OYS Wedding Guide: A father's experience

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When I was asked 'how does it feel to give your daughter away in marriage?,' there was no simple answer.

Felicia is the oldest of our four daughters and when I reflected on the day she was born and the fact that she's getting married, that journey through time and space packed my heart with emotions.

Last summer, Jerard proposed to her. The two met in college, set a February 2014 wedding date and began planning.

The process was like riding a roller coaster; but they accomplished their goals by using a wedding coordinator while talking with their parents thorough out the process.

I knew it was going to happen, but as a father, the reality did not hit until the wedding rehearsal and then it was the big day.

This was a destination wedding and it was outdoors. But the weather was not going to cooperate. It was rainy and cold, so the hours leading up to the ceremony were busy and chaotic at times, making sure that everything went as planned.

I was impressed with the vendors. Photographer Victoria Angela memorialized everything, from the empty wedding dress to the moment the make up was being applied to her face.

When she put on her wedding dress, in my eyes she was elevated to a different level. She was beautiful, elegant, and no longer the baby girl that came into our lives.

She is now a lady and soon to be someone's wife.

As we walked down the aisle to the altar, she was nervous, but her dad was as steady as a rock, at least it seemed that way.

In a few minutes I heard the minister ask, 'who gives this bride in marriage?'

And that was the start of a transition, I was doing well hiding my tears of joy until the father and daughter dance. Emotionally, I came apart.

My wife Rosalyn and I are proud of our daughters; we are also excited about the next stage in Felicia's life. Her wedding was far grander than ours, but when you have children isn't that the way it is suppose to be? It was an experience that I will have with me forever.


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