My Dad Didn't Make My Wedding. I Wish Meghan Markle's Could Make Hers.

Dads should be at weddings. End of story.

Oh dear, the Markle debacle. What can anyone really say about the mess that poor Meghan finds herself in now, just days out from her wedding day?

It’s one hell of a disaster. A dysfunctional family in crisis, their lives splashed across the media of a country they don’t even live in, because one beautiful girl met a prince, fell in love and decided to get married. A brother, a sister and yes, her father, getting caught up in the storm and, for better or worse, making some choices about their actions.

But regardless of the reasons her dad Thomas Markle isn’t flying to London this weekend, one thing stands out to me: How sad that is for Meghan. All she wanted was to have him there. And despite all of the stories, when I think of what she’s feeling right now, it makes me sad, too. Dads should be at weddings.

You see, I got married three years ago. I lost my dad to cancer just months earlier. He couldn’t be at my wedding. And that broke my heart.

My dad was born to be the father of the bride. He was larger than life. He made great speeches. He loved to tell a joke.

I think he was always disappointed that I didn’t get married in my 20s or 30s, in a church, in a white frock. Giving me away would have delighted him I think -- certainly giving the toast at the reception would have tickled him, talking about me as a kid to a room full of people would have been a joy. Raising a glass was his favourite hobby -- doing it at my wedding would have been so much fun for him.

But when I did finally tie the knot, Dad was already gone.

Dad got diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. We thought he would end up being fine -- he had some of his bowel removed and went through treatment fine -- but it wasn’t long before he had more pain, the cause of which was a return of the tumour.

By 2014 we knew he was terminal -- it was just a matter of time, and the cancer spread to his lungs and his brain. I still remember Father’s Day that year vividly -- he told us at the local yum cha place, as we tucked into some prawn dumplings, that his doctor had told him this would be his last Father’s Day. He was right -- he passed away on January 24, 2015.

My now-husband and I weren’t planning to get married that year. We had been together for 14 years by that stage and marriage seemed a bit redundant, but after Dad, something changed our minds. We decided to do it -- to make it official -- in part to celebrate his life.

We didn’t get married in a church. No one gave me away. We flew to New York on September 10 and got hitched at City Hall. My brother-in-law and another friend of ours came along. We had hot dogs afterwards, then stayed in a suite at the Peninsula for the night. I wore a ring that belonged to Dad. I had a photo of him with me.

But of course it wasn’t the same.

Don’t get me wrong -- my wedding was special and lovely and such a great day with my husband. Doing it our way meant we had no speeches or toasts, no aisles to walk down. But regardless, my dad wasn’t able to share it with me, and that still makes me sad.

My brother got married last December and, again, Dad’s absence was palpable -- it shocked us actually, surprising us by choking up my brother during a speech, my mum and I dissolving into tears during dessert.

Dads should be at weddings. End of story.

As Meghan heads down the aisle of St George’s Chapel on Saturday -- with whomever is chosen to step in and escort her -- I know she will feel the same. Dads should be there. And yet, hers won’t be. And that makes me sad.