My wedding day is going to be full of emotions, and I know you will be the one person who will experience bittersweet emotions and thoughts throughout the entire ceremony, as well as the days after it. On one hand, you will be happy for the young woman who you’ll soon walk down the aisle. She will have grown up, and because of you, she will be strong, faithful, responsible and determined. You know she won’t marry anyone you don’t approve of, so you’re going to give her away to a man who has all of the same qualities, values and morals you raised her on. On the other hand, though, your heart will be breaking. When you see me in my white gown, you’ll picture the little girl in a pink dress graduating kindergarten. You’ll remember all of the times she used to beg you to carry her on your shoulders, jumped in your arms when you came home from work, and who used to need you. You’ll ache for one more day with her.
Well, Daddy, that little girl still exists, and she is always going to need you. On my wedding day, instead of putting me on your shoulders and running around the house, I’ll ask you to lock arms with me and walk down the aisle. When the priest asks, “Who gives this woman away?” I know I’ll see a tear roll down your cheek like I did when I accepted my high school diploma. I know I’ll hear your voice crack when you answer the priest with your name, just like I did when you told me you were proud of me on my first day of college. I’ll wipe your tears away the same way you wiped mine away for so many years and tell you how much I love you so you don’t ever forget.
Just because I will be married doesn’t mean I won’t be your little girl. A dad is a daughter’s first love. You’ve taught me how to be an honest person who stands up for my beliefs. You’ve shown me how to respect others and challenge myself. You’ve taught me how important it is to do my best and to never be upset with the results if I do. You’ve shown me that it’s not acceptable to settle or to be treated poorly by anyone. The man who will be waiting at the end of the aisle for me will be someone who loves me, knows my worth and will never stop making sure I’m happy. I know this because, chances are, he will be a lot like you.
Your Little Girl