It’s usually an emotional moment. Most weddings start this way. A tradition that’s centuries old: the bride comes down the aisle on her father’s arm. He then gives her away, entrusting her to her soon-to-be husband, saying a few words to him.
There’s nothing wrong with any of this. But the question remains: why is it always the father who gives away the bride? What about her mother? – doesn’t she have a say? And why is it only the daughter who is given away? Why not the groom? Nobody gives him away, yet he is also the offspring of a mother and father.
These days more and more couples seek alternatives, and opt for one or other variations on this theme.
If you’re having a wedding in Thailand and are traveling perhaps thousands of miles to do so, rather than getting married back at home, then you probably aren’t very traditional at all. There’s nothing in the ceremony that is compulsory and everything should be done to fit in with the bride and groom’s wishes.
So here are some alternatives to the traditional way of doing things:
- Both the bride and groom can come down the aisle together, taking time to greet their relatives and friends on the way; the bride isn’t given away at all.
- The bride is given away by her friends, her mother, or by both her parents or any combination of people.
- Maybe the groom is given away, too – in the same way as the bride is (see above).
- The bride and/or groom can be given away by children; either their own, or their own from a previous union, or by other children.
- The guests, as a group, can give the couple away. (Often in ceremonies, the guests are asked if they will support and encourage the bride and groom in their new life together and they answer that they will.)
- Any giving away of bride and/or groom doesn’t need to take place just before the ceremony starts; it can happen later on in the proceedings.
These are just some of the ways in which the tradition can be turned around to reflect the desires of the bride and groom. The most important criterion is that the entire wedding is centered on what the couple wants, not on traditions that they may or may not agree with.