A Modern Guide to Going Down the Aisle


For some women, walking down the aisle with their father is a moment they’ve dreamed of their whole lives. But for many modern couples, this antiquated tradition is problematic. Perhaps you weren’t raised by a father, your father has passed, or you have a complicated family dynamic where someone could get offended or left out. Maybe you’re a couple without a bride in the mix or both of you are brides. Maybe the whole idea of the bride being ‘given away’ by her father rubs you the wrong way. Whatever the reason, many couples are choosing to mix up the aisle walk a little or even abandon the aisle altogether (think circular ceremony setups).

Even Meghan Markle had to tackle this problem at her royal wedding when her father couldn’t attend. She found an elegant solution that was appropriate for her and so can you! Modern weddings are all about keeping the traditions that feel right and ditching those that don’t. So here are seven creative alternatives to having your father walk you down the aisle.

Walk down the aisle with both your parents. Don’t want to leave mom out? Have both your parents walk with you. You could also split the walk so one of them walks half way with you before the other takes over. This also works well with a dad and stepdad, for example.

Walk down the aisle with another family member. Ask a grandparent, a sibling, an aunt or uncle, even your pooch! Or, if you have children, having them walk you down the aisle can be especially meaningful.

Go it alone. You’re a strong, independent person, so don’t hesitate to walk down the aisle solo. If the Duchess of Sussex can do it, so can you!

Walk down the aisle together. Many couples now choose to meet at the top of the aisle and walk it together. It’s a lovely way to signify that you are taking this journey together as equals.

Meet at the altar: A fun twist on walking the aisle together is to walk it separately but at the same time. You could enter at either side of the altar or set up your ceremony space with two aisles.

Lead a procession: A procession is a really fun way to make your guests feel like a community. Have them gather away from the ceremony area and then follow the wedding party. You could have ribbons and banners or a musical accompaniment for an extra festive feel.

Have guests enter last: Flip the traditional aisle walk on its head by keeping the ceremony space closed off. You and your partner enter first and wait at the altar. Guests can then enter and find their seats. For a more relaxed feel, you could mingle with them as they arrive.

How will you be making your entrance?



Image by Simone Photography