Who Gives This Bride Wording?

The wedding day is one of the most important events in a person’s life, and there are many traditional customs and rituals that are followed during this special occasion. One of the key moments during the ceremony is the moment when the bride is given away by her father or someone else who holds an important position in her life. This moment is marked by the questioning of “Who Gives This Bride?”.

The wording of this question might seem simple but it actually carries a lot of significance. It not only acknowledges the importance of the person who is giving away the bride but it also symbolizes the transition from one family to another. In this article, we will explore the origins of this tradition, what it means, and how you can personalize it to make your wedding ceremony even more meaningful.

Quick Answer
The “Who gives this bride?” wording is traditionally a question asked by the officiant during the wedding ceremony, addressing the attendees and asking who is giving the bride away in marriage. In modern times, this has evolved to become more inclusive and adapted to various family structures, allowing the bride to be given away by anyone she chooses or nobody at all.

History of the ‘Who Gives This Bride’ Tradition

The tradition of asking “who gives this bride away?” dates back to ancient Roman times when marriages were seen as legal transactions between families. The father of the bride would literally transfer ownership of his daughter to her new husband in exchange for a dowry.

In modern times, the tradition has evolved to reflect a more symbolic transfer of responsibility for the bride from her family to her soon-to-be spouse. The question is often asked by the officiant during the wedding ceremony, and the bride’s father, mother, or both may respond with an affirmative answer. Some couples have also chosen to update the tradition, with the bride and groom asking for the support and blessing of their families as they begin their new life together.

Modern Alternatives to the ‘Who Gives This Bride’ Wording

As couples plan their weddings, they often come across the traditional ‘Who Gives This Bride’ question during the wedding ceremony. However, this wording can be outdated and sometimes uncomfortable for modern couples. Fortunately, there are modern alternatives to this classic phrasing.

One option is to have both sets of parents, or just the bride’s parents, give their blessing to the marriage. This acknowledges the support and love from both families without the archaic ideas of “ownership” of the bride. Another option is to have the bride and groom walk down the aisle together, signaling that they are entering the marriage as equals. The officiant can still ask for the gathered guests to support the couple, but without reference to the bride’s “giving away.” These alternatives allow for a more inclusive and modern wedding ceremony.

Cultural Differences in Giving Away the Bride

Cultural traditions play a huge role in weddings, and one of the most popular traditions is the “giving away” of the bride. In Western cultures, it is customary for the father of the bride to walk his daughter down the aisle and “give her away” to the groom. However, in other cultures, this tradition varies.

In Chinese culture, for example, the bride’s parents typically present the groom with gifts as a sign of acceptance into the family. In Jewish culture, both the bride and groom are escorted down the aisle by their respective parents, symbolizing the union of two families. Understanding and respecting these cultural differences is important when planning a wedding and can add a meaningful touch to the ceremony for both the couple and their guests.

Controversies Surrounding the Practice of Giving Away the Bride

Controversies surrounding the practice of giving away the bride have been ongoing for decades. The traditional practice involves the father or significant male figure of the bride giving her away to her future husband during the wedding ceremony. Critics argue that the tradition is rooted in patriarchal values and reinforces the idea that women are property.

Others defend the tradition, claiming it is a symbolic gesture of love and support from the bride’s family towards her decision to enter into marriage. Some modern couples have reimagined the wedding tradition, with brides sometimes walking down the aisle alone or being escorted by both parents. Ultimately, the decision to include or omit the giving away of the bride is up to the couple and should reflect their values and beliefs about marriage and family.

Who Should Give Away the Bride in Non-Traditional Families?

In non-traditional families, deciding who should give away the bride can be a tricky situation. The concept of giving away the bride originates from the idea that a father was seen as the head of the family and thus had the authority to give his daughter’s hand in marriage. However, in today’s context, the traditional idea of the father giving away the bride may not be fitting for all families.

In such cases, some non-traditional families may choose to have both parents, or even a grandparent or close family friend, walk the bride down the aisle. Some may opt for the bride to walk down the aisle alone or with her partner. Ultimately, it comes down to the preference of the bride and her family, and there are no right or wrong answers. It is essential to remember that weddings are a celebration of love, and every family is different and unique in their own way.

Handling Awkward Family Dynamics in ‘Who Gives This Bride’ Moments

The “Who Gives This Bride” moment is a traditional but important aspect of a wedding ceremony. However, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate if there are awkward family dynamics involved. If the bride’s father is absent or estranged, it’s important to find a solution that makes the bride and everyone else comfortable.

One solution is to have a family member or close friend give the bride away instead of her father. This could be her mother, grandfather, brother, uncle, or anyone else who holds a significant place in her life. Alternatively, the bride can choose to walk down the aisle alone, without anyone “giving her away.” Whatever the decision, it’s important to discuss it with the bride and the families involved beforehand to avoid any potential drama or discomfort.

Personalizing the ‘Who Gives This Bride’ Moment to Reflect Your Values.

Personalizing the ‘Who Gives This Bride’ Moment to Reflect Your Values

Traditionally, the ‘Who Gives This Bride’ moment occurs before the bride walks down the aisle. It is a way for the bride’s father or another significant male figure in her life to symbolically pass on the responsibility of caring for her to her future husband. However, as times have changed, so have traditions like this one. Many couples choose to personalize this moment to better reflect their own values and beliefs.

Some couples choose to have both parents walk the bride down the aisle, indicating that both of them have had a significant impact on her life and that she will continue to rely on both of them in the future. Others may choose to have a grandparent, sibling, or even a close friend escort them down the aisle, reflecting the importance of that person’s role in their lives. Whatever the decision, personalizing this moment can add an extra layer of meaning to your wedding ceremony.


In conclusion, the “Who Gives This Bride?” wording is a traditional aspect of wedding ceremonies that appears to be evolving to better reflect modern societal values. While the original verbiage was steeped in patriarchal roots and often excluded non-traditional family structures, couples today are finding ways to create their own interpretations and include all important figures in their lives.

At the end of the day, the choice on whether or not to include the “Who Gives This Bride?” wording lies with the couple, and should be a decision made with careful consideration. Whether it is replaced with a more inclusive phrasing or kept as is, the focus should always be on celebrating the love between the couple and the start of their new journey together.

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