Tradition of Father Giving Away The Bride

With it being Fathers Day we wanted to put together something about the role that fathers play in their daughters wedding day.

The tradition of giving away the bride dates back hundreds of years ago where a daughter was considered to belong to her father until she was officially married and became the property of her new husband. In some cases the bride was even given away for a price to be made in return from the husband, in order for him to be able to wed the daughter. This part of the wedding tradition has thankfully died off although giving away your daughter on her big day is still considered an important aspect of the wedding day to many people.

Today a father giving away his daughter is a symbol of his blessing of the marriage. In some circumstances the father of the bride is not able to do so, or sometimes the bride does not wish to include this tradition within her wedding day. Nowadays a bride will ask a person that they believe has had a great impact on their life to walk them down the aisle to give them away and give their blessing on the marriage. This may be the mother of the bride, brother, son or even grandfather.

Here a couple of different scenarios and how your celebrant can build them into your Humanist Marriage Ceremony.

– The bride is not given away but walks herself down the aisle, or the bride can even be at the ceremony early, like the groom and they can welcome everyone and let the ceremony begin at a certain time.

– The bride and groom may walk down the aisle together. This is particularly popular with couples who are perhaps marrying for the second time and are less superstitious around wedding traditions.

– Another great idea is the couple could have all of the guests give them away and bless their marriage. Our celebrants could ask “Family and friends, will you all support and love the marriage being solemnised here today?” To which the guests can all reply “We will!”

– A twist on the original tradition of having the father walk the bride down the aisle could involve the father acknowledging the groom at the altar in a verbal agreement, hug or even a high five to show his support for the marriage.

Whatever the circumstances or your own views, remember it’s your big day and it’s important it’s right for you and your partner. No matter who you decide to have ‘give you away’ remember that you can create your own traditions to make your day truly memorable.

If you’re planning your wedding and are looking for other Scottish wedding traditions or some symbolic gestures to include within your ceremony, why not have a read through more of our blogs.

By Jodie Fraser