Dear Abby: My boyfriend and I are talking marriage soon, and I’m already stressing over who will walk me down the aisle.

I always planned for it to be my dad, but he passed away a month ago. Mom remarried when I was young, but I have never had a close relationship with my stepdad. He mentioned years ago that he’d like to walk me down the aisle one day, but I would rather he didn’t. I don’t want to hurt his feelings or strain our relationship, but I don’t want to feel like I’m replacing Daddy, who I was very close with.

Is it taboo to walk down the aisle alone? Must I walk with my stepdad for the sake of not hurting his feelings?

Marriage in Minneapolis

Dear Marriage: Brides can (and should) walk the aisle with the companion of their choice. When the bride’s father is deceased, the escort can be her mother or a close male relative. I’ve also heard of brides escorted down the aisle by their canine companion, which proves that although they say a dog is man’s best friend, it can also be a woman’s.

You’re not obligated to have anyone walk you to the altar because the person asks. If your stepfather repeats his request, tell him it would be too hurtful because it would feel like he was replacing your father. You should also know these days some women feel being “given away” is an anachronistic custom, and make their way alone to the altar.

Dear Abby: I bought a gift certificate to a spa for a friend. When she went to use it, the place had shut down. Should I have replaced it even though I didn’t have the money?

Upset And Embarrassed

Dear Upset: You bought the gift certificate in good faith. It wasn’t your fault that the spa went out of business, and you shouldn’t feel guilty. If you paid for it with a credit card, your provider may credit you back the money.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Read or Share this story: