top of page

Meaningful Alternatives to the Father-of-the-Bride

What do you think of when you hear “Happy Father’s Day?” Do you think of you and your dad eating melting ice cream on a hot porch? Or, his strong grip as he guided your hands on the steering wheel for the first time? Or, perhaps, your memories are not so fond. You lost your father to cancer, or he died when you were little, or maybe you haven’t seen him in ten years. Maybe you never knew him.

Dear Bride-to-be, if your father has passed or is not a significant figure in your life, you may be wondering what to do about walking down the aisle, the father-daughter dance, and even the speeches. You want your wedding to be special, and a beautiful reminder of how loved you are by those closest to you. How do you make that happen without the dad you loved, or without the dad you wish you had?

Aisle Ideas  

  1. Have your father’s close friend, or brother, walk you down the aisle.

  2. Have your groom walk back from the front to escort you down the aisle to signify his place as your protector.

  3. Walk down the aisle to your father’s favorite melody.

  4. Have your mother and/or grandmother walk you down the aisle.

  5. Have a significant male/father figure in your life walk you down the aisle.

Father-Daughter Dance Alternatives

  1. If your father has passed away, you could have a remembrance table at the reception devoted to him, showcasing pictures of him with you and other loved ones.

  2. Have a significant father/male figure in your life dance with you.

  3. Replace it with a bridal party dance! Just you and your girls rocking out to a favorite tune. 

  4. Add a minute more to your first dance.

  5. Read a letter to your guests from you to your dad during the father-daughter dance slot.


  1. Use the speech time accorded to the father-of-the-bride to share more detailed vows between you and your special someone. It can add treasured memories to your reception, and allow for lengthier vows and a shorter ceremony.

  2. If religious, dedicate the father’s accorded speech time to a time of short prayers. This can be a sweet and meaningful time as guests speak blessings over you and your beloved.

  3. Use the father’s accorded speech time for open mic among your guests to share a funny story about the bride and/or groom. This also gives an opportunity for more members of your bridal party to publicly wish you well on your special day.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page