GIV­ING AWAY THE BRIDE

My Wedding - - GROOMS - By Joshua Withers

The tra­di­tion of giv­ing away the bride comes from a time when women were viewed a lit­tle dif­fer­ently to now, though the tra­di­tion has evolved with the rest of civil­i­sa­tion and is still a prom­i­nent and im­por­tant part of some cer­e­monies. It is an op­tional part of your cer­e­mony, so let your cel­e­brant know if you would like to par­take in the tra­di­tion or forgo it.

To­day, you can take the tra­di­tion and make it mean some­thing spe­cial to you. In­stead of the bride’s fa­ther giv­ing her away in ex­change for a dowry, an­i­mal or fi­nan­cial ‘com­pen­sa­tion’, the cer­e­mony can re­flect the re­la­tion­ship the bride has with her fa­ther, or her par­ents, and even vice-versa for the bride­groom. Or you could take the cer­e­mony away from the tra­di­tional fa­ther role, and open it up to the guests or both par­ents. • The bride is not given away but walks her­self down the aisle • The bride and groom to­gether walk down the aisle, the bridal party may have

ar­rived early or they could join them, per­haps leading the way • The bride is given away by an es­cort, per­haps a fam­ily mem­ber • Both the bride and groom could be given away by each of their fam­i­lies, to the

other, in a cer­e­mony per­formed af­ter walk­ing down the aisle • All of the guests could give the cou­ple away, in a ques­tion and re­sponse with the guests the cel­e­brant could ask some­thing like: “Fam­ily and friends, will you sup­port and love the mar­riage be­ing solem­nised here to­day?” The guests re­spond “We will!” • The bride and groom can walk down the aisle them­selves hav­ing ar­rived to­gether, or the groom meet­ing his bride at the end of the aisle and es­cort­ing her the fi­nal leg. As they get to their par­ents an ex­change, whether for­mal or emo­tional, can oc­cur as a sign of hon­our, re­spect and thanks • The tra­di­tional giv­ing away of the bride in­volves the fa­ther walk­ing the bride down the aisle and giv­ing her to the bride­groom. To rep­re­sent the mod­ern ver­sion of the tra­di­tion, the groom could thank the fa­ther as he reaches the al­tar, of­fer­ing a hand­shake, high five or a hug and even ver­bally ac­knowl­edge him • A fem­i­nine ver­sion could have the cel­e­brant ask­ing ”Who gives this woman to be mar­ried to this man?” With the bride an­swer­ing ”She gives her­self, but with her fam­ily’s bless­ing.”

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