This inquiry came from one of our readers:
Q: I will be widow/mother-of-brideand will walk my daughter down the aisle.Do you have any ideas about this and also the dance with her at the reception? This situation is so common place and yet not much is written or discussed about the mother of the bride as only or single parent.
A: I think you’re absolutely right and that many wedding traditions we still practice today are actually quite antiquated. The modern family make-up does not necessarily include one father and one mother. In some cases you may have step-parents who are just as involved in the children’s lives, in others you may have just one parent and in others still you may have two fathers or two mothers.
I think it is completely the right thing to do to customize the wedding so that it makes sense for your unique family. Since the bride’s father can’t be there to have a father-daughter dance, you may take his place for a mother-daughter dance. If you’re not as comfortable or feel awkward with this arrangement, perhaps you could designate another family member, for instance a grandfather or a brother to dance with the bride. Or you can take this tradition out of the reception altogether. Another idea would be for the bride to dance with her new father-in-law and for your new son-in-law to honor you with a dance.
At the end of the day, the wedding should be about the bride and groom, so you should try to accommodate your daughter as much as possible. If it will mean a lot to her to have the dance with you or another family member, it will be all the more special if you make it happen.