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Giving Away the Bride - Advice from a Charleston Wedding Officiant

Dear Charleston Brides and Grooms,

Let's talk about the tradition of "Giving the Bride Away". During my time as a wedding officiant in Charleston, my opinion on this tradition has evolved a bit...



Charleston Wedding Officiant, Father Giving Away the Bride, The Cedar Room, Charleston, SC

Wedding Ceremony Photographer: Natasha Coyle Photography

Wedding Ceremony Venue: The Cedar Room, Charleston, SC

Quick back story...


At the first wedding I officiated, this was a part of the wedding ceremony that I overlooked, until the rehearsal. During the ceremony rehearsal, the father of the bride asked me what to say when he and his daughter reached the end of the aisle.

I like to think I'm quick on my feet, and I responded,


"Well, traditionally, as the wedding officiant, I would say "Who gives this woman to this man?", and you will respond, "I do" or "Her mother and I do"."

"But, we can do whatever you are comfortable with… If you want to do it in a less formal manner, and just do a quick hug at the end of the aisle… we can do that too"…


This father of the bride opted for the more formal "Giving Away of the Bride".

After this experience, this is what I offered as options to my couples for the next couple months…

  • The formal "Who gives this woman to this man"…

  • OR the less formal, hug at the end of the aisle.


Charleston Wedding Officiant, Father Giving Away the Bride, Creek Club at I'On, Mount Pleasant, SC

Wedding Ceremony Photographer: Jay Dee Photography

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Creek Club at I'On, Mount Pleasant, SC



And then, at a rehearsal for a particularly amazing couple… the Father of the Bride had a suggestion that I LOVED!

The couple decided that the bride would be formally "given away"…

So I was chatting with the father of the bride… and said,


"Ok, I will say "Who gives this woman to this man…" and you will say "Her mother and I do"."

The father of the groom nodded in agreement for his part. Then, a few minutes later, he approached me…

He asked me to change the language to...


"Who presents this woman to this man".

He explained, he isn't giving his daughter away, this was a little too old school for him. He was presenting his daughter, showing his support and love for the couple and the new family they are creating.


This slight change of language by your wedding officiant can make all the difference!



Charleston Wedding Officiant, Father Giving Away the Bride, Lowndes Grove, Charleston, SC

Wedding Ceremony Photographer: Kate Dye Photography

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Lowndes Grove, Charleston, SC


I LOVE this! It is a way to keep a traditional element in your ceremony, but make it feel updated and more modern. As a wedding officiant, I also love when couples, or their family members give me great ideas of how to tweak my ceremonies to make it more personal for my couples.



Charleston Wedding Officiant, Father Giving Away the Bride, Planters Inn, Charleston, SC

Wedding Ceremony Photographer: Kate Dye Photography

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Planters Inn, Charleston, SC

So, now if a couple chooses to have a formal give away of the bride… as the wedding officiant, I say "Who presents this woman to this man", as my default language.

Thanks to this thoughtful father of the bride!



Charleston Wedding Officiant, Father Giving Away the Bride, Planters Inn, Charleston, SC

Wedding Ceremony Photographer: Kate Dye Photography

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Planters Inn, Charleston, SC




Sincerely,

A Charleston Wedding Officiant

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