On walking down the aisle

Who is going to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle?

Speculators have been speculating on this since she announced her father is unable to attend the wedding.

The speculation has gone from the traditional (if her father can’t be there another man might) through the less traditional but no longer unusual (her mother could escort her) to the trashy (I was listening to the radio yesterday and some of the suggestions are best not repeated).

A father escorting his daughter down the aisle and giving her away is the traditional start to a marriage service but there are plenty of alternatives.

As a marriage celebrant it is my role to create a service that suits the couple and meets the requirements of the Marriage Act.

I give the bride and groom several options and even though it’s the 21st century, many choose to stick with tradition.

If the bride’s father is dead or estranged some choose to come in with their mother, brother or grand parent.

I’d been away from home for several years before I married and wasn’t comfortable with the idea of being given away.

Instead I followed both my parents down the aisle with my best lady at my side and rather than the traditional giving away, the minister asked all our parents if they gave their blessing to our marriage.

A couple whose marriage service I officiated at last year were married on a beach. The groom arrived first with his mother, his father followed with the bride’s mother, the attendants came next and then the bride walked in with her father.

Alternatives include:

* The groom walking in with both parents and/or other family and/or friends and the bride walking in with her parents and/or other family and/or friends.

* The groom enters with his family and the bride with hers side by side (this needs a wide aisle so works best in a garden).

* The bride and groom enter together with or without parents/family.

Weddings can be much more informal than they used to be and sometimes the couple choose to mingle with guests as they arrive and then come forward together to start the service.

However they choose to start the service and whatever else they say and do during it, I remind the couples that what matters is that they are relaxed and happy and what matters more than the wedding is the marriage.

 

 

 

 

 

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