Giving the Bride Away

goldenowner76March 12, 2004

I have been married before and this is my second wedding. I have 2 children. I am not very close to my parents, and was trying to decide who could give me away. What are your thoughts. My daughters are going to be in the wedding. The older one is going to be my Maid of Honor and the younger one is going to be the flower girl. I thought that I would let them walk down the way that they would, but when he asks who gives this bride away, I would like for my children to be the ones that say that they do. Has anyone seen this done before?

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Snapdragon

Haven't done it before but I think it's sweet to have your kids do that!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 2:44PM
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joann23456

I love the idea of having your children in the wedding, but I'm not so sure about them giving you away. I guess I don't like the idea behind giving away a bride, but it would be lovely for them to walk you up the isle without the part about giving away. It would seem weird to me to hear children say that they give away their mother, even more than when I hear a father say he's giving away his daughter.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 2:49PM
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grace3

I don't have a problem with the wording "who gives this woman", but it does seem a little off-putting when children say it -- especially if they are younger than older teens.

Perhaps you could ask the officiant to replace the words "give away" to something along the lines of "who is it who today supports Bride as she joins her heart and life to Groom?" Then your daughters could say "we do." And if your fiance has children, the same could be done with them.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 3:07PM
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goldenowner76

Thank you guys so far. I guess I worded it wrong. I didn't mean actually use the term "give the bride away" but something of that nature. We are doing like a family wedding and bringing the kids into it as much as possible. My fiance is going to present the children with a family medallion.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 3:13PM
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sunshine4376

What will your fiance say to them as he presents them with the family medallion? I have been trying to think of something (just a sentence) that the kids could say and we could say to them that is kind of like a vow. I agree about the term "giving away" but I think what Grace said about asking who supports the bride is a really nice touch...maybe I'll incorporate that into mine.

BTW, I have one son and DF has two sons, they will be 5, 6 and 7 at our wedding. I'd love to hear any ideas you have for incorporating them into the ceremony.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 6:29PM
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goldenowner76

I will keep you posted. I do have what we are going to say. It is at home. I am currently at work.I will post it tomorrow.Even the vows between us mention the children..because it is us as a family.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 6:37PM
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froggy05

you don't have to have anyone give you away, I don't think that is a necessary custom, unless you really want it to. You can ask a close male friend or uncle, or even your grandpa.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 9:18PM
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blizlady

I went to a wedding a couple years ago where it was the second marriage for the bride and her teenage daughters were the bridesmaids. I don't recall the ceremony having any wording at all about who gives this bride away, etc. I think nowadays you can really have a creative ceremony. She did not have her dad or anyone else escort her down the aisle. Each of the bridesmaids walked down the aisle alone and a groomsman met her about half way and continued to escort her to the altar. The groom also stood half-way down the aisle and the bride was not escorted, but walked down the aisle to meet her future husband ~ then they continued the rest of the way down the aisle.

It was a beautiful ceremony, with much mention about the children and family.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 6:26PM
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gellchom

Well, I really don't like the whole concept of anyone giving a human being away, so take this for what it's worth!

As a grown-up bride, and certainly as a previously married one, you wouldn't have your father give you away anyway. Not to put too fine a point on it, the whole thing of "giving a bride away" was, until actually quite recently, not simply a charming little custom as people today seem to think. It was for real. Marriage was strictly business (the idea of marrying for love is barely 100 years old), and women were not free individuals -- legally, they were property. Their fathers' until they married, then their husbands'. (About the only way you could get a break was to be a wealthy widow!) That's why I cringe whenever I see this custom. But that's not the point. The point is that, if you follow the logic, the one who would be giving you away would be ... your first husband. I assume you don't want that!

Please please please do NOT have your children "give you away." As was mentioned in another string, even if you are careful not to use those words, if they make any little speech about "who presents this woman" or something, SOMEONE at the wedding is bound to do so. What could be more traumatic? And even no one does, children -- even children WILDLY enthusiastic about a parent's remarriage -- are going to have some strong emotions around this, at least a little mixed. That is normal and healthy. I don't think it is fair to have them make a public declaration of unmitigated support and even responsibility for the success of the marriage. Please just let them be your attendants, which will probably be a lot more to them anyway.

Can't you just skip the part about anyone giving you away (or equivalent)? Grooms (and non-Christian brides) seem to manage without it. You are a grown woman with children now, not a naive slip of a lass leaving her parents' home for the first time. The effect just won't be the same.

I would just have both the children be your (only) attendants. I would tell them that they are both maids of honor. They don't need to have "official" titles anyway. Or let them make up their own titles!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 9:13PM
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Lindsey7

Although I hadn't thought of the giving away of the bride in quite the same terms as gellchom, she is correct in the origin of the tradition.

There is a difference in escorting the bride down the aisle -- hey, it gives you somebody to hold onto if your knees are feeling weak! ;) -- and the part of the ceremony where someone says they are giving the woman away. You can have someone escort you if that's what you want and you can have someone give you away if that's what you want.

BUT, I agree with gellchom's whole paragraph that begins with "Please please please do NOT have your children "give you away." I have said the same soooooo many times! Please scroll back up and read that WHOLE paragraph again. I couldn't have said it better myself!!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 2:54AM
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anita9

Gellchom is SO right. I completely agree with her advice.

I walked down the aisle by myself, not because I was a "mature bride" (I wasn't), and not because I have any problems with either of my parents, but just because the giving-away tradition didn't speak to me. And everyone who was at the wedding, and everyone who stood up with me, supported me in my decision to marry. I didn't feel that anyone had to announce it.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 4:03PM
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talley_sue_nyc

how old are your kids? I think you're the best judge of whether they'd be upset at the notion of "giving mom away." It is possible, you know, to explain to kids the idea of "a figure of speech" and to point out that they aren't losing you at all. I mean, they have to adjust to the fact of you getting married; I think adjusting to the phrase other people use would be pretty minor.

I don't like the "giving people away," but I *do* like the idea of being escorted to your new family by your old one. And since it gets kinda crowded, I think it's fine to have one person do it. I also like the idea that the primary male in my old life escorted me down to the primary male in my new life.

I also like the questions about "who presents this woman to holy matrimony" as long as it isn't about "giving," and I like when the answer is "her mother and I," or "her famiy.' And I like when the guy's side gets asked, too.

If someone doesnt' like it, fine. But I think it's a fine tradition. And I don't think it needs to be eliminated just because its roots are now objectionable.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 6:18PM
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goldenowner76

My children are 8 and 12. I have dated my fiance for almost 7 years, so the children are very comfortable with the relationship that he and I have. They know that they aren't losing their mother, but they are gaining a family. They love him like their father, and he returns that love. They aren't going to walk me down the aisle. The older one is the Maid of honor and the younger one is the flower girl/junior bridesmaid. She didn't know which she wanted to be, so she has a split title. But no I am not going to use the actual words of " Giving the bride away"

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 7:47PM
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lisa_anne14

I also don't like the idea of giving the bride away. I am my own person, not a posession to be given away. Anyway, you could skip the whole giving away part and walk down the isle with your DF. That's what I wanted to do, but my father wouldn't let me (he's the mushy traditional type). So what I had was DH's parents walking him down the isle followed by my parents walking me down the isle. But anyway, the wedding is about you and DF making a commitment to each other, so I think it would look lovely to have you walk into this commitment together.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 12:44PM
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Sherrie_Lynn

Although this was my second marriage, my grwon son escorted me down the aisle. He did not "give me away" but the minister ask "who presents this woman to be married"? At that time, Jimmy replied, "Her Son". I then gave him a kiss and he put my hand in Drew's. It was such a sweet moment and still brings tears every time I watch it on the video. At my Son's wedding last year, his Bride has two young sons from a previous marriage, and they escorted her down the aisle. It was also very sweet and touching. You might want them to do this and then stand next to you once you are at the altar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drew and Sherrie Lynns

    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 1:48PM
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anita9

I wanted to walk down the aisle with my groom, too, but he wouldn't do it. I thought it would have been so cool! He wanted to see me walk down. So I walked by myself :)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2004 at 1:16PM
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monkey27

I just got married for the second time and I also have children I have a 3yr and a 5yr both girls I just bought them gowns/veils/flowers to match what I had. Then we walked up to the minister together and when the minister said who gives this bride my girls reply with "we do " because he was not only going to spend his life with me but with my girls. They are going to be a big part of his life as well. if you want to see what it looked like the pictures are on the wedding forum "wedding dress" my parents were upset with me due to the fact I moved in with him before the wedding so my parents didnt even come .

    Bookmark   November 21, 2004 at 6:16PM
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DruidClark

Goldenowner,
At my first marriage, I walked in front of my mother and father. There wasn't a question of "who gives the bride away".

At my second marriage, my husband-to-be and I walked down the aisle together. This was a very, very powerful experience for both of us. We were married outside, so there was a fairly long walk and along the way, I could feel us moving from engaged, to about-to-be marrieds. It the beginning of a very meaningful ceremony.

I also like the fact that I wasn't a "surprise bride". We had some snacks, etc., before hand as people arrived and we both greeted people. This took a great deal of pressure off.

If I were to do it all over again, the only thing I would change would be to spend more time, not less enjoying the preliminaries. Really, that experience of walking hand in hand with my life's partner was sooo powerful....

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 7:20AM
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crazylawyerchick

is it okay for my grandmother to give me away? my father hasn't been a part of my life at all, and my brother is too... unreliable and would demand things like.. i buy/rent his tux and just cause extra headaches. that's pretty much all of my close family.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 10:29AM
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gellchom

Crazylawyerchick,
Of course you can have whoever you want "give you away," if you really want anyone to. I think you know that!

REad the above discussion about the whole business of "being given away." You don't have to do it at all. No one gives grooms away. Nor does it mean that you'd have to walk down the aisle alone or with your fiance. There are lots of other choices. At Jewish weddings, for example, both the groom and the bride are escorted by both their parents, who then stand on either side through the ceremony.

I think I would find it very charming to see a bride escorted by her grandmother. I would immeidately assume they have a very special and lovely relationship.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 5:25PM
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talley_sue_nyc

also remember that "giving the bride away" and "escorting or accompanying the bride down the aisle" are NOT synonymous.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2004 at 10:31AM
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cakie

At my wedding my daughters, who were high school age, preceded me down the aisle and stood at the end of the first pew waiting for me to walk down by myself. When I got to them they both hugged and kissed me and then sat down on the front pew.

It was a send-off of sorts representing their blessing on my wedding.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2004 at 12:39PM
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court192002

I went to a wedding not to long ago where the bride had two girls from a previous marriage. There was a part in the ceremony where the groom slipped rings (birthstones) onto the two girls fingers and made a promise to them as well. It was something about taking care of them as well as a promise to love their mother. It was very touching.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 9:17AM
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gardengate

I am getting married in September. My 16-year old son is going to walk me down the isle. I think
that he is looking a little to forward to giving me away. :) I don't like that term either. I appreciate
the other ideas that you guys have given me.

Thanks,

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 3:45PM
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cali4dawn

When I remarried, I walked myself down the aisle. I also liked the idea of the wording of "support" rather than giving. We did something along those lines.

sunshine4376 - Both lines were mixed as far as my line was not all female and the other line was not all male. I wanted my son standing up in my line and that is exactly where he stood, on my side. So just because you're dealing with sons does not mean they can't be attendants on your side. We did not use the terms bridesmaids or groomsmen. We used attendants and "Attendant of Honor" for both lines.

We used children as young as 7 as ushers. They can handle the responsibility and they feel so grown up. My son (16 at the time) was the head usher as well as in my attendant line. Then we had (2) seven year-old ushers. They did very well and my 16 year-old directed them appropriately.

We had 2 ring bearer's. We each had a 4 year-old little boy in our respective families and so we each put them in the wedding. There's no we could leave one of those precious little guys out.

It's your wedding ... do what you want and what makes you happy.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 10:23PM
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chinacat_sunflower

actually, my father giving me away was the closest we got to a traditional wedding...and he did it with the big dramatic sigh of relief that you'd expect from the guy who had to raise me ;) from there it seguewayed into a bit about arranged marriages that quoted 'fiddler on the roof' and ended with the joke that, just to be non-traditional, we made it so this was the first time our PARENTS were meeting... things headed out into left field from there.

********
who recognizes this woman before us as (insert name here) and knows her to be prepared to make this sacred commitment
*********

is, I think, the best interpretation of the tradition..and it works on both sides- it's always nice when the men get to offer themselves up as well- I've found that they are, at their best, MORE drawn to the solemnity of 'presenting themselves' as a man would before he was knighted.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 10:51AM
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llmb12_arkansas_net

I think it's dumb to have ANOTHER BIG WEDDING. what are you thinking? Now you're asking about protocol of who should give you away? Really?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 5:05PM
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suzieque

Uh, Billy - - - the most recent post on this thread is 6 years old .....?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 6:25PM
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Ott_stuff_hotmail_com

I get married in March next year and unfortunately, I sadly lost my dad to cancer in June. He was so looking forward to walking me down the aisle that I feel no one could take his place that day, we were so close and it's so upsetting knowing he won't be there. My daughter, who will be 2 a few days after my wedding, will be one of my flower girls. My dad adored my daughter and loved her sooo much that I wondered if she could walk down the aisle with me?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 6:42PM
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gellchom

My condolences on the loss of your beloved father. I know you will be thinking of him on your wedding day.

Of course your little girl can come down the aisle with you, but consider the pragmatics of walking with a 2 year old and be prepared with a Plan B in case she balks. My daughter was a flower girl at that age and got sulky and had to be carried down the aisle by a bridesmaid, and the three year old ring bearer at my own wedding had to be carried by the maid of honor. If a favorite aunt or uncle or grandparent will be walking down the aisle before you, perhaps let him/her take her instead of you. For sure make sure there is someone in the front row to take her.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 12:33AM
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sweet_pea10

Have you considered either walking in by yourself or walking in with the groom? Another option is for the groom to enter with the minister, then when you start down the aisle from the back, he would start forward and meet you half way and escort you.

You might have a memorial candle for your father at the ceremony off to one side. You could include a photo if you want. That way, your father will be with you in spirit.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 5:01PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

I like your suggestion, Sweetpea. What a lovely way to walk down the aisle. The groom gets the joy and surprise of seeing his bride enter the church and approach him down the aisle, and he meets her to escort her the rest of the way to the altar.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 5:13PM
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sweet_pea10

Thank you, Sheilajoyce. I have found that older brides really like that type of entry.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 9:40AM
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