DEAR ABBY: This is regarding "Ready to Go It Alone in Mississippi," the bride-to-be who had no one to walk her down the aisle.
The day before my son and his wife married, her father died after a long illness. It was heartbreaking, but the wedding went ahead as planned.
My son and his beautiful bride came up with a plan. My future daughter-in-law came from a large family -- nine brothers and one sister. Her nine brothers escorted their mother into the church, and when it was time for the bride to enter, my son left his position at the altar, met her at the rear of the chapel, and they walked down the aisle together. Abby, it was the perfect solution. There wasn't a dry eye in the church. -- PROUD MOTHER-IN-LAW IN CINCINNATI
DEAR MOTHER-IN-LAW: I'm sure her father was with his daughter and all of you in spirit on that special day. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I faced a similar predicament as "Ready to Go It Alone" when I married in 1961. Added to my dismay of having no one to "give me away," was the fact that I was only 18 and scared silly.
I decided to let nothing ruin my day, so I put a smile on my face and started down the aisle on what looked like the longest walk of my life. As I passed the first row of guests, one of my cousins gave me a wink and a thumbs-up. I leaned over and gave her a hug. As I proceeded down the aisle, I stopped to hug or kiss several more loved ones who were seated along the way. By the time I reached my groom, the guests were joyfully laughing and broke into applause.
"Ready to Go It Alone" shouldn't worry that her mother thinks it's "horrific" to walk solo down the aisle. If the bride approaches her wedding day with the right attitude, she'll have a wonderful time, and so will everyone who shares her happiness. -- BEEN THERE/DONE THAT IN ILLINOIS
DEAR B.T.D.T.: Well said!
DEAR ABBY: This is for the bride whose mother disapproved of her daughter walking down the aisle alone. Mom needs to realize that young women are no longer "given away." Here is how my daughters and I solved the problem:
I was escorted by an usher to the traditional pew reserved for the mother of the bride. When my daughter appeared at the rear of the church and everybody rose, I stepped into the aisle and waited to meet her. We then walked the rest of the way together.
Instead of the minister asking who is giving the bride in marriage, he asked, "Who supports this decision?" I responded, "Her sister and I do." I returned to my seat; the ceremony continued. Many guests commented favorably about the positive way in which the situation was handled. -- HAPPY WE DID IT "OUR WAY"
DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-year resident of Germany, and I married a German man. I have a suggestion for "Ready to Go It Alone in Mississippi." Here in Germany, the bride is not "given away." Instead, the happy couple walks down the aisle together. This lovely custom serves as a symbol of starting their own life. -- MONIQUE SIMMER, SAARBRUECKEN, GERMANY
DEAR MONIQUE: As your letter proves, there are many varied but perfectly acceptable wedding customs. Culture isn't static, it's organic -- and change is healthy.
WORTH REMEMBERING: "No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them." -- Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor (1928--)
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