You’ll attend all kinds of weddings in this lifetime. Perhaps among the most confronting is when one of your parents marries a new partner. Here a member of our PF family shares with us her recent experience of her father’s journey down the aisle, second time around:

My phone beeped, signalling a new text message.

As I looked down, a grainy photo of my beaming father and his girlfriend sitting on a gondola came into focus.

It wasn’t until I zoomed in on the image that I realized my father wasn’t trying to show me the splendors of the Venetian canals at all. Instead, he was gesturing toward the sparkling new ring that seemed to have sprouted as if miraculously from his girlfriend’s left hand.

Mature age wedding

I felt the world around me start to spin. Was my father, the serial bachelor and poster child for divorcees everywhere…engaged? All hands pointed to yes.

Now, I know that the normal (and some would argue mature) response would have been that of jubilation.  And don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see my dad so ecstatic, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was in some kind of parent-child role reversal.

Growing up, many of us have a vision that our parents will grow old together. While that is the case for some, for many others, navigating the often-tricky world of blended families becomes the reality.

Coming across this experience as an adult can be even more challenging. At times it might feel like you take on the role of the parent ­­unsure if their new partner is the correct fit, worried that they will get hurt, or potentially feeling disloyal to your other parent. I admit that I could’ve ticked each of those boxes.

bride groom kiss

Yet, when I first saw my dad after his unceremonious digital announcement, I couldn’t deny just how happy he was. Radiant even. The more I thought about it, the more it became clear; while it might be a cliché, when all is said and done, isn’t happiness the only thing that matters?

They decided on a small and simple wedding, shunning tradition and focusing instead on personal touches that made the day feel intimate and special.

As I watched my dad nervously adjust his tie while waiting for his new bride, it hit me – while it might not be conventional, witnessing someone you’ve known your whole life find love and get married doesn’t happen every day. 

married couple

What’s more, inappropriate best man speeches, bridezilla antics and other moments that can make for a cringe-worthy wedding were nowhere to be found. There was just good food, even better wine, and a whole lot of love.

It’s been a couple of months now and my dad is still beaming like he was on that gondola. If that’s what love looks like second time around, I say ‘I do’ to that.

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