(Closed) Feminism and my Dad walking me down the aisle

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 17
47211 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Feminism is about ensuring that all women have choices not about telling you what you can or cannot do. Feminists still enjoy having an escort.

This problem is easily solved by using different wording for the ceremony. Leave out the “who giveth this woman? ” part.

Post # 18
4505 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I am a feminist, too, and I also objected to the symbolism of the whole “giving away” thing. 

But the crux of feminism is choice. I opted to walk alone, but I could also have chosen to walk with my dad. You have the power to do whatever you want and to make that walking-down-the-aisle moment into whatever you want it to be. If you want to walk with your dad, you can do so without it having to be about him “giving you away.” You can make it mean whatever you want it to, and you can ask the officiant to say something other than “who gives this woman away.”

So, do what you want — walking down the aisle with your dad will not make you a bad feminist!

Post # 20
1241 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I am a feminist as well (shouldn’t everyone be!?). I know the tradition of walking down the aisle began as a symbol of the father giving their daughter to a new man, but as most traditions do it has evolved into something different. I think it’s just a nice awknowledgemnt of your parents. I will probably have my mom or both my parents walk down with me, because I want them to have that special moment with me (plus, I hate attention and don’t want to walk alone- eep!) and I want them to be a part of the ceremony. However, they will just walk me down, hug me, and sit. There will be no mention of “giving” me away.

I also like the idea of my fiance walking down the aisle with his parents as well.

Post # 22
1521 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I am very much a feminist as well. The whole idea of ‘giving the bride away’ really bothers me. Like you said, we aren’t property, and the roots of it are from when women were literally given away. 

Our officiant emailed and asked what I wanted to do about that whole part. I knew that I wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle. That was a very special moment, and I knew he was very excited about it. 

I looked up alternatives to ‘giving away the bride.’  this is what we chose. 

Officiant: ‘Today, as we join (name) and (name)  in marriage, we celebrate them as they begin a new family together. Yet we also know that this branch of the family tree will be strengthened and enriched by the love, traditions and knowledge of their family roots. 

‘Will you (parents’ names) bless (couples names) in their marriage? Will you celebrate them in times of joy, and bolster then and their marriage in times of hardship? ‘

Parents’ answer: we will. 

Full disclosure, I didn’t write this.  Google the phrases and you will find some good alternatives. I didn’t keep the website noted. I really liked this since I am close with my parents and acknowledging that my husband and I are becoming our own family but will be loved and supported by my parents was perfect for our situation. 

I hope you find something that you feel represents you. 

Post # 23
9130 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I certainly consider myself a feminist (and my husband considers himself one as well).  We each walked down the aisle with both of our parents.  It was more a way to honor their extremely appreciated roles in our lives rather than any kind of “property” BS.  And obviously there was no text about “who gives this woman”.  I just hugged them and my husband hugged them and we all grinned like idiots and then got on to the marrying business!

Post # 24
11575 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

I’m a feminist too, because yes, I believe women are not property and should enjoy the same freedoms as men. (Sad that PP didn’t think that was related to feminism, because without feminist women would be property literally!)

Feminism is about egalitarianism for everyone. Nothing about that means you can’t honor the joy of being a daughter to a wonderful father. 

I love the idea of your dad walking with you toward your future. 

Post # 25
5224 posts
Bee Keeper

kategf86:  I really think you are reading too much into this. It isn’t like your Dad is going to provide your Fiance with a dowry of two goats and a chicken for taking you off his hands. I don’t think anyone sees a father/mother walking his daughter down the aisle as anything other than a nice tradition that lets you include your parents in your ceremony. It isn’t setting the feminist movement back.

I get what you are saying though. I think veils look really silly on most brides because of their history.

Post # 26
341 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Absolutely! Before we were engaged, I told my Fiance that he was, under no circumstances, allowed to ask for my dad’s “permission.” Only ONE person needs to give permission: me.

Luckily my officiant is on the same page. She refuses to allow the “giving away” of brides because, as she very clearly and firmly explained, no woman is property. Here, here.

So here’s what we’re doing: Both of my parents are walking me down the aisle. When we get to the presentation section, we’re calling it the “presentation of the couple,” not of the bride. Both sets of parents will present and give their blessings. The officiant will say, “Do you who have nurtured these two people bestow your blessings upon their union?” And the parents answer, “We do.”

We didn’t choose this version, but our officiant also uses this sometimes: “Others would ask, at this time, who gives the Bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family’s blessing. 

_____, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord? <br />[Bride] Yes, it is true. <br />[Officiant] With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you? <br />[FATHER] She comes with me, her father, and is accompanied by all of her family’s blessings.


Post # 27
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

kategf86:  I think you’re confused about what feminism is. Have your father walk you down the aisle if it’s that important to you. Afterall, that’s the choice YOU will make, not someone else on your behalf. You’re overthinking it way too much.

Post # 28
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I am in the same boat. If it is something that will weigh on your mind after the wedding and you will look back and think negatively at all…then you must follow what your head tells you. Follow your instincts and stop putting what your parents want/believe in first above your own values and happiness.


Post # 29
48 posts

The whole ‘who gives this woman..’ bit makes me want to vomit. Same thing with being ‘given away’.

I walked down the aisle with my Mom and Dad, and gave them each a hug at the end of the aisle. That was the whole thing.

I’m not the type to ‘treasure’ moments from my wedding (I’m just not a sentimental person), but my favorite picture from my wedding is the one of me, my mom and my dad walking together down the aisle. There are tears in both of their eyes.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  coach78.
Post # 30
257 posts
Helper bee

I don’t see the point of dwelling on things like this. The equality movement isn’t hampered by your Dad walking you down the aisle. You can even iron the odd shirt for your husband too without setting women’s rights back 200 years. Having my Dad give me away was such a proud moment for us both, I couldn’t and wouldn’t of ever deprived him of that. I adore my Dad. 

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