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Father-of-the-Bride Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

Thoughtful (But Not Sappy!) Gifts for the Father of the Bride

 Father-of-the-Bride, Favors & Gifts, Wedding Gifts  Comments Off on Thoughtful (But Not Sappy!) Gifts for the Father of the Bride
Aug 242016
Father Of The Bride Duties

Photo: Jack Jeffries for Christian Oth Studio

Your wedding day is a big day for your parents, too, and surprising them with a special parents-of-the-bride or -groom gift is a great way to honor the occasion and acknowledge the role they've played in getting you this far. The tough thing? Dads are notoriously hard to shop for, and picking something he'll love that commemorates your big day is a double-whammy. For the heart-on-his-sleeve Pop there are so many options to choose from, whether it's a handkerchief embroidered with "I loved you first" or cufflinks featuring your wedding date. But some dads just aren't the sappy type, which raises the question: What gift does a bride get her father when he's more sensible than sentimental? Not to worry! We've put together a list of father of the bride gift ideas your dad will love, even if emotions aren't his strong suit.

A Pair of Tickets
From his favorite musician to the big game, a pair of tickets is a fantastic gift your dad will love — and really enjoy. Set up a fun date night from Dad and Mom, or take a trip home to cheer on your favorite team together.

Miter Saw Home Depot

Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot

Tools of the Trade
Is your dad always tinkering in the garage? Spring for the table saw he's had his eye on, or upgrade him to a new drill. Or is he more often found in the kitchen? Those kitchen gadgets and awesome appliances aren't just for your wedding registry. (Dewalt Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw, from $349.00, available at Home Depot)

woodford reserve

Photo: Courtesy of Reserve Bar

A Stiff Drink
For a dad with an impressive wine collection or a fondness for craft cocktails, seek out a bottle of something he'll really enjoy. You could tuck it into an engraved wooden box, or have the bottle itself engraved — some distilleries (like Woodford Reserve) even offer their own engraving services. You could also purchase a decanter so he can serve something from his own collection in style. (Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select, $41.00, available at Reserve Bar)

dartboard wayfair

Photo: Courtesy of Wayfair

Accessories for His Man Cave
If your dad has carved out a space all his own at home, give him something to dress it up a little more. We love classic games, like a beautiful dart board or a hand-carved chess set, as well as more playful items like monogrammed glassware or a fun sign. (Escalade Sports 5 Piece Dart Board Set, $107.99, available at Wayfair)

See more: How Can I Include My Dad in Wedding Planning?

swiss family robinson the easton press

Photo: Courtesy of The Easton Press

A Classic Read
Intellectual dads will love receiving a leather-bound set of traditional tomes (like The Swiss Family Robinson and Catcher in the Rye). Better yet, figure out which book is his all-time favorite and hunt down a vintage copy. Don't forget a bookmark! (The Swiss Family Robinson, $256.00, available at The Easton Press)

laguiole knives williams sonoma

Photo: Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Steak Knives
Whether your dad is a grill-master or just loves eating steak, consider surprising him with a new set of steak knives. Go for a smooth (not serrated) blade that can be sharpened at home. And make sure you're invited over for dinner! (Laguiole Jean Dubost Steak Knife Set, $99.95, available at Williams-Sonoma)

wallet bosca

Photo: Courtesy of Bosca

A Leather Wallet
When was the last time your father got a new wallet? If it has been a while, now might be the time to get him a new one. And what better to tuck into one of those empty pockets than a wallet-size print of your engagement picture and a note? (Credit Wallet With ID Passcase, $125.00, available at Bosca)

sunglasses woodzee

Photo: Courtesy of Woodzee

Cool Shades
For a dad with a sense of style, up his game with some awesome sunglasses. Whether you go for classic aviators or a more modern all-wood pair, he'll look sharp seated front-row at your outdoor ceremony or during his next round of golf. (Woodzee Palms Sunglasses, $130.00, available at Woodzee)

robe pottery barn

Photo: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

A Cozy Robe
Even dads love to lounge on weekend mornings, and if your dad's "coffee and the paper" attire is looking a little tired, give him an update with a new robe and slippers. (Hotel Piped Trim Robe, from $79.00, available at Pottery Barn)

We Dare You Not to Cry Watching These Magical Father-Daughter Moments from Real Weddings

 Father-of-the-Bride, News, Wedding Photography  Comments Off on We Dare You Not to Cry Watching These Magical Father-Daughter Moments from Real Weddings
Jun 182016

You're not the only one who's bound to be fighting back the tears on your wedding day. No, we're not talking about your groom (but yes, he has reason to cry, too!). We're talking about the man who's been there from the start — your dear old dad. He's probably been both dreaming of and dreading this day ever since that special sparkler was slipped on your finger (or perhaps even when you were first born!) and now it's finally here: The walk down the aisle, the father-daughter dance, waving goodbye to you and your new hubby as your drive off into the sunset... These monumental milestones are bound to stir up a bevy of emotions — love, pride, and maybe even a little sadness — and are often times our favorite wedding day moments. So, in celebration of Father's Day, we decided to capture these heartbreakingly beautiful moments in out latest BRIDES video. Time to grab the tissues — you'll need 'em...

If you hadn't already called your dad to wish him a Happy Father's Day, this video will have you reaching for the phone in three... two... one... In fact, we bet you'll be forwarding it to your pops (he's computer savvy, right?) so he can watch for himself and prepare for that big, emotional day ahead of both of you.

These real wedding moments highlight just what makes the relationship between a bride and her dad so incredibly special. From the bride crying at seeing her pops to the father-of-the-bride choking back tears at his first peek of his little girl in a wedding dress, they're sure to bring a tear to your eye. Or two... Or three... And if you're blubbering already, just imagine how poignant your own wedding day is ought to be! Better pack the waterproof mascara.

Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers-of-the-bride out there! You do more than just walk her down the aisle. You've been preparing her for this day since you felt held her in your arms.

See More: How Can I Include My Dad in Wedding Planning?

Our Favorite Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Fathers of the Bride

 Father-of-the-Bride, Favors & Gifts  Comments Off on Our Favorite Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Fathers of the Bride
Jun 172016

With Father's Day fast approaching, nearly all daughters think to themselves, "What do you get for the guy who has everything?" When the guy who has everything also happens to be the father of the bride, things can take a creative (and fun!) turn. Whether he's a stoic "tough guy " or an eternal softie, Dad is sure to love these Father's Day gift ideas, unique for dads of daughters soon-to-wed!

Daddy/Daughter Date
It's hard for fathers to watch their little girls grow up, and get married. As thrilled as they are for such a momentous occasion, many dads worry about spending time with their daughters once they're brides deep in wedding planning or new wives. Give your dad the gift of time this Father's Day by planning a special event or occasion for the two of you to enjoy. Whether it's dinner, a movie, a sporting event, or even just a stroll around your neighborhood — ALL dads will agree that there's no better gift than time.

A Movie Night
In all the planning, it's easy to get caught up in pretty much everything and, as a result,spend less time with those you love. For Father's Day (or any day leading up to your wedding) plan a movie night with your Dad to watch some classic flicks. What's better than popcorn, candy and watching Father of the Bride with your very own Father of the Bride? While you're at it — grab some tissues...

A Memory Photo Book
Before the wedding photos start to takeover, create a photo book for Dad featuring the best times you've had together so far. In an age where digital photo albums often take the place of tangible ones, he is sure to cherish the sentiment and effort. Compile your favorite photos through the years and add a quote on the cover such as, "I'll always be your little girl," or a line from the song you will dance to at your wedding. Websites like VistaPrint, TinyPrints, and even CVS offer photo book printing services, making it easy to share lasting memories.

A Break
Fathers of the bride can be stressed out about quite a few things throughout the wedding planning process. Whether it's financial stresses or just thinking about their little girl all grown up — it's important to give Dad a chance for a little R&R. Experiences like tickets to cheer on his favorite team, a parental date night, a day trip or a weekend away can help your dad unwind, relax, and reenergize before walking you down the aisle.

Dads need some pampering, too! Whether it's a pedicure, massage, or hot shave — you can kill two birds with one stone by gifting dad some time at the men's spa. Not only will he experience rest and relaxation, but he'll also be looking spiffy for your nuptials!

See More:
The 7 Types of Fathers of the Bride (and How to Handle Them)

9 Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Father of the Bride (or Groom)

 Father of the Groom, Father-of-the-Bride, Favors & Gifts  Comments Off on 9 Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Father of the Bride (or Groom)
Jun 152016
Fathers Walking Daughters Down the Aisle

Photo: Parker Young

If you're in the throes of wedding planning, chances are family tensions and stress levels are at an all time high (and bank accounts are being stretched to their limits). Whether your dad is hands-on with the guest list, or need only be told where and when to show up for your walk down the aisle, it's never too late to say "thanks" with a Father's Day gift totally tailored to his interests. So go ahead and show the love with one of our favorite unique father's day gift ideas.

Varidesk Standing Desk

Photo: Courtesy of VARIDESK

For the Workaholic Dad
Regardless of your dad's profession, he probably spends most of the day seated in an office staring at a computer screen — followed by more sitting, this time on the couch at home watching "Sports Center." Give him a wellness boost with the VARIDESK Pro Plus 36, a zero-assembly-required standing desk that adjusts with no effort whatsoever. Simply hold two levers and the desk moves up and down to a custom height. If you hear through the grape vine that he's doing more sitting than standing, we suggest reminding him that you burn one more calorie a minute when you're on your feet — and he wants to look good on the big day, right? ("Pro Plus 36" standing desk, $395, VARIDESK)

Loccitane Gift Sets

Photo: Courtesy of L'Occitane

For the Well-Groomed Dad
Whether your dad's regimen is limited to Gillette razors and two-in-one shampoos or goes so far as to include beard oils and hair wax, we promise there's something for him at L'Occitane. The Provençal beauty brand has been turning out cult-favorite products for four decades, and is unmatched when it comes to making luxe ingredients work for both men and women. Case in point, the L'Occitane Collection, a chic gift set with soap, eau de toilette, and shower gel for hair and body, with notes of invigorating nutmeg and calming lavender. Or the Cade Collection, an essential grooming kit (fragrance, shaving cream, shower gel, and after-shave balm) in a masculine blend of juniper, sandalwood, spicy pink pepper, and rosemary that you make just keep for yourself. ("L'Occitane Collection" gift set, $65, L'Occitane; "Cade Collection" grooming kit, $65, L'Occitane)

Game Golf Live

Photo: Courtesy of Game Golf

For the Golfing Dad
While spending a day in knee-length shorts trying to hit a tiny ball into an even tinier hole may be your idea of hell on earth, for most dads it means four hours of uninterrupted bliss. Help yours improve his game with Golf Game Live, the latest wearable technology favored by PGA pros like Lee Westwood and Jim Furyk. The set — composed of a small device worn on the belt and small tags that attach to the grip of each club — pairs with a mobile device or smart watch to track a player's strokes. Meaning your dad can instantly review a shot, measure its distance, and see how his performance stacks up against his own stats and the average among other players with the same handicap (the app is also filled with tips to help improve overall play). And if you're also a golfer, we recommend buying your own unit, so you can challenge dad to more than just putting competitions out on the course. ("Game Golf Live" tracking device. $199 special Father's Day pricing, Game Golf)

Spectra Global Carry-On

Photo: Courtesy of Victorinox

For the Traveling Dad
If business trips are part of your dad's regular work schedule, he's probably tired of schlepping a carry-on between gates. Lighten his load by giving him the mother of all suitcases: The four-wheeled Victorinox Spectra Global Carry-On. With a polycarbonate frame that's both lightweight and super durable, your dad will be able to move through the airport at lightning speed and stow all his travel essentials in that ever-shrinking overhead bin, you'd be surprised how much fits inside. (Not to mention it comes in sleek limited edition colors like Alloy Grey and Stone White, to up his style quotient). If dad insists he needs access to a laptop or work docs in-flight, there's also the Spectra Dual-Access Global Carry-On, with an instant-access front compartment with tons of pockets and organizers — because no one wants to open their whole suitcase in the middle of the aisle. ("Spectra Global" carry-on luggage, $299.99, Victorinox; "Spectra Dual-Access Global" carry-on luggage, $349.99, Victorinox)

Lagostina Risottiera

Photo: Courtesy of Lagostina

For the Wannabe-Chef Dad
One thing all dads should know: Grilling is not the same as cooking. Just because he can turn out a perfectly medium-rare fillet on his Weber grill doesn't mean he's Emeril Lagasse. So if your dad fancies himself a whiz in the kitchen, challenge him to up the ante by giving him the Lagostina Risottiera, a stunning risotto pan that's handcrafted in Italy, because only when you can cook a perfect risotto do you have the right to call yourself a chef. ("Risottiera" pan, $199.99, Lagostina)

Fitz and Floyd Lincoln Pyramid

Photo: Courtesy of Fitz and Floyd

For the Oenophile Dad
Whether your pops takes an annual pilgrimage to Bordeaux or his version of a fine vintage is Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's, the Fitz and Floyd Lincoln Pyramid 5-Piece Wine Set is the perfect vessel for his favorite vino. Each hand-blown glass has a long, thin stem and a modern shape, and the decanter easily holds a full bottle, so all he needs to do is pour and serve (and repeat). ("Lincoln Pyramid" 5-piece wine set, $59.99, Fitz and Floyd)

Fitbit Blaze

Photo: Courtesy of Fitbit

For the Health-Conscious Dad
Even if your dad already has a Fitbit band, chances are he'll still want the shiniest new model, Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch. Available in black, blue, and plum, this Bluetooth powered fitness tracker monitors heart rate, tracks sleep, records exercise stats (also displayed in real-time), counts calories burned, and alerts you when calls, texts, and other notifications come through on your phone. ("Blaze" smart fitness watch, $199.95, Fitbit)

Sengled Light Bulbs

Photo: Courtesy of Sengled

For the Music-Loving Dad
Tired of hearing your dad complain that his surround sound is breaking down? Bring him into the 21st century with Sengled, a company that embeds wireless speakers into light bulbs. Confused? Here's how it works: Sengled created energy efficient LED bulbs that also contain speakers powered by JBL Bluetooth technology. Simply plug in your bulb to a ceiling socket or lamp, download the app, pair the Master bulb with your smart phone via Bluetooth, and adjust both the brightness of the light and the level of sound directly from your device. Pick him up a Solo unit — essentially a one-and-done bulb plus speaker he can use in, say, his home office — or go big with a Pulse by Sengled pair, which connect to up to seven satellite bulbs. The result: a tricked out surround system in the palm of his hand — just no Frank Sinatra on repeat, please. ("Pulse Solo" Bluetooth lightbulb, $59.99, Sengled; "Pulse Pair" Bluetooth lightbulb, $149.99, Sengled)

Oculus Rift

Photo: Courtesy of Oculus

For the Video-Gamer Dad
If your dad is like Kevin Spacey in House of Cards and prefers to unwind after a long day of work with a few rounds of Halo, look no further than Oculus VR. The virtual reality company — bought by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014 — is making waves with its wearable 3D technology, built into a sleek headset to let you play video games, watch movies, step inside photographs, and more. The latest version of their hallmark design, Oculus Rift — which looks like a pair of fancy ski goggles and pairs with a PC computer — touts new sensors to monitor your head motions and adjust the 3D image (the same way what your eyes adjust IRL when you tilt your head left and right). If dad can't wait until the August ship date for his shiny new toy, opt for the Gear VR, powered by Samsung, which is compatible with any Samsung Galaxy phone for gaming on the go. ("Rift" headset, $599, Oculus; "Gear VR" headset, $99, Oculus)

See More: The 7 Types of Fathers of the Bride (and How to Handle Them)

How Can I Include My Dad in Wedding Planning?

 Etiquette, Father-of-the-Bride, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on How Can I Include My Dad in Wedding Planning?
May 252016
Father of the Bride Duties

Photo: Courtesy of Buena Vista/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Planning a wedding is stereotypically a mother-daughter activity. Dress shopping, picking out napkins, registering for china... probably not things your dad would get super excited about, right? But his little girl is growing up, too, and finding ways to include him in this big moment in your life can be incredibly meaningful. So how can you include dear old Dad in the planning process? Here are a few ideas from our experts.

Who says dress shopping is a girls-only event? If you and your dad are particularly close, consider bringing him along with Mom while you're trying on wedding dress after wedding dress. He might lean more traditional and insist you try on that gown that looks like the princess dresses you wore as a little girl, or he just might be the one pushing you out of your comfort zone and into something unexpected and modern!

If Dad isn't a fashion buff, consider including him in other aspects that might be right up his alley. You could bring him along to the menu tasting or, if he's a wine connoisseur, include him in your discussions of what will be poured at the table and served at the bar that night.

Does your dad love music? Ask him to help listen to sample tracks from bands you're considering or, if they're doing a showcase or playing locally, invite him to come with you to hear them play live. And if you've got a father who loves classic cars (and might even own one!), see if he might lend you the keys for your getaway or help you pick from the options at your local limo company.

Of course, there are also Dad-specific details he can help with, like choosing a song for the father-daughter dance or making a plan for your father-daughter first look. Play to his strengths and figure out what he'd be excited to help with, and you'll be golden!

See more: Our Favorite Father of the Bride Photos from Real Weddings


Don’t Forget Mom and Dad! Thank-You Gift Ideas for Parents of the Bride and Groom

 Father-of-the-Bride, Favors & Gifts, Moms, Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, Wedding Gifts  Comments Off on Don’t Forget Mom and Dad! Thank-You Gift Ideas for Parents of the Bride and Groom
May 052016

They walk you down the aisle, share in your first dances, and help you prepare for your big day. More than that, they've loved and supported you since day one. So how do you say "thank you" to your parents for all of that, and more?

There aren't really rules for what to give, or even if you have to give a gift to your parents on your wedding day. And here at BRIDES, we happen to think any token of appreciation will do. Check out our favorite ways to say thanks to your parents on your wedding day.

Surprise Gratitude
Your wedding video is sure to have captured all of the highlights of your wedding day. The one thing it can't capture, however, is your gratitude for your parents. Surprise your parents by working with your videographer to include a "thank you" message you can secretly step away to record on your big day! When you receive your video, host a big reveal and there won't be a dry eye in the house.

Family Dinner
If you're one who treasures experiences and memories over tangible gifts, consider either hosting a family dinner (with all your new registry items, of course!), or treating your parents and new in-laws to a night out. By celebrating after the wedding, you can spend an evening together for the first time as a family. At the meal, don't forget to express your gratitude, love and appreciation for them and the roles they have played not only in your wedding, but in your lives.

Thank-You Tree
Got a green thumb? Consider planting a symbolic tree in both family's backyards that you will be able to watch grow and bloom for years to come. Trees are symbolic of growth, which is what you've done right before their very eyes, and what you and your new husband will continue to do with your family. Seriously, what's better than a thank you gift that will keep on giving and is also good for the environment?

Handwritten Cards
In such a digital world, there's SO much to be said for a heartfelt, handwritten message. Select high quality, special occasion stationery to truly put your feelings into words, and to do so the "old fashioned" way. There are also specialty cards available just for this occasion!

See More: Everything the Father-of-the-Bride Needs to Do Before, During, and After the Wedding

A Sweet Escape
Just like you and your new husband need some R&R (or adventure!) after the big day, your parents would certainly love some too! If you have the means, consider gifting both sets of parents a trip, weekend, or evening away to remember. If your in-laws and parents are super close, you can even organize it to be a joint experience. You can be as extravagant as a European excursion, or as simple as a night away or out on the town — either way your parents will love every minute of it.

Timeless Jewelry & Accessories
Wearable gifts combine style and sentiment. Consider gifting fathers of the bride or groom cufflinks engraved or customized with something to forever remind them of your gratitude for your big day. For mothers of the bride or groom, we love the idea of infinity or heart pendants for both that symbolize not only love, but the joining of two families that occurs when their children have tied the knot. Custom, embroidered handkerchiefs for the wedding day also make sentimental (and useful!) tokens of appreciation.

Pick Up The Slack
With all the craziness of wedding planning, there are bound to be projects or tasks in your parents' lives that they have had to "let go" to be there for you through the planning journey. As a way to say thank you, tackle the project for them. Whether it's a weeded garden, an unorganized attic, a car wash, trip to the salon, etc. — this is a simple and relatively easy way to show them just how much you appreciate their time and effort.

Sentimental Photographs
Who says you have to give your parents their thank-you gift on your big day? Why not wait a bit until you receive your professional photos (after all, you've certainly paid enough for them!) Speak with your photographer beforehand about parent and family portraits that are MUSTS. Once you receive them, have them printed in high quality and framed especially for your parents. After all, if a photo is worth 1,000 words, wedding photos must be worth at least 2,000. Right?

The 7 Types of Fathers of the Bride (and How to Handle Them)

 Father-of-the-Bride, Planning Tips  Comments Off on The 7 Types of Fathers of the Bride (and How to Handle Them)
Apr 272016

After 14 years of counseling brides, I've heard hundreds of dad-being-difficult stories. The themes and behaviors are so common that I've created composites of the seven types of dads and how they deal with their daughters' weddings. Knowing your dad's type may help you understand better what's going on in your relationship with him, and help your big day run a little smoother.

The Devoted Dad
He understands that your wedding signifies that he is no longer the #1 man in your life, a position he's held since the day you were born. A Devoted Dad can grieve this loss — and know it's normal to feel sad — and still love you, share your happiness, and let you go into this next stage of your life.

Checkbook-In-Hand Dad
He tries to maintain his top dog position by sparing no expense. He's trying to avoid his loss by giving you everything you want... way beyond reason.

Denial Dad
He works hard to avoid the fact that his relationship with you is changing. One bride I worked with described watching Father Of The Bride with her parents. 15 minutes into the movie, dad was snoring on the couch. Steve Martin's pain and antics hit too close to home, so he checked out by sleeping.

Meddling Dad
He involves himself in tiny wedding decisions. He has an opinion about everything. Because by focusing (obsessing?) on the details of the day, he's found a way NOT to feel the impending loss of you.

Distant Dad
He's disinterested in the details of the wedding, you or your fianc&ecute;. He's in so much pain about the upcoming loss of you that he puts up a cold, prickly wall. Ouch.

The Estranged Dad
He continues to cause pain in his daughter's life. While it may be the healthiest thing for the dad and daughter not to be in relationship, his absence is keenly felt. The dysfunction can't be hidden during the public event of a wedding, and that hurts.

Deceased Dad
He's simply not there. His daughter feels both sadness and anger that he's missing yet another event in her life. Brides who have lost parents understandably often experience periods of grief during their engagements.

See More: 5 Dads on What Went Through Their Heads as They Walked Their Daughters Down the Aisle

How is your dad coping with your wedding? He's gotta be feeling something — even if he doesn't acknowledge it. Let him be distant, in denial, or too generous. It's his way of dealing with his sadness.

What can you do? Talk with him about your feelings of loss and ambivalence about change. Maybe he'll open up. Or maybe not. He's an old dog, and he doesn't learn new tricks. But be patient with your old man. On some level, he's been dreading your wedding since the day you were born.

Allison Moir-Smith is a bridal counselor, author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life, and solves your family, emotional, and sticky wedding-planning situations at The Bride Whisperer.

How to Tell Your Dad Who You’d Like to Have Walk You Down the Aisle

 Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette, Father-of-the-Bride, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on How to Tell Your Dad Who You’d Like to Have Walk You Down the Aisle
Jan 312016
telling dad you want someone else walking him down aisle

Photo: Parker Young

From the moment their daughter is born, dads start dreaming about one day walking their little girls down the aisle. It's a tradition that is sweet and heartwarming, and you'll treasure those photos for years to come. But what if you're not that close with your dad, or there is someone else who means just as much to you who you'd like to have accompany you down the aisle? Here are our expert tips for letting your dad know you'd like to walk down the aisle a less-traditional way.

Changing the game plan for something like who will walk you down the aisle can be a sensitive subject, especially if you and your dad are really close and he's been waiting for this moment since you were in diapers. Whether you've decided you'd prefer to make the walk alone, are hoping your mom will be there on your other side so they can both escort you to the altar, or have a completely different person you'd like to have walk you down the aisle, be sure to tread lightly.

Before you and dad sit down to chat, think through your reasoning. Are you older, incredibly independent, or opposed to the idea of being "given away"? Were you raised by your grandfather, so you think he should have the honor? Or maybe you've got a stepfather you're just as close to as your biological one, and you're looking for a way to involve them both in such a momentous occasion?

See more: How to Coach a Shy Flower Girl to Walk Down the Aisle

Once you've gotten down to the bottom of why you're leaning away from tradition, go see your dad in person, or at least give him a call — this is not a conversation to have via text or email! Let him know that, while tradition states that he would be the one to give you away, you have really thought about it and had a different idea that you wanted to discuss with him. If you're planning to have two people walk you down the aisle, let Dad know why this other person has earned that spot in your mind. If you're going to walk solo, or would prefer that someone else walk you down the aisle, think about other ways your dad could be involved in the ceremony. Maybe there's a reading you'd love him to share, or you'd like your parents to participate in lighting a unity candle.

If you and your father aren't particularly close, the decision to have someone else walk you down the aisle may not be much of a surprise. You should still give him a seat in the front row, but aren't required to give your dad a special role if it doesn't reflect your relationship with him.

Dec 292015
How to Win Over Your In-Laws

Photo: Getty Images

True story: "A couple I worked with recently was hesitant to talk about their in-laws, because they felt they were not a big priority," retells People, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent. "After all, they were marrying each other, not their in-laws." But that couple was missing the mark, the psychologist explains.

"In-laws are important to your lives together," Duffy says. "Your spouse would not be who he is were it not for that family that raised him. And if you really think about it, you are likely to spend as much time with your in-laws, for the rest of your life, as you will with your own parents. They are family." With that in mind, here are surefire ways to win over your newest, very important family members.

Show your in-laws they really are family.
You've got a marriage certificate that shows they're now part of your family tree, but don't let that document speak for itself. "Be explicit with them that you consider them family, and that you are excited for the part of your life you will be sharing with them," advises Duffy. "This will help address and ease the biggest anxiety many in-laws have: that they will be losing their son or daughter."

See More: How to Travel With Your In-Laws

Offer to lend a hand.
The quickest way to win over any hostess, including your mother-in-law, is by showing her you value her efforts and her home and are always willing to lend a hand. "Ask to help out in the kitchen when at their house," suggests Duffy. "Let them know that you won't always treat their home like a vacation."

Thank them for the wonderful job they did raising your spouse.
This seemingly cheesy gesture is sure to hit home. Why? By taking your in-laws aside and sincerely thanking them for the gift of your spouse, Duffy says, you are honoring the greatest contribution they've made to your life. "Many in-laws feel as if that connection isn't made," Duffy says, "and that causes them to feel dismissed."

Not only will this move surely win over your in-laws, but it will mean something to your spouse, too. "I find that married people truly appreciate when their spouses connect with and prioritize their parents' importance in their lives," explains Duffy. "It's a highly attractive quality, and it makes for a far less complicated, fragmented married life."

Visit your in-laws alone.
Hiding behind your spouse every time you see your in-laws won't win you any points. "If possible, visit them sometimes without your spouse," suggests Duffy. "This will show them you really want to develop a relationship with them." Take this move a step farther, he suggests, by "asking for their help in finding gifts for your new spouse. They will feel useful and trusted, and part of the joy of your marriage."

What Should You Do If Your Parents Aren’t Excited About Your Engagement?

 Etiquette, Father-of-the-Bride, Mother of the Bride, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on What Should You Do If Your Parents Aren’t Excited About Your Engagement?
Dec 102015
Tips for Meeting the In-Laws

Photo: Universal Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Getting engaged is a major milestone and a huge life decision — and it's also incredibly exciting! But what if not everyone is as enthusiastic as you are? Our experts weigh in on what to do if your parents aren't excited about your engagement.

It can be a serious blow when the people you're closest with aren't thrilled about your engagement, even more so if they don't approve of it at all. And while your first instinct might be to say you don't care what they think and to run off together, there might be more to their disapproval than you think.

If your parents aren't supportive, begin by exploring why they don't support your decision to get married. "Most parents want the best for their child and I promise you, their attitude is related to a fear. Perhaps they are worried about your future because they think you are marrying too young, without resources, or are in a relationship that they fear might turn abusive," says relationship expert Dr. Wendy Walsh. "Talking about their fears honestly and reassuring your parents — or even considering the validity of their fears — can bring you all to a greater understanding of each other."

See more: Your Parents Paid For a Sibling's Wedding, But Not Yours — Here's How to Deal

It may be hard to admit that some of their concerns are valid, but don't forget that marriage is a major life change, one that you're hoping will last forever, and it's best to be as open-minded and realistic as possible instead of making a decision blinded by passion.

But if you discover that their reluctance is aimed at preventing you from acting as an individual or is a bid to control you, it's time to set firm boundaries. Says Dr. Walsh, "Tell them clearly that you love them and want their support in your decision. If they can't be supportive, you must plan without them."

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