Who Gives The Bride Away At A Modern Wedding?

Who Gives The Bride Away At A Modern Wedding?

who gives the bride away in modern marraige

I remember a time not too long ago, when the words “Who gives this woman to be wed?” were commonplace in every wedding. The giving away of the bride was naturally assumed to be the rightful role of the bride’s father. It is a ritual that goes back centuries when it was the handing over of a daughter as a bride in trade of a hefty dowry!

Thankfully, the act of giving away the bride has now taken on a more symbolic role in the ceremony. The notion of “ownership” of the bride has been replaced with the entrustment of a loved one to another, and the gaining of a new family member.

So, who gives the bride away at a modern wedding?

Even though it is the tradition to have the father of the bride take the first steps with his daughter, to hand over her hand in marriage, the typical family is no longer only Mum, Dad and a sibling or two. The inclusion of step parents and blended families can make for a difficult time when deciding on who has the honour of walking you down the aisle on your wedding day.

In some instances, it may be the bride’s mother who has been the key player over the years, and giving Mum this role is one way to recognise her part in your life.  Or you might find it a wonderful idea to engage both of your parents to accompany you down the aisle. We hear of many of our brides going this way, regardless of whether their parents have remained together, as weddings symbolise a joining of family in an expression of love.

Involving the groom’s parents, or any step parents, in the verbal presentation of ‘giving this woman or man to be wed’ can also allow inclusion of all the key role models to your marriage. This way you’re emphasising not only the joining of your families, but also enabling all parents participate in the ceremony.

For second or third marriages, their is a more common occurrence of the children being the ones to witness the ‘giving away’. The marriage of a parent to a new partner can be strange for some children, so making them feel part of the day is a wonderful gesture. Your children are then formally welcoming a new parent into their relationship with you, paving the way for your new life together as a family.

Some couples will choose to arrive at the ceremony together. Resort and destination weddings do away with the need for separate locals the night before, and arriving together is a lovely way to show the equality in your relationship.


Just remember, it is your wedding day, so do what suit you and your partner. If you are worried about keeping all of your loved ones happy, don’t fret, there are lots of opportunities to be able to acknowledge your loved ones in other aspects of your big day.

Whoever you decide to walk down the aisle with to meet your betrothed, savour the moment and cherish its significance for both of you, as its likely to be just as (if not more) emotional for your “giver” as it is for you.