When I work with couples to design their custom ceremony, I ask lots of questions in order to get to know the couple, but also to understand the type of ceremony they want. Almost always, my questions are met with the following response:
“I don’t know. What is tradition?”
My response is always some version of the the following:
“It is your wedding. Don’t feel bounded by what you have seen before or what you think people will expect. Make your own traditions and ensure that you are spiritually/morally/rationally comfortable with every aspect of your wedding.”
I understand that at times there exists an aspect of the wedding that is very important for a member of the family. However, if you are not fully comfortable with it, you should not force yourself into it.
Let me offer a very personal example. My father wanted to give me away. I was extremely uncomfortable with this. One because my husband and I had already been legally married and this was a symbolic weddings. But more so because my husband and I were together for years before and we were not entering this marriage from separate spheres, but from an already existing life together. Instead my husband and I walked in together from the front of the garden.
That said, I did talk at length with my father and found a solution that made both of us very happy. After my father and I had our dance at the wedding, my father handed me off to my husband for the next dance. It was a small symbolic act that meant the world to him.
Of course a wedding is not a time to hurt the feelings of others, but if you feel uncomfortable with something then you have the right to say so. Create new traditions that you can fully embrace as your own and the love that you exude will put everyone at the wedding in a happy, glowing mood!