10 Powerful Ways to Honor Dad at Your Wedding
In honor of Father's Day, let's talk about the different ways we can honor dad on your wedding day! This might be a difficult subject if your father wasn't really in the picture or if he's no longer with us (and in either case, I am really, truly sorry), but even in those situations, we can find beautiful ways to honor the person who filled the role in our life or to honor his memory.
1. Walk down the aisle. This is tradition at it's finest, in my opinion. I've read a lot about brides forgoing this tradition because of what it meant in regards to women being considered "property" once upon a time. But if we can look past the antiquated societal meaning behind this tradition and look at the beauty of dad being the man of your life and entrusting your life, well being, heart to your husband -- it's one of the most beautiful moments in the entire ceremony. Gets me all teary-eyed at every wedding (and even thinking about it). If dad wasn't in the picture, but an uncle, older brother, friend of the family, step-dad, or even single mom filled this role for you it carries the same significance.
2. Daddy-Daughter Dance. Now I'm also a complete sucker for the daddy-daughter dance. Again, a beautiful tradition that has longevity for a reason. To me it signifies the love between a father and daughter that even after she marries, is not replaced. And I'm sure most of us have a song that makes us think about dad (I've got 2- "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks and "I'm Already There" by Lonestar) that we can't listen to without crying. What a beautiful way to communicate your gratefulness to dad for everything he's done in raising you to be the woman that you are. And just like the walk down the aisle, this can be done with anyone who has been "dad" in your life. Also, here's a really sweet picture of me and my dad dancing. Come on... who doesn't want one of these for the photo album?!
3. Wear dad's heart. This is one I saw on Pinterest awhile back and I just fell in love with! Take one of dad's shirt and have a heart cut out of it and have it sewn onto your dress. Could be on the back where it can be seen or could be in the lining right against yours. (This is a really sweet way to have dad with you if he has passed away)
4. First look with dad. It's becoming a bigger and bigger logistical trend for the husband and wife to be to do a "first look" before the ceremony. It's a beautiful moment that the photographer and videographer capture, but is done pretty privately. Away from family, bridal party, and guests. A beautiful precedent to this would be a first look with dad (and mom; bride and groom with their respective parents). Before you run off to gush over your husband to be (and him to gush over you, I mean really though...) take a private moment with your parents and have it documented.
If dad has passed away...
5. Have whoever walks you down the aisle wear his cologne.
6. Wear his heart (see #3).
7. Walk the aisle alone, but with his photo OR if you have someone escorting you, have mom walk with his photo.
8. Save a seat for him at the table. Memorialize him with a photo or an old suit jacket on his chair.
9. Use something of his. Did dad have a favorite pen? Use it to sign your marriage certificate. What about a favorite wine glass or coffee mug? Use it during the ceremony. Find something that had meaning to dad and find a creative way to incorporate it into the day.
10. Have a moment of silence in his memory during the ceremony or reception.