At weddings, it’s traditional for the bride’s father to walk her down the aisle. He then waits for the pastor to ask, “Who gives this woman to this man?” Then the father replies, “Her mother and I do.” Then he sits down while the pastor performs the ceremony. But what happens when the bride’s father is also a pastor?

Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I was fully aware that my dad was a pastor. My main community was my church, so there was no escaping the familial association. I was introduced many times as “Pastor Tung’s daughter.”  There were times where I didn’t want to just be a PK.  And there were times where I wanted people to view my dad not just as a pastor or a pastor that is a father, but just my dad.  Given that my dad is a pastor, we attended many weddings.  And I remember a couple times, after the wedding, I’d look at my dad and tell him, “At my wedding, I just want you to be my dad.”  I did not want him to officiate.  For one of the few times in my life that I would be allowed to have a say whether my dad was my dad or a pastor, I wanted him to be my dad.

So you ask, who then will be officiating my wedding?

My dad.

While I was in college, I was able to attend a wedding of a pastor’s oldest daughter.  This pastor walked her down the aisle and also performed the ceremony.  I remember sitting and watching the father’s face as he gave his homily to the couple.  I could tell that he wasn’t just giving any homily to any couple.  I could see the emotion in his face as he looked at his daughter and her soon-to-be husband.  The stories he was able to tell about how she grew up could only really be told by him.  The endearing look he bestowed on her can only be described as how a father would look at his daughter.  He expressed the honor he felt as being able to give her away and send her off with words for all in attendance to hear.  It dawned on me that at my wedding, it would actually be my honor to ask my dad to perform my ceremony.  I want to be able to be standing up there hearing the stories of how I grew up, gazing back at my dad in only the way a daughter can look at her father, listening to the words of blessing from my dad.  This was the one time in my life where I didn’t want to miss out on the chance for my dad to be my dad…who is also a pastor.

Dad, it’s my honor to have you officiate my wedding.

Just don’t tell too many embarrassing stories.