Lindy Cooke Celebrant wedding flowers, exchanging rings, ceremonies

“Giving away” the bride

Here are some ideas for “giving away” the bride on your wedding day …

 

Tradition

Centuries ago, fathers did actually “give away” their daughters when they married into the care of their new husband as daughters were considered their “property” until then. Women in those days had no source of income and were totally reliant on their family or husband for all their needs.

 

What happens now

Nowadays, the bride’s father will usually (although not always) walk the bride down the aisle and deliver her to the groom, thus giving his tacit approval for their marriage. Holding onto the arm/s of someone she loves as she makes her way down to the groom will be a special moment for the bride and whoever is supporting her in this role.

There are many variations as to whom the bride will choose to walk her down the aisle depending on her family situation. These include her mother, her mother and father, her brother, uncle, close friend etc. Alternatively, she could choose to walk down the aisle with the groom (and perhaps their children) or by herself.

If the bride walks down the aisle with someone, there is then a choice as to what happens next. Her father, for instance, may give her a hug or a kiss as he delivers her to the groom and then take a seat or he may remain by her side until a little later in the ceremony.

Either way, the celebrant will ask him (or the bride’s father and mother, or both sets of parents, or the assembled group of family and friends) before the bride and groom say their vows something along the lines of whether he/they will continue to nurture and support this union. The answer that is made represents the “giving away” of the bride as she begins her new life with the groom. Of course, the bride may choose not to be “given away” and this part of the ceremony can be left out entirely.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s a good idea to let those involved know that they will be asked this question at some point during the ceremony. If all the assembled family and friends will be answering this question together, you may like to consider asking your celebrant to let them know about this before the bride arrives and, if you like, they could perhaps practice their answer once or twice so that it works seamlessly at the appropriate time.

 

It’s your choice!

The beautiful part about “giving away” the bride (or not) is that it’s totally a matter of choice. Either way, you know that your wishes can be reflected perfectly.

014 – 01/03/2014

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