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Thursday, 17 May 2018

A Traditional Wedding

The BBC, as is its way, has shared with us somebody's explanation of why she walked herself down the aisle at her wedding.  Which is an improvement, to be fair, on the Guardian. Which would have had an article from somebody who would have walked herself down the aisle, only the men she meets on Tinder are for some reason only interested in sex and not marriage and anyway marriage is such a patriarchal thing yah. 

So I'm wondering about the whole "traditional" marriage concept in the article, where women are walked down the aisle by their fathers to be given away - as a form of property - to their new owner.

Now, I'm not likely to be a blushing bride. Not at my age. And there's no chance of Young Keith's dad ever making an honest woman of me. Not if he ate those olives I sent him. And no chance of my dad walking me down the aisle. Not after that incident with the hay bailer. But still.  Traditional? 

So the original BCP (1549) has the following: 

Then shall the Minister say,
Who geveth this woman to be maried to this man?
And the minister receiving the woman at her father or frendes handes: shall cause the man to take the woman by the right hande, and so either to geve their trouth to other:

I have no idea what a trouth is. But it's good to know they both give the other one. But that's 1549. And already there the minister can receive the woman at her father or frendes handes. It doesn't have to be Dad. Even then. OK, so there's a good chance that Dad would be dead of plague, or burned for heresy, or something. So Dad's was more optional than you'd think. 

So go ahead. Walk yourself down the aisle. Take your dad, your mum, your springer spaniel, your pet Dalek or your favourite chair. It doesn't matter. The C of E has never said it has to be your dad giving you away, and since Common Worship the vicar doesn't even have to ask that question. "Traditional"? There's no such thing. Be yourself. But don't kid yourself you're radical. 


  1. Funnily enough the standard Catholic rite has no 'giving' of the bride and clearly states that the bride and groom come into church together. Try and get away with that though!

  2. Well, when we got married in a Register Office (I wasn't doing God at the time), my bride kept me on tenterhooks.

    Waiting patiently for my wife as the time approached, no sign of her. Her father was driving her (we did the wedding on a shoe string) and he having been a Heavy Goods Driver had driven huge vehicles very slowly, often at a maximum of 20 mph. And even though retired, he drove everywhere in cars at the same speed. (A road hogs nightmare).

    Eventually, one minute before we were due to go in, they arrived. A very flustered bride and groom, then led a procession of elderly relatives and writhing young children into the room where the deed was to be done, in the nick of time. The next wedding after us, were already trying to squeeze into the waiting room'

    We than went for photographs in the grounds of the Manor House the Register Office was housed in, and than another 100 yards down the road to the venue for the reception. Brides Dad insisted on driving us the 100 yards, and the rest walked.

    At the reception, I had brought a sword to cut the Cake (I was a sevring Officer at the time, so was entitled to have a sword about me) and I felt that It would be better employed for it's original purpose for a particular father of the bride.

    We all lived happily ever after though (so far)

  3. We didn't do any of that walking down the aisle stuff. We both sat on the front row until it was time to stand up for the vows. Then we sat back down again and went on with the rest of the service. I was't given away (not even with greenshield stamps, as the minister commented, which gives you an idea of the vintage of our marriage, which is still going on). After a few photos in the church grounds, we walked across the road to our new marital home where we put on a buffet for family and the minister brought the register for us to sign. All very simple (and cheap).


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