Should the father walk her down the aisle if he gives her away?

Hi, my daughter is getting married next month. She asked me, her dad, to give her away. I assumed that meant I would walk her down the aisle. Her mom told me the other day that her husband would be walking her down the aisle though. Is it normal for a step dad to walk her down the aisle, and the dad step up and give her away? I guess this wouldn’t bother me so much but my daughter doesn’t like her step dad. He has done terrible things to my kids and I just don’t know if this is right or not. It is very disappointing to me that I would not be able to walk my little girl down the aisle…

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Father,

Many times the fathers will share the honor. This is not uncommon.

But, if it is true that your daughter asked you, her mother changed the plan, and the step father has been less than fatherly, this may have more to do with what your ex wants than what your daughter wants. Please talk to your daughter about this. If she wants you to walk her down the aisle, she should be with you. This is my opinion only, but, it just seems right. This is her wedding and she should make this decision.

Good luck on this and please keep in touch.


Well I did find out that she doesn’t want her step dad to walk her down the aisle but her mom has guilted her into doing so. I guess it’s easier to insult dad than to make waves with mom.
Thanks for your opinion.


Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I am so sorry, Jeff. I suppose you are the bigger person here by not making your daughter feel any more guilty than she already does.

Take care

Yvonne Kelly, MSW, RSW, Certified Stepfamily Counsellor and Coach

Under circumstances where your daughter had a good relationships with her stepfather, it would be quite natural and beneficial for her to involve both of you in this way, if it was truly her choice. However, it seems that it wasn’t her choice, and in that case I can understand how you might be feeling very hurt and slighted. I don’t believe however, that your daughter’s intentions were to insult you in any way. Like most children (adult or otherwise) of divorced or separated families, she has probably felt at many times in her life like she is caught in the middle of various parents and stepparents. Perhaps, by going along with her mother’s wishes, she has chosen the path of least resistance at this time, in order to avoid conflict. Please don’t take this as an insult, but try to recognize how difficult a situation she is in and how she must be struggling with this. She isn’t getting what she wants either.

My advice is simply to love and accept her unconditionally, and respect her decision whatever it ends up being. If she simply can’t deal with the conflict at this time, then support her through this. If on the other hand, she simply needs a strong person in her corner so that she can take a stand on this issue, then perhaps you can support her in that. Doing that could also have an effect on her relationship with her mother and stepdad if them having control in her life has been an issue up to now. It sounds like you have a relationship where you can talk about things and that’s great. Let her know that you understand how hard this must be and that you’ll be there for her no matter what she decides. Your love and support may prove to be the very thing she needs to become the strong and confident young adult she wants to be.

Best of Luck!


Thanks to both of you. I did have a talk with my daughter and let her know that no matter what I love her and will be there for her. She decided that in no way was the step-dad that treated her horribly and beat her mom in front of them many times was about to walk her down the aisle. After we talked about she decided to tell mom that she wouldn’t be getting her way in this wedding. She decided to let her mom be walked down the aisle by her husband instead of my daughter. So we came up with a way to end this with satisfactory on everyones behalf pretty much, although my daughter really doesn’t want step dad in the ceremony at all this will be a comprimise that my daughter will be able to live with.

Thanks much,