“Who brings this woman to be married to this man?”
Father of the bride: “I do.”
That’s the traditional phrase used in many weddings, called “giving away the bride”. This is a centuries-old, antiquated tradition where the bride was considered her father’s property until she was married, at which time she became her husband’s property (and problem, some might say!). In 2015, hopefully most Australian brides are not considered the property of anyone, least of all the men in their lives.
While some couples still choose to include this traditional statement, I often encourage them to consider some wording that includes BOTH sets of parents or families giving their blessing to the relationship. It’s also a lovely way of acknowledging the support and love from both sides of the relationship rather than just from the bride’s side.
I usually ask the parents or families of the couple to stand and then say something along the following lines:
Celebrant: Parents (or families) are very special to a bride and groom. They have helped shape your lives to this point. Their continued love and support are needed. We want to give the parents (or families) of both the bride and groom the opportunity to publicly affirm your relationship. [Parents/Families], do you affirm this relationship and welcome [Groom and Bride] into your families?
Parents/Families: We do.
Of course we can customise these words to suit your circumstances!