Think “holding up” as an alternative to “giving away” the bride

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Casey and Adam had a perfectly adorable school-themed wedding, but one SUPER TEENY TINY detail stood out to me. Well, Casey pointed it out herself:

It was also nice to have a moment with my dad before the ceremony. It wasn't like my dad was giving me away, but holding me up. -Casey

Isn't that a beautiful alternative to giving away the bride?

For those who'd like to include the traditional walk down the aisle with a deeply loved parental figure but choke a bit on the whole concept of “giving away,” maybe all that's required is some alternative thinking. This person has supported you and loved you, whomever they may be — how lovely to let them “hold you up” as you walk toward your partner.

Let's talk — what loved one has been your support? Would you rather walk to meet your partner alone or would you like some support?

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Comments on Think “holding up” as an alternative to “giving away” the bride

  1. When I first read this I thought “hold up? what like in a bank robbery?” duh!

    I like the bride being walked down the aisle thing, I’m looking forward to it, I like the symbolism of one person who has taken care of me passing on the duty to someone else. (by “taken care” I mean emotionally rather than financially, and of course having brought me up). I’m considering a Dad first look. I have categorically said on the other hand I am not being given away like a piece of property!

    Similarly whilst I liked the idea of FH asking my Dad (and knew Dad would like it), I also didn’t, so he told Dad over a dinner we had with my parents “I’m going to ask CrochetH to marry me, I’m not asking you for her because she’s her own person, but I wanted you to know first” Dad loved it, he’s a feminist, and then he got a round in before dessert.

  2. For years I have ALWAYS said I didn’t want to be “given away” if I got married, I hated the idea! I wasn’t anyone’s possession to be given away, plus I felt if I was to be given away it should be both my parents and not just my Dad.

    However, my wedding is now under 6 weeks away, it’s outside in a rock garden within a botanical gardens and I have to walk down stairs without bannisters in full view of everyone… if that’s not tempting fate I don’t know what is! At first I was determined to do it on my own and have my parents walk together before me however I’m terrified of those steps in combination with me and high heels (normally a 100% flat heel girl). So I’m going to have both of them on either side of me to help me then I am going to stand at the bottom of the steps alone whilst they walk forward and then I will walk over the bridge on my own and my FH will walk towards me and meet me at the other side of the bridge to help me across the gravel (yes it’s a veritable tough mudder challenge!!).

    I’m happy I get help in all the tricky bits and I get the do some walking on my own; my parents are happy they’re “giving me away” (which will now be known as “holding me up”); my FH is happy he gets to come to me; the symbolism of each stage is lovely. Everyone is happy 🙂

  3. I wore 3″ heels during the ceremony, and I almost never wear anything but flats. So my dad was literally holding me up as I walked down the aisle, keeping me from face-planting in my stupid tall shoes.

  4. I never had any sort of issue as far as being “given away” because I NEVER thought of it like that. I just always thought of it as a nice moment with my father, or both of my parents. I asked my mother if she would walk down the aisle with me and my father and surprisingly she said no, she doesn’t like that “new wave” tradition and thinks it should just be my father. Okay then!

    • I wanted both my parents to walk me down the aisle. My dad didn’t say anything to me about it because he firmly believes is mine and my FH’s day but I found out through conversations with my mom and sister that it really matters to him to be the only one to walk me down the aisle. Combination of being his first daughter, a daddy’s girl, and him be traditional (in a sweet sense). Since it doesn’t hurt my mom’s feelings that she doesn’t walk me down the aisle, it’ll be just my dad. That being said, I LOVE the idea of it being him ‘holding me up’ versus giving me away.

  5. I decided all I really need is a hand full of love to hold. I thought real hard about what sort of love I wanted to take with me while I make that walk. Love has lots of meanings and “flavors” and I wanted to make sure I picked someone with the right sort. I finally asked my three year old cousin if she’d be the one to hold my hand. She’s happily agreed.

    She’s the other bookend (I’m the oldest of many grandchildren and she’s the youngest) so it’ll be very symmetrical.

  6. Well, my dad’s not in my life. So, it sure as hell won’t be him walking me down the aisle. I always assumed I’d just walk alone, and was cool with it because I don’t like the transactional context of the thing anyway. As it turns out now, my FH and I will be walking down the aisle together, because we both like that idea best of all.

    … although I got surprised a couple Christmases ago (FH and I have been together for a long time but were not planning or talking “wedding” at that point at all) by a “We need to talk” moment sprung on me by my mom and my big brother. The tone was very serious and I was really worried something was wrong (and that the something might be me or something I did)… there was a lot of long-winded circumlocution that finally ended in my brother saying in a shaky voice that he would walk me down the aisle when FH and I got married. I was totally gobsmacked and confused, which totally gobsmacked and confused THEM — because apparently they had it in their heads that I must be HEARTBROKEN that I didn’t have a dad around to walk me down the aisle, and had been talking about what to do about it FOR MONTHS, finally settling on the idea that my brother should offer to do it. … I still have NO idea where they even got on this, but it was really sweet of them to be concerned and want to help… even if the problem didn’t actually exist!

  7. I don’t even know if my dad is coming to the wedding (he’s said he is, but he’s notoriously flaky and has dropped enough hints that he might not that I’m prepared for it). Whenever I’ve thought about being walked down the aisle, it’s always been by my mum, who is my best friend and has supported me throughout my entire life. Neither of us like the idea of being ‘given away’, as we’re both feminists and hate the connotation of it, so I’ve always thought about it as being held up. I know that on the day, I’m going to super nervous and emotional, so having my mum by my side will calm me down and stop me faceplanting down the aisle.

  8. I really wanted that moment with my father walking me down the aisle, but didn’t want to be “given away” either. So we planned to have him walk me in, we met my mom at her seat for hugs and kisses and then my husband and I walked up to the platform for the ceremony. Turns out having my dad there to support me was well needed. Husband teared up the moment he saw me which then caused me to start. Dad spent the walk down the aisle cracking jokes about people who were at the wedding turning my tears into laughter. By the time I got to my mom, we were all 4 laughing. I couldn’t have done it without him!

  9. I didn’t have any qualms with being walked down the aisle. I followed Reform Jewish tradition and had both my parents walk me down the aisle. If I was more traditional the matriarchs of the family walk the bride to the groom.

    • I hadn’t heard of both matriarch’s walking you down, what an interesting idea!

      • In very, very traditional Jewish ceremonies, the bride’s and groom’s mothers walk the bride down the aisle and the fathers walk the groom down. In just very traditional ceremonies the parents each walk their kid down the aisle.
        The idea is that the bridal couple are like royalty on their wedding day and are escorted down the aisle.
        Usually the groom is escorted in first, later the bride, sometimes half way down the aisle the groom comes to get the bride. This is all rather traditional and not very modern in Jewish circles.

  10. We used the words : Who accompanies the bride today?

    I felt it was the perfect alternative and I really appreciated having someone to walk with. It takes the edge off that nasty anxiety monster.

  11. There is a difference between being ‘walked down the aisle’ and being ‘given away’. A bride is ‘given’ when the person escorting her is asked a question (to which we assume they will answer affirmatively)… “Who gives this woman in marriage?” or “Do you give your blessing to this union?” and so on.

    Being walked down the aisle is an honor for whomever is doing the walking, but NO question needs to be asked of that person! So the bride can, indeed, be walked down the aisle without being given away.

  12. I’m really considering having my sister walk me down the aisle. She’s “held me up my whole life” I regret not choosing her to be my maid of honor. I need her to do mother of the bride duties and my father passed on 14 years ago. I was really torn. Worried about people thinking it’s weird. After reading this it made me believe it’s the right choice. I was going to walk alone through a field. I know I’ll be really shaky and nervous and love the idea of her supporting me

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