Jim Joseph Father of Bride

A "Gay Father of the Bride" — on the Day He Never Thought Would Come

Jim Joseph described the "perfect" day he never thought would come — his daughter's wedding. 

You know the phrase, “I never thought this day would come?” I never thought I’d ever say that! But that’s exactly what I thought as they opened the doors to the church and I stood at the back end of the aisle waiting for the organ music to change so I could begin walking my daughter down the aisle.

I never thought this day would come! 

I thought the same thing when we got to the front of the church and I “gave her away” to her fiancé. And then the same thing as I was welcoming our guests at the pandemic-friendly reception. And then the same thing as we danced as father and bride to “You’re Still You” by Josh Groban sung beautifully by lead singer of the six-piece band.

I never thought this day would come.

We had been preparing for months thinking through all of the details we would need to line up. In the weeks leading up to the big day, my husband and I placed more orders than we’d ever thought possible, bought matching tuxedos, wrote out table cards, and machinated over the flowers and the food. 

Everything turned out perfect.

We had been planning so earnestly that we never really stopped to think about what was actually happening! Our daughter is getting married! Which is why in that moment when the doors opened in the church it hit me so suddenly. I am walking my daughter down the aisle!

The truth is that we had been planning for years. Years. I was a single divorced gay father back at a time when none of that was discussed, accepted, or embraced. Certainly not celebrated at a wedding. In my book Out and About Dad, I used the hashtag #SGD (single gay dad) to describe my status. It wasn’t a welcomed place to be. On my daughter’s wedding day,  #GFOB (gay father of the bride) was met with smiles, tears, and lots of hugs. With masks on, of course.

What a long way we have all come! My son was a groomsman and my husband helped them all get ready and was directing everyone to be in their places for the ceremony. Much like he did when he was making school lunches, picking them up from sports events, making dinner, doing the laundry, and putting bandages on scrapes all those years. 

And they were tough years. Years met with scrutiny, disdain, judgement, and sincere fear that we could lose the kids, I could lose my job, or that we would break under the pressure of it all.

But not in that moment at the foot of the aisle. The day had come. And we were celebrating our family, our extended family, and the groom’s extended family. A giant mix of backgrounds that seamlessly came together to celebrate love. 

All kinds of love. Every kind of love.

Posted by Jim Joseph

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