The Modern Bride
New family lifestyles have attributed to current wedding standards with new ceremonial twists. The end result – still wedded bliss. How, though, has modern times influenced a modern bride?
Due to divorces, widowing, remarriages, and female empowerment, there are various situations that now occur during a wedding ceremony. A bride now has to decide in a special situation like this, who will accompany her down the aisle, if applicable, and how it will be addressed during the presentation of the bride part of the ceremony.
For example, if a bride has divorced parents, who will escort her? Her mother or father? In some cases, the bride has chosen the mother, for she has been her primary caretaker and has been closer to her daughter growing up.
However, in some situations (including my own), the bride's parents are divorced and remarried, introducing a stepfather into the scene. In this case, the bride may wish to have both her "fathers" walk her down the aisle and give her away so not to hurt anyone's feelings. At my wedding ceremony, I chose to have both my father and stepfather walk me down as they both have played an integral part in my life. In fact, you may even wish to have them split the father/daughter dance at the reception as well!
There are also instances where the bride's father has passed, and decides either to have her mother, a sibling, grandfather, or uncle walk her down and present her at the altar. She may even choose to walk into her groom's arms independently, for in today's society, females are becoming more empowered. There also may be a situation where this is the bride's second wedding and has children of her own from the previous marriage. It may then be the bride's decision to ask the children to present her to her groom and the congregation. There may even be parental loss where the bride chooses to walk down alone as well.
Here is a typical ceremonial line in this case where the clergy approaches the entire group of guests/witnesses:
Clergy/Officiant: “Bride’s name" and “grooms name" will need your love and support during their marriage, not only today, their wedding day. To offer your support and blessing, please respond, “I do" to the following question: Who offers support and blessing to this couple?
Guests' response: "I do."
There are several ways and circumstances for a bride to be "given away", as there is no set-in-stone method. A bride and her family have the right to choose how she wants the biggest day of her life to play out.
While a father's love is forever enduring and the life he and his daughter have shared under the same roof will never be forgotten, she now has the opportunity to begin her own life as a married woman and start her own journey into the future. Some may call it "giving her away" and some may call it "giving her his blessing", but a father really gives the best of his love on that bittersweet day in time.