A lot of brides today don’t want to be given away; they often want someone to walk them down the aisle, but not to ‘give them away’ as such. Traditionally whoever walked you down the aisle (you can read my blog here about walking down the aisle) would be asked, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” and they would respond, “I do”. I have often thought it was unfair for the mum who never took part in this tradition – the older I got the more I thought the bride shouldn’t be referred to as a possession to be passed on to the groom. Most brides feel this way too, they don’t feel like they are owned and don’t want to be ‘given away’, many couples are living together and the tradition seems wrong and old fashioned.
I am by no means saying this tradition should not be a part of the modern wedding, or if you are attached to this past time and would like it to be included in your ceremony it shouldn’t, but there are alternatives.
Recently during one wedding I conducted, I asked both the bride and groom’s parents a question and had them respond during the ceremony. I asked: (Name) and (Name), your daughter (Name) has chosen (Name) to be the person who she will share her life with. Will you continue to receive him into your family, with love and acceptance, and support them together through their marriage? All the parents were included; therefore if you do decide to have your father walk you down the aisle, your mother will have her special moment during the ceremony, as do the groom’s parents.
This can also be a great way when there are children involved from previous relationships and you would like to have them included in the vows, making a new family unit, you can ask all the parents: (Name), (Name), (Name) and (Name), (Bride) and (Groom) have decided to that they want to spend their lives together will you support them in their decisions, through good and bad times, and accept (Child), (Child) and (Child) into your respective families and want only for their happiness through all the years ahead?
This is another perfect example of how you can tailor your wedding to you and your partner’s wishes, while still keeping to tradition.