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Old Kenny4842
 
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What to do if father of the bride is deceased?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 01-16-04 , 01:06 AM


Hi all, not engaged yet but I do have a question.
My girlfriends dad passed away from cancer a few years back. (I never had the chance to meet him.) She has already told me that no one can replace her dad and when we do get married she wants to walk down by herself.

How can we honor her Father at the wedding? I know she misses him a lot and I wish their was someway I could make it seem like he was there for her. I was thinking maybe getting a big picture and putting it up front...

Just wondering what other people may have done. Thanks

Last edited by Kenny4842 : 01-16-04 at 01:07 AM.
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 01-16-04 , 01:42 AM


Is she close to her mother? Personally, I am going to have my mother walk me down when I marry, for other reasons besides yours (father was/is not a positive force in my life and mother truly deserves that role, besides, I'm a momma's girl ). If I had a good relationship with my father, I suppose I'd have both parents walk me down - that seems much more equal opportunity than what everybody does - hey why hasn't anyone thought of that yet? I'm not religious/traditional so the whole non-male thing doesn't bother me at all. If she is, though, I'd recommed a big (failing that, little) brother. If she doesn't have any, a strong male in her life - maybe an uncle, even a granfather if one exists?

I like the mom idea best because why should Mom get shafted anyway? By your GF saying she wants to walk alone I see that as an insult to her - why wouldn't she consider her mother? But if she's a really traditional gal I guess she wouldn't have considered anybody *but* Dad would be "fit" to do that. Still, he's gone now so you'd think it would occur to her. Anyway, I really mean no offense to her here but I would try to find out why maybe she hasn't thought of that (unless they don't get along or something).

Try not to make her feel like you're avoiding or covering up the fact that he's gone though. Maybe after the surrogate male walks her up the priest/speaker could make the brief mention that the bride's ____ accompanied her as her father is longer here with us but never forgotten. You get the idea. That could be a nice touch and that way she wouldn't have to go alone but would still be acknowledging him at the end. It could actually be a sweet surprise too, to do a private dedication to him, but just make sure it won't bring up too may sad tears. Only happy ones.

PS: I just scrolled up and noticed the big picture thing. That's what I was thinking along for the dedication - floral display, nice photo (of them together?) and little speech/mention.

Good luck.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 01-16-04 , 01:55 AM


Hi Kenny, welcome to DT. Looks like I missed your first few posts but it's great to have you here all the same.

How about a nice collage of photos showing them in happy times? I feel if she wants to walk alone, there's nothing wrong with that. There is no set rule as far as I know. Death, and dealing with it is a different experience for everyone. Perhaps if she wants to walk alone, it is her way of honoring her father. I would gently feel her out and if she is set on doing so, you shouldn't push. If she is open, then offer her what ever suggestions you feel are reasonable that she may go for. Maybe the honor could even come at the reception, say a special video presentation or slide show especially dedicated to her dad. Again, it will depend on what she is open to.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 01-16-04 , 02:35 AM


[Maybe the honor could even come at the reception, say a special video presentation or slide show especially dedicated to her dad. Again, it will depend on what she is open to.]osted by: Kmom

I think this sounds so beautiful! I have been to a few weddings where they did a video / slide show of the bride and groom growing up and including school and friends, Wow! to do something like that of special photos capturing their (father/daughter) happiness and setting it with music like "Daddy's little girl" or "butterfly kisses" ... WOW!

I think if my father had passed, I would want my FH to ask my mother for my hand in marraige, kinda like, I respect you and thank you for bringing and raising such a wonderful daughter into this world, I am so honored, and look forward to us all becoming a family.

I think walking down the isle alone is a personal choice. I don't personally find it the least bit insulting, what ever the person is comfortable with, should be respected, it is their wedding, right?

P.S. Welcome to DT. You seem very sensitive to your FW's feelings and obviously respect her as well. Best wishes to the both of you, and may happiness fill your lives!

Joy

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 01-16-04 , 08:31 AM


On second thought I think the remebrance at the reception is a better idea than during the wedding. Maybe I'd keep that part more limited there and save the real dedication for the reception - the mood will probably be lighter, warmer - less stiff - than the actual ceremony and since the "important" part would be over people could focus and reflect on that even more rather than have it weighing down during the procession, etc.

Again, good luck.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 01-16-04 , 08:49 AM


The last wedding I went to, they had a wedding picture from the bride's parents and from the groom's parents. It was really sweet. Maybe you could have a picture of the dad sitting by the cake presentation.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 01-16-04 , 09:34 AM


If someone close to your girlfriendís father is doing a reading at the ceremony they could dedicate a reading to him. Maybe a nicely framed picture of her father with some candles for people to light if they wish, can be set up at the church or a similar dedication display at the reception.

As for her walking down the aisle by herself, I think itís perfectly fine. Itís like a statement that no one can take her fatherís place. He will be by her side in spirit.



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 01-16-04 , 09:38 AM


I think the first thing to do is make sure she's *capable* of walking down the aisle by herself. I know I couldn't have handled it at my wedding and it was my mother who passed, not my father.

I don't know if it's like this for everyone, but my research into it suggests that if you lose a parent at an early age it feels like you're losing them again at every milestone.

I remember that while planning my own wedding I would just break down trying to figure out the wording for the invitations or the newspaper announcement. It was a very hard time for me and my DH, and he had never met her-he was concerned for me.

I also remember asking the photograper to make sure to not ask for the mother of the bride since there wasnt' one. I would have lost my cool for sure if that had happened.

I understand and respect her need to honor her father, but I think she needs to make sure she's not making things unecessarily hard on herself. I know I took my mother's death hard, possibly harder than normal, I don't know. I just don't want your lady suffering anymore than she has to out of what she feels is a need to acknowledge her father.

Good luck with the decision; I hope your day is wonderful.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 01-16-04 , 11:12 AM


My father passed away from cancer several years before our wedding also. My husband never had the pleasure to meet him.

During our wedding, instead of lighting a unity candle, we lit a rememberance candle for those who had passed on and could celebrate with us. This was mainly to remember my father, but it took on special meaning for DH also, as he had been very close to his grandfather.

I knew long ago that even had my father been alive he would not be walking me down the aisle, because I did not like the idea of being "given away". Instead, DH and I met in the back of the sanctuary and holding hands, walked down the aisle together - symbolizing the start of our marriage together, on equal footing. We had many people comment later that they loved they symbolism in our ceremony. Best of luck to the two of you and whatever you decide.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 01-16-04 , 01:40 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by dberg


Instead, DH and I met in the back of the sanctuary and holding hands, walked down the aisle together - symbolizing the start of our marriage together, on equal footing.


I've always loved this idea. You are starting your own family with your own traditions, after all.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 01-16-04 , 07:40 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by memphisluvr


I don't know if it's like this for everyone, but my research into it suggests that if you lose a parent at an early age it feels like you're losing them again at every milestone.



Jami, this really touched me. Losing a parent is hard enough. I can't imagine losing them before your adult milestones begin.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 01-16-04 , 08:05 PM


Dberg,

I really like that idea.

Not all tradition is bad tradition but I never really liked the dogmatic undertones of the whole "given away by one man to another" thing myself. It's kind of along the lines of dowries from the bride's family in exchange for the hand of the girl. Apologies to Kenny if he took offense to some of my earlier comments - I really meant nothing personal and do wish you both a beautiful day with the focus on future happiness and not past sorrow. I don't think her father should be forgotten from the picture at all, but the fact that the mother was never considered struck me as off too. The fact that my relationship with my father is not a very positive one allows me to see things from a point of view I might otherwise not. If our relationship was normal and idylic maybe I'd never think about my mother's role or symbolism in the occasion. But because it's not, I find it much easier to notice the certain things that I end up questioning.

Not everyone thinks of it this way - I'm sure most people know the whole "deeper meaning" that Dberg alluded to - but they may not internalize it in such a way that it becomes anything negative. Instead they may focus on the loving, sentimental side of it - which I'll certainly agree there is one. I just don't like the feeling of one parent traditionally taking on a more "important" role simply because of his sex. Ideally, I think the most important person in your life up until the marriage (because then your spouse becomes that) should walk you down the aisle - it seems obvious to me that that would be a parent most of the time, but not always necessarily dad. Then the idea of choosing one over the other seems horrible, and nobody does that consciously, but in a way, just by assuming right off the bat that it will be always be the father, they kind of do.

And I'm not arguing that the men should be slammed down and excluded for payback either - just that everyone is given equal thought during the occasion (assuming the couple has an equally good relationship with both). Frankly I think the groom seems to get left out of the 'show' aspect of it more than anyone else and I don't think that's right. He should be just as much a part of this occasion as his bride. I think walking down the aisle together, in unity, is a really beautiful - and powerful - symbol.

After reading the initial post I brought this whole thread up with my boyfriend - I always assumed my mom would walk me down because she deserves that title, but I may run this idea by him because I think that's pretty neat too.

edited to condense though it didn't help much


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 01-16-04 , 09:25 PM


Kenny,

Best of wishes on what you and your bride decide on for your wedding and ceremony traditions.

I feel strongly that TRADITIONS should serve people, not the people serving traditions. Having said that, there are some beliefs that both parents should escort both the bride and groom to the alter. It symbolizes that they have brought their children to where they are now, and now the bride and groom are their OWN family. I like that particular tradition because it seems well thought out and makes sense.

There are many ways to honor a deceased parent. In one instance, the invite read some thing like the following:

Mr. and Ms. Smith invite you to the wedding of their daughter
THE BRIDE
To the son of Ms. And the late Mr. Jones
The Groom

Gosh, I think I butchered that, but you get the idea. I would make suggestions, but your girlfriend/fianceís relationship with her dad is her own. Let her make the final decision.

Best of luck with all your planning. Also try www.theknot.com, I've found a lot of good suggestions there.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 01-16-04 , 09:36 PM


[QUOTEJami, this really touched me. Losing a parent is hard enough. I can't imagine losing them before your adult milestones begin. [/QUOTE]

Thank you for the consideration. For me it's *so* true; big events always make her absence more apparent.

That's why I'm so concerned for the lady in question-if she's anything like me in this, she'll be a wreck and walking down the aisle alone will only make the absence much more apparent.

Getting married is terribly frightening regardless of the stability of the relationship and having no one there to support you as you walk toward the "impending doom" takes a strength that I'm not willing to test.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 01-17-04 , 12:44 AM


Wow thanks for all the replies! I posted this late last night and didn't get a chance to respond until now. I can't respond to every single one but I just wanted to thank everyone. You all have had good ideas. I will be letting my girlfriend read this thread when the time is closer.

Synicgrrl, I think you hit the nail on the head with this/
"But if she's a really traditional gal I guess she wouldn't have considered anybody *but* Dad would be "fit" to do that. "


She has said that she doesn't want her mother to walk with her either.
Her mother will be the one to give her away when asked though.

My question wasn't really who should walk with her, she has stated already that she wants to go alone, and her mother agrees with that. I was mostly wanting to know how I could make her dad part of the wedding even though he is gone.

Once again thanks for all the replies they have been very usefull.


- Kenny

Last edited by Kenny4842 : 01-17-04 at 12:48 AM.
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 01-27-04 , 03:44 AM


Hi Kenny,

Welcome to DT!

I'm not engaged, but I have spent time thinking about how I would honor my father at my future wedding. My father passed away from cancer over 5 years ago - our last few years with him were very sweet.

I really like dberg's suggestion of a candle to light to honor those who can't be here today... that is so sweet.

I definitely want to dedicate my video slide show to my father during the reception. It will be a normal slide show, with my baby pics, FH's baby pics, pictures of us growing up, etc, but at the end I plan to have a moment of silence and some words on the screen that say something like "This is dedicated in loving memory of..."

I'm planning to put a dedication to my father in the wedding program - a message, or even a poem to him.

This might sound a bit strange - but I've also considered going to the cemetery after the ceremony and before the reception. Usually, the time in between is used for taking photos, but if FH is up for it, I would also like to have photos taken of us in our wedding clothes, placing flowers on my father's grave. Some people may think it's a bit morbid, though, especially because we are chinese (but Christian!) and I think it would be considered "bad luck" to go to the cemetery on your wedding day. But I think it is a sweet thing, and I don't believe in superstition anyway! Also, the cemetery around here is a beautiful place - on top of a mountain, with views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. It's a breathtaking view, ver peaceful. In fact, my parents chose the site together, and my dad said that he wanted it to be a 'happy' place so that we would go visit often .

Those are all the things I've thought of so far. If you come up with anything else, please let me know too!

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Re: What to do if father of the bride is deceased?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 09-18-09 , 10:55 PM


i have just gotten engaged and my father has also passed away. he died last year from cancer and my fiance never had the chance to meet him. ever since i got engaged i kept thinking of what i would do without him walking me down the aisle. i also believe no one can replace my father. the idea i came up with is that i will walk down the aisle with my dad in spirit. i am going to have a bouquet made with a candle in the center lit to represent my father.

hope this helps

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Re: What to do if father of the bride is deceased?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 09-18-09 , 11:05 PM


musicgurl,
this thread is a little old. If you notice I actually started it in 2004, which was 5 years ago. LOL.
Your idea sounds great though and I know you will miss your father on your special day, just remember he is there in spirit.
O' and Welcome to Diamond talk, I found these forums to be of a great help, and I am sure you will too.
Take care.

Last edited by Kenny4842 : 09-18-09 at 11:09 PM.
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