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Is it unusual not to have your father give you away at your wedding and have your brother do it instead?

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Question - (11 September 2009) 9 Answers - (Newest, 11 September 2009)
A female Australia age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I'm getting married soon (yay!) and I'm worried about that tradition where the father of the bride gives her away. You see, my dad was never around...I think I've met him on 3 or 4 occasions and never had more than a superficial conversation with him, generally helped along mainly by his wife. On my birthday he would sometimes call and sometimes send a card but I tried not to expect it. He was also very rich when we were kids and we were very poor (like below the poverty line) and he hid his income with some dodgy accounting and paid us as little as the law said he had to. I now believe that he truly felt he wasn't very well off (despite his millions), also that he simply did not know how to relate to his children and that he actually did love us. BUT I don't know him and I don't want him "giving me away" at the altar. So I'm wondering how unusual is it to get someone like my brother to do it instead when my dad is still alive and contactable? It's hard because I'd feel bad if I didn't invite him to the wedding (I mean how can you say afterwards "oh by the way, I got married, here's the photos"). Plus I really like some of my cousins on his side of the family so I'd like to invite them too.

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A female reader, taina1980 United States +, writes (11 September 2009):

your wedding is about what makes you happy. my brother got married in june and the brides mother walked her down the isle and i was my brothers best man woman! we had a great time all the brides maids walk down th isle like a cat walk in a fashion show music palying and everything. the weddding was totally non traditional. the wedding is the brides day . not about any one else so whether or not you do it in a public toilet or a mcdonalds if it floated your boat thats all that counts its the most omportant dday in awomans life ...so do it you style not what other would want.

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A female reader, babymama99 United States +, writes (11 September 2009):

babymama99 agony auntYou do what you want to do. You can ask the mailman to give you away if you want to. Go ahead and invite your cousins they are still apart of your family regardless of him.

And don't feel bad for not inviting him to the wedding. Was he at your graduation. Was he at your sweet 16. Did he sit up with you at night when you where sick. Did he sit you on his knee and tell you that you were daddy's favorite little girl etc. You don't have to do anything for him than he's done for you, which is nothing.

Congratulations on your wedding, have a wonderful day and don't spare him a single thought.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 September 2009):

Honeypie agony auntConsidering you father was more of a "sperm donor" then a father, I would have no problem with asking your brother to walk you down the aisle.

This is YOUR wedding day. Invite whom you would want to share that day, not who you "think" should be there to be political correct. If you want him to get an invitation, then send him one.

Do you you feel is right.

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A male reader, softtouchmale2003 United States +, writes (11 September 2009):

softtouchmale2003 agony auntTradition says if your father's not around or passed on, the prospective father-in-law does the honors. But a brother, friend, your sister, a martian; anyone will do. Or you can dispense with it and just give yourself away. Its not the march, its the vows.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 September 2009):

Definitely ask your brother to give you away- it's not at all unusual and I'm sure he would be incredibly proud to be asked. I would invite your Dad along too if you want to- I'm sure he won't feel bad about not giving you away- how can he expect such a privileged role when he hasn't been there for you over the years. Just do what feels right for you, that's the main thing. Good luck!

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A female reader, k_c100 United Kingdom +, writes (11 September 2009):

k_c100 agony auntWell you dont have to worry about the tradition of the father giving you away - today anyone is acceptable to give you away! I've seen brothers, friends, uncles....you name it I've seen it! I think the tradition was based on your father who has loved you and brought you up giving you away to the next man that will continue to take care of you. So in your case, your father has not been around to bring you up therefore you have no need to stick with the tradition. It would make much more sense to ask someone like your brother who has been around all your life!

As the other answers have said - it is your wedding so you can do what you like! Thats one of the perks of being a bride - it is your day and you are supposed to have the day of your dreams! If your father gave you away you would only feel uncomfortable so I think you should go ahead and ask your brother.

Maybe you could still invite your dad though if you wanted to? I think he would totally understand why you didnt ask him to give you away, and I'm sure he would at least appreciate the gesture of being invited. But it is entirely up to you - if you dont want him there then that is fine too. But I dont see the harm in inviting him along, after all if you would show him the pictures then it shows you are still in touch with him and still maintain some form of relationship with him. Just because he attends the wedding wont mean he has to give you away, and no-one that is close to you will think it is weird if he is there but doesnt give you away. After all, at your wedding it will be full of people who know you and love you, and they will know that you havent had a real relationship with your father so they wont think anything of it if he doesnt give you away.

I hope this helps and congratulations!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 September 2009):

Obviously not if you weren't close to your dad, the person who gives you away is traditionally male though, so having your brother do it isn't strange

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 September 2009):

Well I went through a very similar situation. I didn't have a very good relationship with my dad and it became very difficult for me to include him at my wedding. Eventually I just decided to go down the altar with both my mom and dad. I didn't want to exclude him from the experience of doing it since we are a fairly traditional country.

A couple of years later, I got to talk to him. Don't know how it happened, but it did. I understood him! For the first time in all my life I understood that he loved me, he just didn't know how to show it; I was too complicated for him. He told me how difficult it was for him, I told him how difficult it was for me and now we have a great relationship. I mean, we talk about once a week for 5 minutes, but all the anger and the resentment is gone.

The point is, more than the tradition of the wedding or who else should walk you down the isle. Maybe it is time to try to talk and move away from the hurt. Maybe you can use this time to start a new relationship with him. It might not be a true father-daughter relationship, but it might be a healthier one for the two of you!

Best of lucks and congrats on the wedding!

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A male reader, RAINORFIRE United States +, writes (11 September 2009):

RAINORFIRE agony auntIt wouldnt be weird your brother has apparently been the main man in your life if hes older probably the father figure when you where growing up , I think your brother should be the one to do it.

your father made his decision to abandon you he has to live with it, do you plan to invite him to the wedding, unless he has offered to pay for it i wouldnt even invite him, but dont dis invite him just tell him your getting married when and where if he shows up he shows up,

congratulations on getting married.

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