In traditional weddings, the father of the bride has been the one to walk her down the aisle and give her away to the groom. This custom dates back to a time when women were seen as property, and their father would give them away in exchange for a dowry. When asked “Who gives this woman to marry this man?”, the father would usually answer “Yes, I do.”However, modern weddings have adapted this tradition to be more inclusive. Nowadays, it is common for both parents of the bride and groom to take part in the ceremony.
This is especially true in Jewish weddings, where the mother stands on the right and the father on the left. In some religious ceremonies, it is customary for the officiant to ask “who gives this woman to marry this man?” as part of the traditional ritual. Gifting to the bride is an important way for both sets of parents to be involved in a Christian wedding ceremony. To make it more meaningful, some Christian ministers suggest including a time to “reaffirm family ties” instead of traditional bride giving. When walking his daughter down the aisle, a father may say: “I have done everything I can to present you, my daughter, as a pure bride.”Historically, marriage was seen as a commercial transaction and two exchanges of money were made when it was celebrated: a dowry and a wedding wealth.
Gifting to the bride was part of this tradition and allowed both sets of parents to be involved in the ceremony. A dowry is when the bride's family pays a sum of money to the groom's family when they get married. An estate for the bride is when the groom's family pays a sum of money to the bride's family. It's important to note that in cultures where an estate for the bride was practiced, divorce was not considered official unless that amount was returned to the groom's family. Here are some examples of scripts that can be used when giving away the bride at a Christian wedding ceremony.