Updated: Aug 16, 2019
So, it looks as if Meghan Markle’s father may not be walking her down the aisle when she marries Prince Harry on Saturday. Actually, this is not an uncommon occurrence at wedding ceremonies, either due to circumstances (eg: illness or other problem) or choice. Whatever the reason, a break with tradition is something which should be embraced - it is an opportunity to add something new and, maybe, start your own family tradition!
When you think about it, just about no-one has a ‘traditional’ iced, fruit cake at their wedding, these days - unless they really want one. Most people choose flavours and designs which they really like (and hooray for Meghan and Harry’s lemon and elderflower cake) - and the same should apply to every aspect of your day.
For some women, the idea of being ‘given away’ makes them want to scream, but many would still like to be escorted and supported by someone on their walk down the aisle - whether that’s their father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter or another relative or friend - and why not? We just don’t use the phrase ‘giving away’ in the ceremony - it’s not compulsory! Some brides (eg: Serena Williams) are happy to walk down the aisle by themselves, and other couples choose to walk (or dance!) in together.
This is me and my father on my wedding day (yes, ok, it was a long time ago!). He was nervous about walking me down the aisle, but really wanted to do it and, looking back, that walk is one of my most vivid memories of the day.
However, the idea of standing up and making any sort of speech scared him to death! We really wanted our day to be as relaxed and stress-free as possible for everyone, so decided that we wouldn’t have any speeches at all at our reception (I think my husband was secretly quite relieved, too!). That way, we just had a really informal gathering of our family and friends, without drawing attention to the fact that there wasn’t a ‘Father of the Bride’ speech. Perfect!
A couple of years later, here is my younger brother marrying the lovely Emma. Now, this was a girl very much ahead of her time in that, as well as all the usual speeches at the reception, she wanted to make one, too - and here she is doing just that!
She spoke from the heart and, again, it is something I will always remember.
The key thing is to do what makes you happy, not just because you think you should - or shouldn't!