Redefining Your Wedding: “Who Gives This Bride Away”

for JG

Dear Thriving Bride,

My wedding will definitely be a community affair.  I will be married in 49 days, and I am thinking a lot about community in relation to the traditions I want to have at my wedding. There are traditions that are really important to me, and one of those happens to be a tear-jerker,  and an issue that I have been trying to resolve.  You know how in many weddings (and in most movies), there’s that part where the officiator says: “And who gives this bride away.”  Well, usually her parents stand and say “we do.”

Well, my parents are not taking part in my wedding.  That may change, but I am working with what’s true in the present moment.  What is it about that moment that pulls at my heart strings?  From a young age, I either thought about skipping that part or coming up with some version of it that did not feel right to me.

And then I had a discussion with my friend JG.  JG has known me since I was 18, and I am now 34.  We talked about what I would do in this part of the wedding, and I suggested having my surrogate parents stand for me and say these words.  Then, as she usually does, she threw in something hilarious and  said: How come it’s all about who give the woman away. What about who gives the couple away or something like that.  It was pretty funny and made me think a lot.  So thanks dear friend! Here are  some of my new ideas:

1. I can ask a few close friends to stand up and say “We do.”

2. I can ask my surrogate parents (please stay tuned for the upcoming post titled The Importance of Surrogate Parents) to stand for me on that day.

3. I can take my ideas and combine them with JG’s.  Why does someone have to give me away?  Why is it that no one is supposed to stand for my fiance  as well?

When that moment comes in the wedding ceremony, I will no longer be queasy in the stomach or want to avoid it.  This time the officiator will say: “Who stands in support of this couple and this marriage.”  Thankfully, I have a community that will stand and collectively say “We Do.”  In the end, they are the ones who have stood by us all these years.


  • Jill Guerra

    Chris and I talked about our conversation and I posed the exact idea you and I talked about… the conclusion: the people who love us will continue to support our relationship and on this official day, when we are each delcaring our love for each other and “making it official”, our community will also commit to supporting us by replying, “We will!” I think it’s beautiful and community focused and accountable and progressive…yes, we are getting married in non-traditional ways, but we are the directors of our lives and we create it as is appropriate for US! xox luvu