Tips on Planning a Wedding Without Your Father
It was last fall in the early morning when Jessica received a phone call that she’d never imagined getting. Her father had abruptly passed away in his sleep the night before. It was just a few months after her wedding engagement. Like many others, Jessica never imagined that she would be planning for her dream wedding without having her daddy walk her down the aisle.
After her father’s passing, Jessica turned to the internet to look for ways that she could cope, while still honoring her father on her wedding day. It was through reading stories of others that she saw hope and realized that she was not alone. There are far more brides and brides-to-be that are left fatherless, wondering what they will do on their big day to help fill this void without turning their dream wedding ceremony into a depressing grief ceremony. If you’re planning a wedding without your father, whether it’s because of loss, illness, or for other reasons, remember that you are not alone. In this article, we’ll offer you some tips on how to get through the wedding planning process and wedding ceremony while still being able to honor your father.
Talk to Someone
If you’re dealing with grief, it’s a good idea to go see a therapist or talk to a friend or other trusted person about your feelings. There is no time limit on the grieving process. Therefore it’s important to show compassion for yourself and allow yourself to go through the normal emotions that you’re feeling. For more information on the five stages of grief, you can visit Grief.Com.
Practicing self-care is an easy one, as I am saying it in my sarcastic voice. Taking care of yourself when you have a lot of stress can be challenging, however if you don’t take care of yourself you’re going to get burnt out with the whole wedding planning process and it’s just going to be a nightmare for you. So try taking a few minutes every day to spend time with yourself just to breathe and relax for a little bit.
Creating The Wedding Invitations
Do wedding invitations have to be traditional? The true answer is NO. Make your invitations however you want. Be unique and decide if it will make you feel more at peace by including or not including your father’s name on the wedding invitations.
Wear a Memento to Honor your Father
Wearing a memento in honor of your father is a great way to include your father in the wedding. Keep in mind that certain things may come along with stronger emotions. So when you are choosing, be sure to choose something that will not throw you into a crisis in the middle of your wedding ceremony.
Decide Who Will be Walking You Down the Aisle
In traditional weddings, the father walks his daughter down the aisle and gives her away to her husband. Times are changing and so are traditions. There are other options if you don’t have your father to walk you down the aisle on your big day:
- You might decide to choose a family member such as your mother, brother, uncle, son, or grandfather, etc.
- Or you can choose to have your future spouse’s father walk you down the aisle as Jessica chose. After all, he’s about to be your father-in-law.
- You can also opt to walk down the aisle together with your partner.
- And last but not least, you can take a leap of faith while you dive into bravery, and walk down the aisle by yourself with your head held high knowing that your father is with you in memory.
Leave an Open Seat for your Father at the Wedding Ceremony
Where would your father have sat during your wedding ceremony? More than likely he would have sat at the front. With that being said, save him a seat and envision him being there with you, watching you with tears in his eyes, looking so proud. Even if he’s not there in person, he can be present in spirit. Another option would be to place a tablet or laptop in his seat to view your ceremony live, if deceased, place a picture of your father on that chair and light a candle.
The Father & Daughter Dance
You’ve got two choices: either you can have a father daughter dance ( most likely someone will volunteer to dance with you for this part) or you can decide not to have it at all. And there’s no right or wrong answer. You have to find what works for you.
Additionally, think about how you’re going to feel if you put on the song that you were supposed to dance to with your daddy. Is it gonna make you happy on your wedding day or is it gonna cause you stress and sadness? If you do decide to have the father daughter dance, you can always name it something else and choose a song that is upbeat and fun or a song that your father would’ve loved.
Honoring Your Father on your Wedding Day
There are different ways that you can honor your father on your wedding day. You can mention his name in the ceremony, or ask the officiant to say a prayer. You can have a toast at your reception party, or even write a letter to read during your wedding ceremony. You know your father more than anyone and you know what would’ve made him feel special on this big day.
Celebrate With Your Father’s Memory
If you lost your father to an unexpected death, his memory is something you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. And although losing a parent is difficult, you can keep his memory alive throughout the milestones in your life. Start planning your dream wedding at your dream location with your dream partner.
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