Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Musings on "Giving the Bride Away"

The other day I was working on the rather long "to do" list for the wedding which included working up a tentative wedding ceremony program (with thanks to all my friends and the wedding programs I've kept over the years for such a time as this). I got to the part about "giving of the bride" and was stopped short. Tears prickled my eyes. I realized that as ready as I am for Torrey and Chris to be married, I am so NOT ready for this...the giving of the bride. While I understand the historic reason for this -- the woman leaving the protection of her father's house to go into the protection of her husband -- I'm not sure that's even Biblical. Doesn't it say that "... a *man* shall leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife"?... (Genesis 2:24). It doesn't say that the woman leaves her father and mother....

Obviously in many cultures, the wife is taken into the husband's family home and becomes part of his family and extended family. She DOES leave her family -- which is one of the reason that the male child has been prized far above the female child in those cultures. I wonder what it would have been like if the biblical injunction had been followed and the man had gone to live with his wife's family instead of taking the wife into his parental home.

In western culture, both the man and woman *leave* their respective families and begin a new family of their own. Perhaps then, instead of just giving the bride, each family should be doing the giving. Perhaps the groom should be escorted down the aisle by his parents -- or, at the very least, there should be an acknowledgement by the groom's parents that they are also involved in the "giving."

"Who gives (or presents) this man to be married to this woman?" The groom's mother and father stand next to him, and say, "We do." Then, "Who gives (or presents) this woman to be married to this man?" The bride's parents do the same. Wouldn't that truly be giving this couple to one another so they can begin as a new family together?

And maybe there should be one more part to this. After the "who gives" -- maybe there should be a "who accepts this man as a son?" and "who accepts this woman as a daughter?" We do marry into families, after all.

But you know, we are nothing if not traditional. So Chris will be standing at the front of the church, his best man and 5 groomsmen waiting with him -- and Bob will escort Torrey down the aisle (she told him he'd have to hold her back to prevent her from sprinting down the aisle to her beloved), and her Uncle Tim will say -- "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" and Bob will say, "Her mother and I do."

And I'll cry.

But in my heart of hearts, I know that we're not really giving Torrey away, we are bringing Chris into our family. We truly aren't losing a daughter -- we are gaining a son.

And for that, I rejoice and say, "Thank you, Lord!!"


At 1:56 PM, Blogger Torrey said...

You made me cry when I read this. I am so blessed to have you and Daddy as parents. I know Chris is excited to have you and Daddy as parents too. We are both so very very lucky!!


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