In 2018, Meghan Markle made history in many ways. Not only is she the first biracial person to be welcomed into the royal family, but she also invited a preacher to her nuptials. And a gospel choir.
Another untraditional route Meghan took could serve as inspiration for your Big Day. With her family drama airing all over media outlets, Meghan made the decision to walk halfway down the wedding aisle by herself, trailed by the bridesmaids and pageboys, before being greeted by Prince Charles, who walked her the rest of the way to the love of her life.
There are many aspects about the wedding ceremony that appeal to a Millennial, modern woman. And regardless if your mother, grandmother and her mother all shared in the same ritual of being walked down the aisle, you are under no obligation to continue the tradition. If you are unsure on how to approach one of the most important walks you’ll ever take, consider these reasons why it’s totally, completely, 100 percent, OK to go down the aisle however you damn-well please:
It’s rooted in arranged marriages. Though we think of a father walking his daughter down the aisle as a sweet, intimate moment, the tradition stems from the days of arranged marriages, when an agreement, a possible exchange of money and the granting of permission was in order for a bride to be “given away.” In today’s day and age, it’s hard to believe that daughters were exchanged for a dowry or bride price, after which they became the property and financial responsibility of their husband. We don’t know about you, but we belong to ourselves — and ourselves only. If this doesn’t sit well with your feminist mindset — or frankly, your gut — explain this to your parents. They may not understand or agree, but remember, it’s your day.
The definition of a family has changed. There’s no “right” way to have a family. Some children come from broken homes, others are adopted by a single mother, even more have two sets of parents — and their new spouses. Some kids grow closer to their cousins and distant relatives than they do their next-of-kin. Older siblings are sometimes more of a mentor and safe haven, too. A one-size-fits-all model no longer applies, especially in the Millennial generation. If you don’t have a father, a father figure or a man in your life who you want to walk next to down the aisle — why should you come up with one to satisfy an ancient tradition? Or, if you’re on the luckier side and have many male influences — you shouldn’t feel pressured to select just one. There are many other ways to show your affection and gratitude to people in your life who helped you arrive to this moment — without having to share the spotlight.
The walk can feel more intimate on your own. When you met your partner, you couldn’t believe how easy everything fell into place. From the way you communicated to your chemistry behind closed doors, there was something different, special and intoxicating about this person. Over time, you grew to realize you wanted to share your life with one another, and when he asked (or you did, because #whynot) — you couldn’t have been more ecstatic. By definition, a marriage joins together two people. And since grooms usually walk down the aisle alone, there’s no reason why brides can’t either. It’s a powerful and intimate declaration of love, commitment and partnership to maintain eye contact with your soulmate, each step of the way.
Bottom line? You don’t need these reasons — or any at all — if you want to make the journey all by your bad self. You got this. And you’re about to start a whole new adventure with another person — so why not take one last sashay alone?