Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

I Don't Want to be Given Away

So the problem I have is I don't want my father to give me away. I'm not property. No one owns me, not my parents, and when I'm married my husband won't own me either. I don't really know how to start this conversation with my father. I think it's fine for him to walk me down the aisle, I'm cool with that (and really someone should be in charge of making sure I don't fall over from nerves) I just don't want to be given away. My FI suggested I find a way to reword that part of the ceremony so it's my parents giving their blessing or something, instead of trading me off in a business transaction. I think that might work, but I haven't worked it out yet. My father and I don't have the warmest history so I don't want make waves. Any ideas on what exactly to do or how to broach the subject?

Re: I Don't Want to be Given Away

  • Our ceremony uses "Who presents this woman/man to be married?"
    I like it because a) it is not a property exchange, and b) you and your FI are treated as equals in the wording.

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  • I'm having a catholic ceremony, and there is no wording at all for the father giving the bride away.  My father will walk me down, and that's it.  He'll probably kiss me on the cheek and then just sit down.  There doesn't have to be any words said if you don't want them to.  I prefer it that way.

  • pgcppgcp member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments 5 Love Its
    There are many different options.  My denomination doesn't officially have the bride given away in the wedding liturgy, some will add it in for some reason but it isn't expected.  Instead the pastor asks both sets of parents if they promise to support and encourage the marriage, to which they respond "we do, God helping us".  I like that it is asked of both the bride's and groom's parents.
  • In Response to <a href="">Re: I Don't Want to be Given Away</a>:
    [QUOTE]Our ceremony uses "Who presents this woman/man to be married?" I like it because a) it is not a property exchange, and b) you and your FI are treated as equals in the wording.
    Posted by bunni727[/QUOTE]

    This is what we did as well.  With this wording, I think it represents more the role that your parents played in raising you, basically, presenting that their daughter is now a woman and ready to start a family of her own, if that makes sense.  I also wanted my dad to say "her mother and I do" because it was important that they both be represented.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I felt the same way you did (except I was worried about falling over because I'm a klutz rather than nerves).  

    My dad escorted me up the aisle.  When we got to the first pew, H met us and dad sat down.  There were no words or formal exchange, then H and I walked up to the priest together.  I think I hugged dad and then hugged H.   

    My dad and I are close, but neither one of us are "mushy" and it wasn't the sort of thing we brought up or talked about.  I just asked him to escort me up the aisle, and explained the ceremony process at the rehearsal.  I don't think he expected to give me away or anything.  
  • I wanted ours to be "Who blesses and supports this marriage" with all of our parents answering "we do," but my dad insisted that I not take away his line :-P  So we did "Who blesses and supports this marriage?" and my dad answered "Their parents do"  on behalf of all the parents.

    As far as how to talk to your dad about it, I told my dad that I love him and absolutely wanted him to walk down the aisle with me but that I also wanted it to be clear that the marriage was my choice and that they support it, rather than it being something chosen for me by the person who "owns" me.  He was totally understanding, but it was totally in line with who he's always known me to be.
  • Are you getting married in a Church?  If so, you may want to find out -- from the minister -- if there is any wording/question when someone escorts the bride to the altar.  In some Churches, there is no question at all.  If that's the case in your church, your problem is solved.

    There is also the option of taking that walk by yourself or with your groom.

    And, if you feel you must be escorted and the minister tells you there is, in fact, some sort of question ... follow PPs' advice and change it up.

    Good luck!

  • OP that is how I felt too. My FI and I decided to walk down together. For us it symbolized us going into this union together. nobody was giving or given away. I don't have a super warm relationship with my dad either. At the rehearsal, we just said this is what were doing and that was that. In the ceremony we didn't even think of doing the whose blessing this couple thing, giving away what have you. (Secular ceremony) We just wrote in a spot in the ceremony where we recognized ALL of our parents, hugged them. Anyway, that what we did, if it helps with ideas.
  • Kristin789Kristin789 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited April 2012
    Talk to your officiant and see what the wording IS and what options you have.

    DH and I go to about three weddings a year, every year (we're teachers), and frankly, I haven't heard WHO GIVES THIS WOMAN in at least 10 years.  No one says that anymore.
  • kfraskfras member
    edited April 2012
    In Response to <a href=" BoardsForum:36Discussion:be4bafb4-2c83-46f9-969f-6c65863e024dPost:5f51421c-e854-4571-b243-7a1edc1b9871">Re: I Don't Want to be Given Away</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm having a catholic ceremony, and there is no wording at all for the father giving the bride away.  My father will walk me down, and that's it.  He'll probably kiss me on the cheek and then just sit down.  There doesn't have to be any words said if you don't want them to.  I prefer it that way.
    Posted by monkeysip[/QUOTE]

    This. In our church, there is no wording or asking "Who is giving this bride away?" or anything. He just walks you to the front, lifts up your veil if you have one covering your face, kisses you on the cheek, and then takes your hand and places it in the groom's. Which I guess could be a symbol of "giving you away" but I looked at it as more of a blessing. And I am sure you can change that if you express it to your officiant. I would talk to your officiant in private first, and ask them what they do and then if they say they do ask that question, tell them you prefer if it were left out. This way you don't have to bring the sore subject up to your father at all. At rehearsal he will just learn his part, know that he is not going to be asked any questions, and you will both be happy
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  • I walked myself down the aisle and my H met me near the front to finish the walk together.  There were no words spoken about giving me away.  I liked the symbolic gesture of H and I finishing the walk together and then how the ceremony immediately started after that.

    I like your fiance's idea of a blessing, that is, if you want words spoken at all.  Just be honest with your father and maybe the three of you could discuss what would be the best way to handle everything.  The main honor for your father is getting to walk his daughter down the aisle.  So I'm sure even without an official "giving away" mention, he'll still be happy with his role.  Good luck.  :)
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  • We're also having a Catholic ceremony. My dad will walk me down the aisle, give me a hug and then sit down. There's nothing involved in that that implies I'm property to be given away.

    That 'property' thing is certainly where the custom comes from, but it does not need to have those connotations today. Just don't say anything about being given away, or even presented for marriage. Make it a simple walk down the aisle with someone to hold onto in case you trip :)
  • I struggled with this one as my dad is very traditional and would be crushed if I 'took' anything away from him. IN the end I added to it instead by walking down with my mom and my dad, and will be doing the aformentioned who "blesses this marriage" to get away from the "giving" wording.

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  • You can omit any wording.  Does your dad expect to formally give you away?  If he doesn't, then he probably won't care if you just skip that part all together.  Let him know the structure of the ceremony and casually mention that he will walk you down the isle and then tell him what comes next.

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  • Thank you everyone. I think we may end up just walking down the aisle and then no words. Maybe my FI will meet me half way (he has offered) maybe he won't, but all your help has been very encouraging. Laughing
  • We will be walking down together. My Episcopal church suggests it as it mirrors the modern notion that we enter the marriage state freely as equal partners. They also accept my dad walking me down, but in both circumstances, my fiance is part of the procession, and walks down either with me, or the priest. He does not enter from the side. He enters from the same direction I do, again, to symbolize that we are not adversarial parties in a property transaction.

    I love you, Episcopal church. :)
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