The afternoon of my wedding, when I was heading into the bridal suite at the hotel to get into my wedding gown and get the show on the road, I stepped into the elevator and realized that my father-in-law to-be was inside. I walked in, all make-uped and hair-did, and he looked at me and said “Well, I know you!” and gave me a huge smile. I was so happy to have run into him, and to have a moment to tell him I loved him and that I couldn’t wait to marry his son. It was one of the best little moments of the day, knowing I was marrying into a wonderful family who would love me as much as my own parents and my new husband.
June 17, 2011
Father of the Bride…
On this weekend of Father’s Day, it’s time to think about how you are including your Dad in your wedding. Traditionally the father-of-the-bride is recognized by giving the bride away, and with a father-daughter dance. But some families are more complicated than that. With more and more couples paying for the wedding themselves, without the traditional help of the bride’s family, sometimes the old way of doing things (perhaps with a toast from the father-of-the-bride, as the host of the wedding) just doesn’t seem to make sense. But involving him in the wedding planning process, and the wedding itself, can be really great no matter what. If you choose to dance together, let him select the music. If you’re being walked down the aisle by your Dad, but have a Step-Dad, too, consider including him in another way, so he feels as much a part of the family as everyone else. If you prefer to walk down the aisle with both your parents (as is common in the Jewish tradition, among others) or even alone, make sure you let him know you appreciate him. And if you are in the more sad family situation where your father is no longer with you, you can still include him in the ceremony in as subtle or strong a manner as you see fit. From a note in the program, to a candle lit in his honor, there are many ways to make sure that your father is recognized on your wedding day.
Remember your new father-in-law, too! It’s as important to include your groom (or bride’s) father in the festivities- how you interact with your new father figure at the beginning of your marriage can really set the tone for how you handle each other in the years to come. Take the time to seek him out and chat with him before and during the wedding, or include him in the ceremony if that would be comfortable for him. The wedding day is so short, and whips by so quickly, but making sure you take the time to find a moment with everyone in your new family can really set the tone for a long and happy relationship for the rest of your wedded life.
Father’s Day is only once a year. Consider making your wedding day another day to recognize all the fathers in your life for their love and support, and let them know how happy you are to have them!
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