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Bride torn about trip down aisle

Dear Abby: A young bride-to-be who signed her letter "Touchy Decision in Ohio" (June 18) prefers her stepdad walk her down the aisle at her wedding but is worried about what her biological father (whom she sees once or twice a year) and other relatives might think.

In my many decades on this earth, especially during the last 10 or 15 years, I have seen all sorts of changes in wedding etiquette, including the customs governing who walks down the aisle. In addition to fathers escorting daughters, I've seen brothers escort sisters and children walk their mother to the altar. In "Ohio's" case, the logical solution, and the more appropriate one, to me, would be to have both gentlemen escort her down the aisle, one on either side. What could be lovelier?

The bride-to-be should consider that the hurt feelings that often crop up on sensitive occasions such as this, if not attended to beforehand, can tarnish the memory of the event in the minds of loved ones forever.

-- Barb H. in Springfield, Mass.

Dear Barb: Thank you for your response. Opinions regarding "Ohio's" letter are numerous and varied. A majority of those I heard from agree with your suggestion that both dads share the task. However, others viewed it differently. My newspaper readers' comment:

Dear Abby: If the biological father wanted to be a part of his daughter's life he should have made more of an effort to be there for her. The stepdad no doubt put up with all the growing pains associated with raising a teenager as well as other parenting challenges. These are the prerequisites for walking a daughter down the aisle. Although most males can father a child, not all of them can truly be a FATHER.

-- Stepdad to a Wonderful Daughter

Dear Abby: I can't believe how ignorant, uncaring and selfish a bride would be to dump her dad on her wedding day. Everyone WILL notice, and everyone WILL care.

-- Mary in Ohio

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com.

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