Post # 1
I am trying to decide what I should do about walking down the aisle. I think being given away is archaic, and my father (who gave us their wedding gift up front- enough cash to pay for most of the wedding and very traditional) has been exceptionally difficult and complaining about our “nontraditional wedding” despite that it is one of the most traditional weddings I;ve seen. We were close growing up, but in the last 2-3 years, has been impossible. I also think we should treat all parents equally (they are all in the procession or none). My mother has been almost as difficult as my father. I don’t like being the center of attention and suggested that my fiance and I walk up the aisle together, but he feels that is like running off to city hall. I need some advice please!
Post # 3
Just to clarify, is the “he” of your 2nd to last sentence your dad or your fiance?
Assuming that you are referring to your dad:
I agree with you about being “given away.” I find it deeply gruesome and pretty offensive. It is much nicer to have you and Fi walk down the aisle together–or perhaps both your parents. (Could they escort you to the altar without ‘giving you away’?)
Honestly, if you feel strongly about it, then I think you just need to calmly explain to them that you aren’t trying to buck tradition or insult your dad but that you don’t feel comfortable about being ‘given away’ for reasons x, y and z, and that you hope your parents will respect your feelings and your decision.
Ultimately, you need to decide what is most important to you and accept that sometimes being your own woman will mean that people disapprove of what you do. 🙂
Post # 4
To clarify: my fiance feels like he and I walking up the aisle is like going to city hall and doesn’t want to.
Post # 5
We are doing what the Catholic Church told us is the traditional way of the procession for the rite of marriage. They said that both the groom and bride should be in the procession (preferably walking in together) because they are both taking part in the ceremony. They also said that if the groom and bride don`t walk in together, it is preferred that BOTH parents (if the parents are still together) escort the groom and BOTH parents (ditto) escort the bride.
So, here is what we`re doing: My Fiance will walk in after the priest and the readers, escorted by his mother and father. Then the groomsmen and the bridesmaids will walk the aisle and assume their positions at the sides of the alter, then I will walk in escorted by both of my parents.
I don’t have your situation though, that my parents are too traditional. My mom was really excited about being able to take part in the processional, and my dad thinks its fun. For what its worth, we were told by the Catholic Church that the custom of “giving away” the bride is outdated, and was never a religious custom but a cultural one, and one that they do not really approve of. And you can’t get much more traditional than the Catholic Church!!
Post # 6
We decided that we were not going to do the traditional give-away. It didn’t make sense considering I’ve been on my own for more than 1/2 my life.
I wanted to honor my parents because I knew they’d be crushed if I didn’t do something… so I had both parents walk with me half-way down the aisle and then I made the rest of my journey alone– just as I have in my own life.
Everyone was happy and it ended up being a meaningful ritual to me.
Post # 7
I never liked the idea of being “given away” either, but I also didn’t want to walk alone. I just knew I was going to be nervous and wanted someone to lean on. My mom walked with me and it was just fine. We both understood she wasn’t “giving me” to my husband, she was walking with me because it seemed like the right thing to do- as she’s always been there to support me, and I wanted to honor her. You need to do what makes you feel the most comfortable, if you really want to walk alone, do it! But, if it’s going to cause more drama than it’s really worth, I’d just walk with your dad. Just make sure he understands he isn’t giving you away, he’s just there to support you.
Post # 8
I love the idea of one last walk with my dad before starting a new life with the fiance. But while I do love that, I’m going to invite my mom to walk down that aisle with us also. Both my parents gave away my brother and his wife was escorted by her mother, her father (divorced) and his new wife. It certainly wasn’t traditional but all those people played a part in making them who they are now, so they wanted them all to share in the experience.
Post # 9
I hate the idea of being “given” away too! And my boyfriend is a super feminist. However, I was reading online about one girl whose Dad walked her down the aisle and when the minister asked “Who gives so so to be married” The parents answered “She gives herself freely with our love and support”. I think that might be the best thing I’ve ever heard! And definitely what I’m doing.
Post # 11
What about your groom meeting you halfway down the aisle? Or walking in with both your mom and dad? Or walking with your maid of honor? I just watched I Love You, Man, and the bride had a bridesmaid on each side of her. I’m going to have my mom walk me down the aisle since my dad recently passed away, but I won’t consider it “giving me away”. It’s more just moral support so I don’t pass out halfway down the aisle, haha!
@KMSull: That’s awesome!
Post # 12
KMSull, that’s what we did too! It wasn’t like my dad was giving me away, but he was there to show his support of me (literally and figuratively- I needed someone to hold on to!) He was the one who said he didn’t want to say that he gives me to be married, so we came up with “She gives herself freely, with her mother’s and my support”.
Post # 13
I like the idea of just changing the wording that the parents say. That seems like it would solve the issue. I would be absolutely sure your father would follow through on saying the new version though, as I know my parents wouldn’t blink an eye to change something like that at the last minute to suit themselves. For example, at my sisters weeding she didnt want any singing! Well the day of the wedding she is greeted to my cousins singing before the wedding to entertain the guests and a special song right before she walked in. 10 years later she is still upset.
Another way to think about it: 10 years from now would your father be more upset that he didnt get to walk you down the aisle? OR would you be more upset that you gave in and let him give you away?
Post # 14
@mskalinin: I love that you’re doing that!
Post # 15
At my first wedding, the groom’s parents walked him down the aisle, and my parents walked me down the aisle. No one gave anyone away. If you want your parents involved, that would be one nonsexist way to do it.
I’ve also seen suggestions that the groom walk halfway down the aisle by himself, then you walk halfway down yourself, and then the two of you walk from there. Would your groom be more receptive to that?
Post # 16
In non-Americanized Catholic weddings, the couple walks down together behind the priest. That is FINE! Just have your parents walk down the processional before you and before any of the bridesmaids/groomsmen with eachother/significant others.
It’s YOUR wedding. Just make a feminist stand and say, “I am not goods to be bartered. We are both free agents.”
I love how in Jewish weddings, the bride and the groom both walk down with both of their parents. It sounds like that might be too much for you though drama wise…
Even though I feel that way, my father did not understand my feminist stance and would be hurt and take it personally if I didn’t have him walk down the aisle. So, I am letting him. I actually wanted my grandmother to walk me down, but she wouldn’t do it because they are too traditional. But it is…I think I want to live vicariously through you if you make your feminist stance.