The Father/Daughter Walk

February 26, 2020

A bride who has lost her father can now experience the Father/daughter walk down the aisle in a custom painting.

A bride seeing the portrait of her father walking her down the aisle for the first time.
Photo by Emily Fuselier Photography

There is no argument that wedding photographs are priceless. They allow the couple to re-live those precious moments over and over again after the wedding. Some moments, however, are impossible to capture because they could never happen, like a bride walking down the aisle without her father. With a little magic, I have found a way to make an impossible moment like a late father/daughter walk come to life.

I remember it very clearly, even though it passed by in what seemed like a split second. Tucked away in the stairwell in the church, my dad and I waited for Canon in D to begin and the doors to open. Needless to say, we were both nervous. The nerves came from a place of anticipation and happiness. We had joked before that he would be a blubbering mess, but the man whose arm I clung to was all smiles.

My dad escorted me down the long aisle of that Catholic church, then passed my hand to the man I now call my husband. That moment on my wedding day – my father/daughter walk – will always be a treasure in my heart.

I can’t imagine the void that some women feel as they walk down the aisle alone or with a substitute, having lost their father before the wedding. I would do anything to give every bride a father/daughter walk with their dad… so when someone asked me create a painting of that scene, my response was a resounding “yes!”

The call came out of the blue. A young man had heard of my live wedding paintings from a friend. He was inspired by my usual paintings of the first dance, but he had a better idea. When we spoke on the phone, he struggled to describe his vision because he wasn’t sure if it was possible. I assured him that I would do my best to make it happen.

We worked together to gather old photos of his bride’s father and a few of the venue. We even had the Maid of Honor secretly send a few snap shots from the bride’s bridal photoshoot. The photos showed what her dress and bouquet would look like, making the scene look even more real.

I had every piece of the puzzle, all I had to do was put it on canvas.

Family and friends surrounded her as the bride received her gift. Her husband played a slide show which showcased their relationship, with special mention of her father who was “with them in spirit.” The photographer captured every minute leading up to the big reveal, and finally the bride’s reaction to seeing her painting for the first time. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the building.

In a magical way, this bride will be able to cherish an impossible moment with her father who had passed away before her wedding day – the Father/Daughter walk down the aisle. Photo by Emily Fuselier Photography
The portrait of the father/daughter walk, painted by New Orleans artist Stephanie T. Gaffney of Torregrossa Fine Art.

Since that first request, I have painted countless father/daughter walks. The process has truly been humbling for me, and creatively, it can be a great challenge! The references are usually old photographs, discolored or out of focus. It can also be difficult to get a photo of the venue with the correct perspective and décor to make the scene look real. It takes a lot of imagination and coordination to bring this scene to life, but I always pour my heart into each piece to make it as life-like as possible.

I think every bride should have that moment with her father, even if it’s just a vision of her angel walking her down the aisle. I’m elated to play a part in giving them their father/daughter walk.

Photo: Emily Fuselier Photography | Venue: The White Magnolia

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Hi I'm stephanie, nice to meet you!

meet the blogger

I'm Stephanie T. Gaffney, and my company is Torregrossa Fine Art. I'm an artist in New Orleans who specializes in live wedding painting. That means I get to travel to venues all over the world to paint couples on the happiest day of their lives.

When I'm not painting on-site at weddings on the weekends, I can be found in my home studio, producing beautiful paintings from photographs. In my opinion, I have the coolest job in the world.

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All artwork is the sole property of Stephanie T. Gaffney and Torregrossa Fine Art, Inc and is held under copyright.
The images, artwork and contents of this website may not be copied or used without the written permission of Stephanie T. Gaffney.

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