Screw Tradition—I Want My Mom To Walk Me Down The Aisle

I know that it can be emotional and beautiful for a father to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, but it just doesn’t appeal to me. In fact, it makes me feel uncomfortable. Here’s why I’m going to ask my mom to walk me down the aisle when I get hitched instead.

  1. Nothing against my dad, but I’m no man’s property. My dad is great and I love him dearly—no daddy issues here. It’s just that the idea of a man walking his daughter down the aisle is steeped in some heavy sexism and I’m not here for it. Historically, dads gave their daughters away as a sign of transferring ownership and that’s incredibly warped. No thanks!
  2. It goes back to arranged marriages. As wedding historian Susan Waggoner tells Brides, this wedding custom hails back to the days of arranged marriages. Basically, a father’s presence on the big day was a way to prevent the groom from backing out of the wedding. Uh, so women need to be protected by their fathers? The history behind this tradition just gets worse.
  3. Women were considered financial liabilities. Waggoner also claims that brides were considered financial liabilities that had to be transferred from their father’s house to that of their groom. Basically, a guy was doing the bride’s dad a huge favor by taking her on. WTF? The fact that we’re still following this ridiculous custom makes me angry AF.
  4. I don’t want to feel like an object. I’m sorry, but I refuse to follow this type of dark ages mentality, and I’m not just taking a stand when it comes to who gets to walk me down the aisle. I don’t agree that my partner should ask my father for my hand in marriage either because it’s my hand and only my opinion matters. I’m the one in control of my destiny and don’t need someone else to give my groom permission. That sounds crazy!
  5. I’m asking my mom to walk me down the aisle. And it’s not because she’s a woman. It’s because I don’t have to feel like I’m a liability or object on my wedding day. Still, I’m not just choosing her because I want to eradicate tradition. When my mom and I walk down the aisle together, she’ll represent special beliefs for me that I would want to be present on my special day.
  6. She’s a strong woman who taught me a lot. Because of her, I’m financially independent and can stand on my own two feet. My mom taught me to believe in myself and not bow down to anyone. She taught me to love myself, and that whether or not I had a romantic partner I was a worthy person who brings value to the world. Having her be the one to walk me down the aisle will remind me of those important lessons that have made me the person I am today.
  7. As women, we have choices. I’d also choose to let my mom walk me down the aisle because she’s the one I’m closest to in this world. Why should women be obligated to let their fathers take on that role in their weddings? I want to make my own choices for my wedding, and why shouldn’t I?
  8. My mom deserves to have that place of honor. She’s been there for me through thick and thin, more than anyone else. When I was growing up, I was naturally closer to her than my father. She was the nurturer while he was the disciplinarian. She was there when I had homework woes or I wanted cuddles. She dried my tears and shared many laughs with me. We grew really close, especially as I became an adult, and that relationship is one that I would want to highlight on my wedding day. Often, fathers seem to gain more of a spotlight at weddings than mothers, but I’d like to do the opposite because it will make my wedding so much more meaningful.
  9. She’s not walking me down the aisle, she’s walking with me. The idea of a woman’s father walking her down the aisle makes me think of how you might walk a dog down the road. Ugh, it’s just terrible phrasing, really, which also gets under my skin. When my mother walks me down the aisle on my wedding day, she’ll be walking with me as my friend and biggest role model.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.