Should I be “given away” at my wedding?

For many women, the idea of being given away by their father on their wedding day fills them with joy and love. It can be a very tender moment between you and your beloved Dad.

But what if the thought of this antiquated tradition makes you feel uncomfortable? What if excluding your Mum or Step-parents makes you feel sad? What if you don’t even get along that well with your Dad or your Dad isn’t able to walk you down the aisle?

There are so many alternatives to the tradition of being “given away”, even for religious ceremonies. For the modern woman there are so many ways to show thanks to your parents at this moment without using the dated tradition.


The Tradition

Traditionally, the father of the bride would respond to the officiant’s question, like this:
Officiant: “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
Answer: “I do”

a mfather gives her daughter away at her wedding

Option 1: Both Parents

The first option is to be walked down the aisle with both parents. You may need to check that all three of you (and your dress!) can fit down the aisle together.

Your officiant can ask the question as above, and both parents can answer with

“ We do”.

a bride being given away by her mum

Option 2:  The Non-Verbal

Eliminating the words still provides an opportunity for your family to show their support.

When they reach the end of the aisle, your parents can hug or kiss you and your fiancé.

Option 3: For the Feminist

If you’re keen to walk down the aisle accompanied but want to pay homage to your feminism, why not ask your dad or parents to answer your officiant by saying
“She gives herself freely, with our blessing.”

a bride gives herself away at a church wedding

Option 4: Go it alone!

If you’re having Bridesmaids, you aren’t really doing it alone. But nothing says strong and independent like walking down the aisle by yourself. More and more brides are “giving themselves away” these days and I love it!


Option 5: Do it together!

Have you ever considered walking down the aisle together? Nothing says equality like arriving at the alter as a pair.

My husband and I actually did this at our wedding. I always wanted both my parents to walk me down the aisle, but after my mum died, I couldn’t bear to draw attention to her not being there.

Equality is also a really important part of our relationship and making that bold statement as we entered into our marriage really meant a lot to us.

We actually met at the top of the aisle and so we still had that “first look” moment – I can still picture my husband’s beaming face as I stepped into the church. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.

Make it your own!

Whatever you do – the best thing you can do is make it your own! It’s your big day and it needs to be done in a way that reflects you, your relationships and your values.

a bride being given away by her father

Becky is a Somerset Wedding Photographer – a natural, informal, documentary style with a love of beautiful, creative portraits.


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