Will your dad walk you down the aisle? Yes I know mums, aunties and brothers etc. can also escort the bride but the significance is actually the same.
A long time ago brides were bought by their husbands when he paid a dowry to her parents. At the beginning of the wedding ceremony her father, as the head of the family, escorted his daughter down the aisle and handed her over to the new owner, the groom. This was seen as a public recognition of his agreement to the marriage as well as his acceptance of the dowry.
For the modern bride though, this tradition has taken on a new meaning. Just before the ceremony starts, when there’s just you and him, there’s a quiet time. He can’t talk because he’s so proud of you and amazed at how beautiful you look. You can’t talk as it’s been a massive journey to this point and you’re feeling so emotional and excited; it is a very special time.
When you hear the music start and know it’s your cue to make your entrance, your heart starts pounding and you take your dad’s arm. He pats your hand and maybe gives it a little squeeze. As he walks you down the aisle he’s escorting you from your old life to your new. It’s an outward sign of his love for you, his pride in you and his devotion to you. It’s also a vote of confidence in the groom to look after his daughter and love her. When your dad steps back and your husband-to-be steps up to stand beside you, your dad is saying “this is my precious daughter. Look after her……. or else!”
It’s only after the ceremony that the butterflies really start as he realises he has the father of the bride speech to do. This is when fathers of boys get to feel quite smug and fathers of girls tremble in anticipation!