Does your Father really need to give you away?

Does your Father really need to give you away?

I’m going to cheat and give you the answer straight away … No!  Let me tell you why. 

Your wedding day is all about you and your partner.  It’s the bringing together of both your families and your groups of friends, but also, it’s about being true to you as a couple.

Firstly –there’s no rules on who walks you down the aisle. You can stick with the traditional and have your Dad walk you down, or both your parents.  For some people, their Dad isn’t around anymore so maybe your Mum will walk you down, or your brother, Grandfather or another family member or friend.  Maybe you would prefer to walk down on your own, or with your kids (if you have them).  Or perhaps you and your partner want to walk down together.  Whichever option you choose, do what feels right for you.

Then there’s the idea of being ‘given away’.  It’s quite an old-school way of thinking, as you’re not exactly a possession to be ‘given’.  In saying that, for some people it’s still quite an important tradition to show that you are taking a step away from your parents and creating a new family with your partner. 

When talking with couples, I always give them a few options.

The ‘Handshake, Hug and Sit’

When you get to the end of the aisle, your Dad (or whoever has walked you down), gives a handshake or hug to your partner, gives you a hug, and goes and sits down. That’s the end of it.  No talking, no jobs to do, just a sweet and simple handover.

The ‘Giving Away’

This usually follows the Handshake, Hug and Sit.  Dad (or whoever) will head to their seat, and either stay standing, or be asked to stand when it’s appropriate during the ceremony.  The celebrant will ask who gives you away and your Dad (and Mum if you wish) will say ‘I do’ or ‘We do’.  

This can be worded in a number of ways including talking about accepting and encouraging the marriage, welcoming your partner to the family, or just supporting you both. 

The ‘Modern Day Giving Away’

I mentioned before that being ‘given away’ is quite old-school, and that’s because it can feel a little like the woman is property and the man is her keeper (assuming a heterosexual relationship).  We can change this up though, and ask both families about the giving, or supporting, or accepting.  That way both sets of parents and families can be involved. 

The ‘Thank You’

Don’t want your parents to speak but still want to acknowledge them?  We can easily work this into your ceremony by thanking your parents for making you who are you are today.  We can talk about them inspiring you, giving you someone to look up to, their unconditional love, or whatever else is relevant to you and your relationships with your family.

At the end of the day, it’s your wedding. So no, you don’t have to have your Father give you away. But if you want to, that’s totally fine too!

Happy Planning

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Posted: Wednesday 22 November 2017