Q: My parents are divorced and have both remarried. I love my bonus mom and my bonus dad. They have both been great to me and I fell very blessed to have so many parents put me first and make my life easy in what could have been an awkward situation.
I am getting married next June and I would like both my father and bonus father to walk me down the aisle. I would like to ask them to do this on this Father’s Day. My dad has always been very supportive of my bonus dad in my life. What do you think of the idea?
A: I understand why you want both your dad and your bonus dad to walk you down the aisle and there are ways that you can do that acknowledging your bonus dad without disrespecting your dad.
We can talk about that in a second. First, I would like to address your idea of asking your dads to walk you down the aisle on Father’s Day — although I understand the sentimentality of asking on that day, my opinion is to pick another day.
Walking a daughter down the aisle is something your father may have been thinking about all your life, so asking him to share walking you down the aisle on Father’s Day almost seems insensitive. There are 51 other Sundays during the year where you can sit down with Dad and bonus dad and make wedding plans.
Or, if your birthday is nearby, that might be a good day to ask — that is your special day — present it as the ultimate birthday gift.
In terms of the wedding, there are a few different ways you can approach your dad and bonus dad walking you down the aisle.
One, dad can be on one side, bonus dad on the other, and they can walk with you together. This approach works when the men have a relationship like you describe, but it is openly acknowledging each other as equally important in your life and some dads have a difficult time with this.
The second alternative is you start walking with your bonus dad and are handed off to your father so that he can formally give you away. A symbolic handshake when you leave your bonus dad to be guided down the aisle by your dad is a sentimental touch and also is symbolic of the men’s mutual respect for each other and their love for you.
Jann Blackstone is the founder of bonusfamilies.com.