and becoming the husband’s property on the Wedding Day).
I don’t have a Dad – or Mum – or indeed any other close relative, other than my little brother, and for me, there’s no one whom could reasonably be thought of as my proprietor.
While it’s an often beautiful, and symbolic moment, for fathers to pass their daughter onto her groom to become his bride, it’s one that I’ve now lost the privilege of, but it’s fine by me. I’m 26, independent and self-sufficient. I’m no one’s property, and nor will I be, once married. I’m not saying that in honouring this tradition, that other brides are being treated like property (at all), but it’s a custom I’ve long been prepared to go without and that’s okay.
While I may be in a fairly unique position, it’s not unusual nowadays that the once clear-cut family roles in a wedding are foregone for individual circumstance and personal preference.
Family is what you make it, and blended families might mean a difficult choice between biological fathers, step-fathers and other important male role models. There’s no reason you shouldn’t instead have a brother, sister, family friend or one of your bridesmaids accompany you down the aisle. Alternatively, like me, you could always go it alone.
I’ve been thinking about this decision: how will it look; how will I feel; will I be able to do it (no stable arm to lean on if my knees go weak when I see Blair!).
How will it look?
I won’t be the first (or the last) to walk the aisle alone, so I’ve been looking for photos of other brides making the solitary walk. There’s not many, but those that do look strong and independent. Of course, bridesmaids walk the aisle alone, so there’s plenty of images of unaccompanied women walking down the aisle, and I’m very comfortable that it looks fine!
How will it feel?
On the one hand, I walk everywhere else sans one arm linked to an older man (Blair aside haha!), so perhaps this should not be any different. On the other, I don’t walk toward most groups of 75 people with them all staring at me. Walking the aisle is an emotionally driven and confronting experience at the best of times, and I anticipate that it might be really tough. I’ll be reminded of the reality of being without parents, and exposed to so many pairs of eyes, I can imagine feeling quite exposed.
Will I be able to do it?
I can only hope so. Whether it’s imagining all my guests in their underwear, or locking eyes on Blair and focussing on putting one foot in front of another. I could of course ask my brother to hover nearby incase I falter, but I hope that I feel strong and confident, empowered by the memory of my Mum and Dad in my spirit.
One woman who walked the aisle was Philippine popstar Heart Evangelista, who married Senator Chiz Escudo earlier this year. Asked who’d be giving her away, she said “I’ll walk by myself… It’s gonna be that little brave, that little girl in me. I have to be brave and this is my choice.”
In doing so Heart also took a stand against Philippine/Asian conservatism and showed the world her independence. Of course, she looked stunning and radiant, confident and strong doing so. I’m looking forward to doing the same
Update: Here’s a photo of me walking up the aisle alone on our wedding day. Didn’t trip!