Wedding Jitters & Triggers: How a Fatherless Daughter Can Have a Joyful Wedding Season

You are engaged! It should be the time of your life, but for fatherless daughters, the joy is often overshadowed by the pain. You wonder: Who will walk me down the aisle? How will I pay for it? Will my fiance’s family judge me? How will I get through this monumental day in my life without completely losing it? All of these questions are absolutely normal. I made a video about this very important topic. Simply go to to to check it out. In the meantime, here are a few pointers:

  • Who will walk you down the aisle? Find someone who will make you shine. It may be your mother, a family friend, coach or mentor. You may even find strength in going it alone. Go with your gut. Just remember, the hard part is over. The man you love will be at the other end of that aisle. You will be leaving behind the pain and walking into your joy.
  • Be honest with yourself and future husband. The grief is real. It will come in like a tsunami during this very important time in your life. You need to give yourself permission to grieve what you no longer or may have never had. Find a trusted friend, mentor, coach or therapist to help you navigate this time in your life. Perhaps writing a letter to your father is an option. It will help you to pour out your emotions on paper. Try reading it to your fiancé. It can help him understand the barrage of emotions your are feeling and how to help you during this time in your lives.
  • Make a plan. Plan for everything. Action negates fear. If you are worried about certain people attending the wedding it may be wise to take them off your list. “No” is a full sentence. It is okay to say no to anyone who could possibly change the dynamic of your day. If it is the father-daughter dance giving you pause consider omitting it. A cool option may be to replace it with a dance anthem. Ask all of your best girlfriends to jump in and lift you up. Have fun!
  • Honor your father. If your father has passed away you will want to find a way to honor his memory. Do what feels natural. Write about him in your program or have a friend read a passage that reminds you of him. Put together a family collage or video to share during your rehearsal dinner. I chose to put a small picture of my father in my bouquet. It made me feel like he was walking down the aisle with me.
  • Build a marriage-don’t just plan a wedding. Discuss the type of marriage you ant. Know the game changers. Understand what each other requires to feel loved. Choose a couple to mentor you. Seek a couple you admire. Ask them questions. Find out what has made their union work and how they navigated the trials and tribulations through the years. Be sure to center your marriage around people who hold you up. A few books I would recommend are: The Five Love Languages, The Love & Respect Workbook, and 7 Principles of Making it Work.
  • Celebrate! You have made it. You found the love of your life. No more days in the purgatory of wondering if it will happen for you. It has. You now have the chance to form your own nuclear family. Commit to forever. Marriage is a wonderful thing.