We love scrolling through wedding photography to see the smiles and wholesome moments captured in a day. And we especially love seeing an emotional groom when a bride appears with her dad alongside her, ready to walk down the aisle. It’s sweet. And sometimes hilarious.
As fun as those pics can be, that set up isn’t for everyone.
Next in Tradition Spin! series we’re tackling the tradition of “giving away the bride.” Where the tradition came from, what still works today, and what we’re ready to reinvent.
“Giving away the bride” has deep roots in wedding ceremonies.
Though the imagery is lovely and sweet, the roots of the tradition are a bit cringe-worthy.
A father, or patriarchal family head, would hand his daughter off to her intended to signify the marriage contract. It was more of a transfer of power over the bride from the father to her husband. Women were, after all, property.
These days, wedding experts are more likely to use the terminology of who is presenting the bride, rather than giving away the bride. This is true of modern ceremony language as well.
Maybe you’ve decided one of you will be walking down the aisle to the other. Now, you’ll need to decide with whom you’ll be taking that walk.
You can be escorted by one, or both, parents. Perhaps you have a dad and stepdad in the picture. Have them flank you on each side. A mother, grandparent, aunt or uncle is just as acceptable. Most brides and grooms will choose whomever has filled an important role in their lives.
Instead of another adult, consider handing the job over to an older child. For second marriages and blended families, this option can beautifully signify the coming together of two families.
If you don’t have kids that walk on two legs – you might have kids that walk on all fours! Incorporating beloved fur babies into your processional will bring an element of fun to the ceremony. And the dogs are often better behaved than any kid.
Alternately, there’s nothing wrong with going solo. If you want to make the walk down the aisle on your own, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. It’s a statement of its own, not to mention you’ll get great pics of your wedding day fashion as you saunter proudly toward your intended.
Sometimes it’s a matter of figuring out who walks down the aisle to whom. If you’re a straight bride and groom, easy answer. Most heterosexual, cisgender couples will stick with the bride walking down the aisle to the groom.
If you’re not (or if you love to buck tradition!), you have decisions to make.
Certain couples may prefer to walk down the aisle together. This is especially true if they’ve already been together for a long period of time. Walking down together also works for smaller weddings.
You can always take a page out the Jewish wedding handbook and both be at the front when your guests arrive. In this case you can skip the processional altogether, or still keep it intact without the “big reveal” moment as a couple.
Both love the spotlight? Walk down separate aisles! You can do so in unison or one at a time, depending on how much you each like the limelight.
The idea here is to make it mean something to you as a couple. No matter how you stage it, the processional has a significance that will be felt by you and your guests. Think through your options carefully about what declaration you want to make about your union.