I know I am not the only Bride who has walked herself down the aisle for one reason or another on her wedding day. I remember every moment of that walk.
For such a quick moment of a long day, it certainly can hold its own in as far as memories go. To fully tell this story I need to back to up just a bit.
Jacob and I started dating the summer of 2016, we spent every moment we could together. Since I lived with my parents still, a lot of our time together in the beginning was spent with my parents at their house. He would drive an hour every Wednesday night to hang out with me and my family and have family dinner. It was our only time during the week we really saw each other until the weekends. Over that first year, Jacob got to know my family and vise versa. In the spring of 2018 Jacob asked my parents if he could marry me. So I have heard, my Dad leaned back in his chair and with a smile said “I think that would be alright.” On June 2, 2018 Jacob dropped to his knee in the sand of VA beach and asked me point blank “Will you marry me?” My life changed forever that day and that weekend remains one of the best weekends of my life. The months after that took a turn quickly and on Christmas eve, 2018 my Dad went to be with the Lord.
2019 was right around the corner at that point and channeled my energy into distracting myself from that pain. I went into full on wedding planning mode starting in February. As the planning continued, people tiptoed around me trying to ask “Well, who is going to walk you down the aisle?” “Are you going to dance with someone else at the reception?” Questions, that for a long time, I was not ready to answer.
Once I started thinking about it, I quickly decided that I wanted no one other then my Dad to make that walk with me. The father daughter dance was a little trickier. That moment has been a long time favorite of mine at other weddings, a testament to me being a Daddies girl. So I entertained the idea of dances with my brother, my mom, one of my uncles, even my father in law. I wanted Jacob to be able to have a mother son dance with his mom and not take that away from them. In the end, Jacob and I only danced with each other. I had decided that I did not want to force a dance just for traditions sake and Jacob’s mom told me she would have cried through the whole dance with him and would rather not do that in front of everyone.
After months of planning, October 25th finally came and it was our rehearsal. I remember waiting with the bridal party to walk in, they each went one by one until it was just me standing there behind the barn. For just a moment I felt alone. Not a second after that feeling settled into my soul, a gust of wind came over my face. I swallowed the tears welling up in my eyes and out loud to myself I said “Let’s do this Dad.” My wedding planner signaled me to start walking and I did. I felt the strength of my Dad in every step I took. I left that night feeling comforted and assured myself I could do this for real the next day.
Wedding day came. There was no immediate sadness, for a brief moment I remembered the first look I had wanted to do with my Dad. The first look I did with my girls was such a moment that I won’t ever forget. The time had really come, on the day of I was never by myself behind the barn like I was at the rehearsal. As each of my girls left my wedding planner and one of the photographers were right there with me. Right before I turned the corner, I took a deep breath, told my Dad I loved him and just walked. In that real moment I did not feel alone, I didn’t feel like anything was missing or lost. I felt my Dad walking with me as if his arm was actually linked in mine. When I got to the end of the aisle, I was given away jointly by my mom, sister and brother. From there, the rest is history they say.
For all of you who face this walk alone, I know what you are going through. Some say this was supposed to be the hardest walk of my life. In truth, I was walking towards my future with the strength of my Dad. I pray anyone facing this journey is able to find the strength that I did. I wish for everyone that you are able to find the blessings that I did. I hope that every Bride is nothing but filled with love on her wedding day.