When I got married, way back when almost six years ago, I had a very traditional, giant church wedding.
We had over 500 guests at our wedding, I wore the big white gown, and I didn’t even question if I would take on my husband’s last name. Heck, I even wore a veil down the aisle that my dad lifted up at the last moment, effectively “turning me over” in a dramatic and literal unveiling, from his hands to my new husband’s.
But there were a few non-traditional twists to my big day.
For one, I was five months pregnant. And while that’s not necessarily important in some ways (like what people may think of me, if you’d like to judge me, or if you were in the same boat), in others, it was a pretty big deal.
Like in the fact that it helped me make the decision about who I wanted to walk me down the aisle.
On my traditional-yet-not wedding day, I asked both my mother and my father to walk me down the aisle.
My mom was my biggest supporter in the somewhat tumultuous time of finding out I was pregnant and in the days leading up to my wedding. She was the one who chuckled when I told her I was pregnant and wondered aloud if I thought I was the first girl on earth that had a baby before she was married. She helped me to see that my pregnancy could be a good thing and that I had every right in the world to still live a happily ever after.
And on the other hand, she was the only person who didn’t pressure me into marriage just because I was pregnant. She pushed me to make sure I took the time to figure out what I wanted. She understood the importance of knowing that I was entering into two lifelong commitments that only I could step into.
Although planning a wedding in two months during college while pregnant was an exhausting and stressful experience, and although my mom and I had plenty of fights along the way, I knew that she would always, always be there for me.
So, in a way, it felt wrong to ask only my father to walk me down the aisle and into my new life.
I wanted both of them; the parents that had raised me, guided me, and supported me.
I wanted to be encircled in the love of the two people who loved me best in the whole world.
I wanted my mom, my best friend, to have more of a role than glorified candle-lighter during one of the biggest days in my life.
So I asked her if she would join us as we walked down the aisle.
And together, all three of us stepped, tears rolling down our faces, one family that would always love each other, down the aisle and into a day that welcomed new life and new love.
My mom–and my dad–walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.
And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.