Raise your hand if you don’t want someone to walk you down the aisle? Gone are the days where arranged marriages were commonplace, where traditionally women were considered property and were used as collateral to settle debts or to elevate the status of the father by marrying a daughter into a wealthy family. Originally, walking your daughter down the aisle was considered a symbol of sorts to literally “giving your daughter away”. In the last 50 or so years, the tradition has changed and brides use this to honour their parents.
But what if your parents are not in the picture? What if your parents are separated, or what if your parents and grandparents ALL want to walk you down the aisle and you merely can’t decide? Here are some suggestions to say fuck tradition do your own thing and put your own twist on this outdated tradition.
1. Walk your beloved pet down the aisle
Who says that weddings are meant to be pet free? Have your beloved furbaby (or furbabies!) accompany you down the aisle. Make your pooch or kitty feel extra special with a bowtie, flower collar or a cute ensemble that matches your colour theme.
2. Lead your guests into the ceremony
Instead of all the focus on the bride walking down the aisle, perhaps instead mingle with your guests with (or without – I’m not the boss of you) a champagne before saying I do with your partner to be. Then when the time comes to say I do – simply play your music and lead your guests to their seats, before joining your partner in the front to begin the ceremony.
3. Have an alpaca walk with you down the aisle
If you wanted the quirk factor or the element of a big surprise for your own wedding, an alpaca definitely fits the bill! Have an alpaca be your ring bearer or flower girl, or just to be the centre of attention.
4. Have your sister/brother/special family member walk you down the aisle
Although this is more commonplace nowadays; it is important to mention this. Consider a close family member that has been there for you thick and thin, has been a mentor for you, who you admire and/or want to honour on this day or simply is the parent that you never had.
5. Have your son/daughter/child/ren walk you down the aisle.
Another meaningful and beautiful idea is to have your child/ren walk you down the aisle. This is a great alternative if they are a bit too old to be a flower girl/page boy and you want to include them in the ceremony a bit more than a groomsman or bridesmaid. This is also a great and meaningful way to include your partners children, having them walk you down the aisle to your future husband/wife.
6. Go one after the other (and rock paper scissor it to see who goes first)
Who says that you have to meet each other at the end of the aisle? If your venue allows it, arrange for a secluded space for you and your loved one to sit together while everyone is arriving and hype each other up or just share that moment (and grab some photos with your photographer too!). Then when the moment comes, rock paper scissor it with your loved one to see who walks down the aisle first!
7. Walk down the aisle together
Also gaining more popularity is couples choosing to walk down the aisle together, arm in arm to signify that they are starting the new and exciting journey of marriage together as equals. This is ideal for an established couple or a couple who has been together many years and has finally tying the knot!
8. Tag team it with your chosen loved ones
If you do want a few people to walk you down the aisle but you just can’t choose or narrow it down, consider having each significant person walk you down a part of the way, taking their arm with each turn then having them follow behind you to the end of the aisle. This way, everyone gets a turn and they are all giving you away.
9. Have both of your parents/significant parent figure give both of you away at the altar.
Simple, effective and everyone wins and gets their moment to “give you away” whilst showing a union of two families coming together, without the transfer of ownership vibes. They can either “formally” give you away, or a simple hug to you both before taking their seats will more than suffice!
10. Walk yourself down the aisle
If the tradition doesn’t align with you and your values, simply don’t do it and just go alone! Be forewarned – whilst this option does solve the problem of not having to choose someone to walk you down the aisle; this does come with consequences, mainly family being hurt or upset; depending on your dynamic.
Remember – it is your wedding, do it your way! I go into depth about this a bit more in my next BLOG and how I incorporated this idea into my wedding.