July 20, 2009

Dear Old Dad

Steve Martin is not my Dad, but he's seems like such a sweetie in this movie.

I've never seen "Father of the Bride", and I should not be admitting that as a wedding blogger, should I? :)

I don't really know how to begin this post as it is intensely personal for me. My relationship with my Dad is not really a strong one. While my Dad is a nice guy, we are not close. He has not played a major role in my life. He and Mommy Swan never got married, and Mommy Swan has been my parent, both mother and father. 

I have always been pretty nonchalant about my Dad and our relationship. We speak several times throughout the year, but I would not say that I share my hopes, fears and dreams with him. I don't call him when I need a shoulder to cry on; our conversations are pretty much about regular everyday things. It also doesn't help that he lives in the Caribbean, so there is a certain amount of physical distance between the two of us that already adds to the distance in our relationship. 

When it comes to wedding planning, I have always been a bit jealous of brides who gush about having their fathers walk them down the aisle and can't wait to have the father/daughter dance at the wedding. That's not necessarily me. It's been hard trying to figure out how to walk a fine line between wanting to include my Dad out of respect and wanting to also recognize that our relationship is not necessarily a traditional one. It's made for some planning conundrums for me. Does my Dad walk me down the aisle with Mommy Swan? Does he stand with Mommy Swan as the rest of our immediate families will during the ceremony? Do we do a father/daughter dance with the requisite tender emotional song?  All of this got to me so much that I kinda broke down and cried visiting Mommy Swan one afternoon. 

There's already so much emotion fraught with weddings because it is so public. I usually don't have to display my relationship with my Dad for all to see and now I do. How have I decided to handle this?  Well, my Dad lives in the Caribbean, so it's still not clear that he will make it to the wedding. We're hoping so. The plan is that he'll walk me down the aisle with my Mom, and we'll have a parent dance together with Mr. Swan and FMIL Swan. I think this will be a good way of incorporating him into the wedding in a way that I'll feel comfortable. 

Have interesting family dynamics influenced your wedding planning?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to that experience of how to plan having your father in the wedding. My mother has always been the father and the mother in our relationship. Eventhough, my father has not been absent completely in my life he was definetly not a "Steve Martin" dad.I felt like I didn't want to exclude him so he was part of all of the traditional festivities. It ended up being a nice moment , eventhough I was unsure about it. I am glad that he was part of that day and all of those mixed feelings were kind of over run that day by the pure contentment of marrying the man you love. * swan sister in law : )