The tradition of the father giving away his daughter has its roots in the days of arranged marriages. Daughters in those times were considered their father’s property. It was the father’s right to give his child to the groom, usually for a price.
Some contemporary couples will want to adapt that tradition. The Book of Common Prayer offers three options for the presentation of bride or groom.
- Neither Bride nor Groom will be “given” or “presented.” Both enter unescorted. Following the congregation’s response of “We will,” the ceremony goes directly into the section entitled “The Ministry of the Word.”
- The Bride is “given” or “presented.” (In this case, the bride usually has been escorted down the aisle to the altar on the arm of her father, or another beloved person in her life.) At this moment in the service, the Officiant asks, “Who gives/presents this woman to be married to this man?” And that person then replies, “I do,” or “Her mother and I do,” or other words appropriate to the situation.
- Both Bride and Groom are presented. (The bride may or may not have been escorted down the aisle.) At this moment the priest asks, “Who presents this woman and this man to be married to each other?” Presenters of your designation then reply, “We do.”