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Source: (consider it) Thread: Giving Away
Pomona
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# 17175

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Sorry, where did you get the idea that it's unbiblical for a woman to woo a man, ask him to marry her or initiate a kiss? Do you think that Christian women shouldn't initiate kisses with their partners? [Confused] These are cultural (and nonsensical) ideas, not Biblical ones. Not that the Bible doesn't contain nonsensical ideas, but it at least doesn't contain those particular ones.

'You may kiss each other' would be fine.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Cedd
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# 8436

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Whenever I do wedding preparation I always ask whether the bride wants to be given away and stress that it is not compulsory - I think that almost without exception every bride has wanted a father or a brother to do so.

Is it outdated and patriarchal, undoubtedly. Is it a hugely valued part of the service that brides want to keep just as much (if not more) than bridegrooms, undoubtedly.

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Churchmanship: This week I am mostly an evangelical, catholic, orthodox with both liberal and illiberal tendancies. Terms and conditions apply.

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anoesis
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# 14189

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At my wedding, I walked down the aisle with both my parents, one on each side, and as we reached the front of the aisle they detached from me and went and to their assigned seats on whichever side of the aisle it was. After the hymn finished and the congregation sat down, BOTH sets of parents remained standing while the officiant asked them whether they gave their blessing to the union.

However, those who say that people are holding on to what are really pretty sexist practices in the name of tradition, or nostalgia, or something, seem to be right. I haven't seen a repeat of what we did, and the only instance I can think of where a bride entered with her mother, it was because she was from a single-parent household and wanted to honour her mother above some other token male relative such as an uncle or great-uncle. One of my own bridesmaids, who I then did duty for the next year, I remember listening to her describe how the service would proceed, and was surprised that this independent, thoughtful, and serious-minded individual not only wanted to process down the aisle with only her father, because it was traditional, but also for him to lift her (face covering) veil when they reached the head of the aisle and she turned to face her husband-to-be. To me, that is really getting a bit close to the 'here is your piece of merchandise' end of the spectrum!

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Pomona
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# 17175

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Anoesis, I believe that the bride walking down the aisle with both parents is traditional in Jewish weddings.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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ExclamationMark
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If you want to use an alternative form , the service allows you to say "Who brings ..... " instead of "Who gives ....

That's the form I use at weddings and I have had all sorts of people doing the bringing from mums, dads, aunts, sisters, friends etc .... I also don't include a "you may kiss the bride" moment.

I simply sort it at rehearsal, nod and off they go - their choice who gets going first. OK I'm not a Clerk in Holy Orders, so in some people's eyes the couple aren't really being married before God, but God and the registrar have always been ok with it - and I've had no complaints from the couples either. One of the issues with being a non conformist in every sense of the word, IU suppose.

I used "who brings" at the weddings of C, E and S who happen to be the daughters of me and Mrs M. Interesting gymnastics to "bring" and to conduct the service but it can be done. I didn't give them because I don't own them .... I brought them to this point as a loving parent: it was a stage in their life's journey.

Presumably if we are going to ban anything like this as sexist (or any other reason) we are going to have to think about baptism sponsors or confirmation sponsors too ....

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Angloid
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# 159

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quote:
Originally posted by would love to belong:
Perhaps it
is an importation from Holywood into modern, real-life ceremonies?

That's the only reason I can see. Unless American church practice has influenced Hollywood?

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Pomona
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# 17175

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EM - for a start, surely a woman can go down the aisle by herself? Or just meet her husband by the priest/whoever is officiating and have no procession at all?

Also, why couldn't you and your wife both present your daughter, like how Anoesis describes? Why is a male parent considered more important?

Regarding baptism sponsors being seen as sexist, why? The point is that marriage has been the transferal of women as property from father to husband, and for many that is what 'giving away' symbolises.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Garasu
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# 17152

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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Regarding baptism sponsors being seen as sexist, why? The point is that marriage has been the transferal of women as property from father to husband, and for many that is what 'giving away' symbolises.

It did strike me, having been asked to be sponsors for my nieces and nephews in a tradition that is not my own, that (out of three) there were two women for the girls and two men for the boys. I didn't feel it appropriate to raise any questions, just wondered why...

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Originally the custom is clearly patriarchal. However, it has been very important for almost every bride (and her father) that I've ever prepared, so I've reinterpreted it. Father stands for all of the couple's family members, the best man for all of the couple's friends. The couple start off with these, because they will need the support of family and friends to make their marriage work. However, at the most important part of the ceremony the couple leave those people behind, as they are promising to make their partner the most important person from now on, even above family and friends.

It's a completely unsupported reinvention of tradition but it seems to go down well. Certainly it would still work if the bride was "given away" by her mum or auntie, or if the groom was supported by his sister instead of his brother, or any other man.

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Moo

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My husband died while both our daughters were teenagers. When the older one was married, I told her that if anyone was going to give her away, it should be me. She did not have any male relatives that she knew well. She chose not to be given away.

When her sister was married, the minister said, "Who gives this man and this woman to each other?" His parents and I said, "I do".

I think it was good to include this in the ceremony to remind the parents that their relationship with their child has now changed.

Moo

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Olaf
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# 11804

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Liturgically speaking, we don't do it anymore. There is no 'gives away' question. If the bride chooses to have her father walk her up the aisle, possibly unveil her, and/or possibly place her hand in that of her fiancé, then so be it. The directions certainly don't specify it. That said, in the majority of weddings in my church in which a bride's father is present, he walks her up.

I blame Hollywood for the custom persisting so long. The archetypal TV and film wedding involves a dour-looking man in a suit with a glimmer in his eyes, reading a wedding liturgy out of the middle of the Bible. It must have the following:

  • Start with "Dearly beloved, we are gathered..."
  • Giving away of the bride
  • Ask "If there are any here who have just cause why the two should not be lawfully joined in matrimony, let them speak now or forever hold their peace."
  • Follow that with an awkward pan of the audience, with one or two shifty looks, but ultimately no objection
  • "You may now kiss the bride."
  • Finish with this

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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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I used to envision being walked down the aisle by both of my parents.

After they died, that changed to envisioning all the extended families being the bridesmaids / groomsmen etc.

Then I got invited to a Spanish wedding in Mexico, where everyone assembled outside the churches, everyone followed the couple into the church, both sets of parents sat immediately behind the bride and groom near the altar and had a role in the ceremony. (No bridesmaids or groomsmen) I like it! More of a sense of the couple being endorsed by the two families together.

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Nicolemr
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My daughter is going to be walked down the aisle by my brother (because her father is a piece of shit who's cut himself out of her life) but not "given away". He's simply going to be her escort, the symbolism as I get it that he's her past life and family bringing her to her husband, her new life and family.

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Nicolemr
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I should add that my brother had a big part in raising his niece so it's appropriate and fitting, not just picking some random male. Sorry, thought of adding this after the edit window closed.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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# 15560

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I'm on the parent side of this, with children grown. It has nothing to do with possession. It has to do with the love between parents and children and involvement of the families of the persons to be married. However, I wouldn't use the term "giving away", rather "walking down the aisle". It is most frequent that both parents as available walk with their child. The couple is joined, and the two families are also. It is what is 'done' here. My kids discuss that I would be hurt if we don't walk them down the aisle, and they are correct.

I get the ideological perspectives on this. They are irrelevant if you attend to the specifics of your family and what is needed and desired by all Yes, it is your wedding, but others, including God and community. As for who kisses whom. I'm sure they can arrange this rather very well from extensive pre-marital practice. I don't recall a permission for this activity post vows by clergy. But it (the kissing) invariably occurs. Followed by cheering from the congregation present.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by scuffleball:
Why do we still do giving away? Aren't we supposed to say it is sexist etc and saying ladies are but men's property?

Most women still change their names to that of their husband on marriage, too. Of the large number of women I know who prefer to be known as "Mrs. Husband" (and a fair few who like "Mrs. John Husband") I know precisely none who consider themselves subservient in any way - none of these are "male headship" types.

I know some women who use their maiden names professionally, but their husband's name socially, three who have kept their maiden names for all purposes, and one where the husband and wife hyphenated their names, so both changed surname on marriage.

Mostly, I think it's one of those traditions where people have largely lost sight of the root cause, and just do it because it's traditional.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Garasu:
It did strike me, having been asked to be sponsors for my nieces and nephews in a tradition that is not my own, that (out of three) there were two women for the girls and two men for the boys. I didn't feel it appropriate to raise any questions, just wondered why...

That's the C of E tradition - I'd guess at an assumption in the distant past (in fact, the 1240 Synod of Worcester) that a young man/woman would be more comfortable seeking spiritual counsel from an adult of the same sex. I don't know when having a greater number became allowable, but these days two couples is not uncommon, and I think that even having one of each sex might be a guideline rather than a hard-and-fast rule these days.

AFAIK, RCs may have a maximum of one godparent of each sex.

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Tukai
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# 12960

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quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
At my wedding... After the hymn finished and the congregation sat down, BOTH sets of parents remained standing while the officiant asked them whether they gave their blessing to the union.

That's what we did at my daughter's recent wedding (in the Uniting Church of Australia). She is strongly her own person and certainly did not think of herself as my property to be "given away", especially as she had left home years ago, but still valued our love and support.

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gog
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I know when mrs gog and I got married the words where:

"Who presents [mrs gog] to be married to [gog]"

and then

"Who presents [gog] to be married to [mrs gog]"

though this is given as optional bits in the service book, and seems to me to move away from the property idea. Also where we married it is usually brides father, and grooms mother who are those who present.

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Adeodatus
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It's funny how somebody with completely the wrong attitude can actually get to the heart of the matter. As one hopelessly trogloditic father-of-the-bride once said to me, "What's to give away? He's already had her!"

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
It's funny how somebody with completely the wrong attitude can actually get to the heart of the matter. As one hopelessly trogloditic father-of-the-bride once said to me, "What's to give away? He's already had her!"

He wasn't being 'hopelessly trogloditic'. He was making a good point! But I imagine that for many people, the whole point of having church wedding these days is to make a nod to tradition, in the midst of lives that have banished tradition in so many ways. A wedding, especially in church is one of the few occasions where the English (or Anglophone) past is consciously allowed to make an appearance in the present. If you want to be radical or up-to-date in modern Britain you probably wouldn't be getting married in church, or even getting married at all.

As someone said, the giving away role could simply be a way for the father to be involved in the wedding. Otherwise, a modern wedding often seems very dominated by women's choices. The bride and her mother may decide on everything, with the men not seeming to play a very significant role, other than being there.

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Pearl B4 Swine
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# 11451

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There are so many things about weddings that are nonsense. Thanks to Hollywood films and soap operas, mostly. And Mother's memories of her own wedding.

  • The parade: Even in churches which never have a processional beginning their Sunday service. Its nearly always a shambles, the ladies trooping in like Olympic athletes , the men looking embarrassed and hailing their buddies in the audience.
  • Lifting the veil- the first time the Groom has seen the Bride's face. Right.
  • The bride wearing white - bought at a huge price, and often displaying a huge amount of skin! Brides used to wear their Sunday best outfit.
  • Renting 'formal' attire for the gentlemen - being allowed to wear his baseball cap would be a relief for many of them
  • The Giving Away Ceremony - The dowry- money, land and livestock given the husband for taking the gal off the Dad's hands, now simplified by the two families doing a Pass the Peace type of scene.
  • Giggling during the vows
  • Cutting to the chase: The Kiss - Despite warnings from the priest/minister, the couple tackle each other with a prolonged impassioned full-on sloppy kiss. As if this is their first. Especially silly when the bride is known (or seen) to be pregnant

I wonder if in the new prayer book (surely coming in the USA) there will be Marriage I, II, III, and "or something similar" to choose from.

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Earwig

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# 12057

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
It's funny how somebody with completely the wrong attitude can actually get to the heart of the matter. As one hopelessly trogloditic father-of-the-bride once said to me, "What's to give away? He's already had her!"

He wasn't being 'hopelessly trogloditic'. He was making a good point!
Umm... I think the implication is that the father can't hand over the daughter's virginity, because she's already had sex with her partner.

The idea that a father is the guardian of his daughter's virginity seems a teeny bit trogloditic to me... Squicky, anyway.

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Earwig:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
It's funny how somebody with completely the wrong attitude can actually get to the heart of the matter. As one hopelessly trogloditic father-of-the-bride once said to me, "What's to give away? He's already had her!"

He wasn't being 'hopelessly trogloditic'. He was making a good point!
Umm... I think the implication is that the father can't hand over the daughter's virginity, because she's already had sex with her partner.


Exactly!

quote:

The idea that a father is the guardian of his daughter's virginity seems a teeny bit trogloditic to me... Squicky, anyway.

Well, we don't expect maidens to be locked up in towers anymore, fortunately! Interestingly, though, sociologists tell us that girls who have a good relationship with their fathers are less likely to lose their virginity at a young age, or to have commitment issues later in life. So a father IS the guardian of his daughter's sexual behaviour to the extent that how he raises her will have an influence on how she relates to men later in life.

Many people do rise above their upbringing, of course.

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ExclamationMark
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# 14715

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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:


1. EM - for a start, surely a woman can go down the aisle by herself? Or just meet her husband by the priest/whoever is officiating and have no procession at all?

2. Also, why couldn't you and your wife both present your daughter, like how Anoesis describes? Why is a male parent considered more important?

3. Regarding baptism sponsors being seen as sexist, why? The point is that marriage has been the transferal of women as property from father to husband, and for many that is what 'giving away' symbolises.

1. Yes - done that too.

2. Could've done but that was their choice - and they are all strong mined women noted for their espousal of women's causes/issues in senior employment roles. I don't argue with anyone who wants it differently.

3. Yes that is a main reason (sort of) for giving away. It came more to be seen as a move away from one state (single) to another (married). Tbh it's not even necessary today but may like the tradition.

But I'm part of a tradition that doesn't proscribe certain proportion of sexes in baptism/thanksgiving/dedication - another set of handing over, as it were, this time to God.

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MrsBeaky
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# 17663

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Here in Kenya in the Anglican church (and one other church I've been to a wedding at), the bride is walked down the aisle by both of her parents and the groom's parents join him at the front and both sets of parents give their respective children to the new marriage.

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Lothiriel
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# 15561

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Thirty years ago, I walked down the aisle by myself (don't be fooled by the avatar, I'm a woman), and both sets of parents were asked to give their blessing to the marriage. It was not in any way in my parent's power to give me away: I didn't belong to them, and they had had nothing to do with our decision to marry. There was no reason at all that my relationship with my parents should be treated any differently in the wedding than my husband's relationship with his parents.

Whatever modern gloss people might put on the giving away ritual, it's still rife with the symbolism of patriachy and the subjugation of women.

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Og, King of Bashan

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# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet:
I'm on the parent side of this, with children grown. It has nothing to do with possession. It has to do with the love between parents and children and involvement of the families of the persons to be married.

That was my experience in my wedding, for what it is worth. My wife, who is fiercely independent, wouldn't have thought of not being presented (not given away) by her father, and even encouraged me to ask his permission to marry her. It had nothing to do with her being his chattel. It had everything to do with him being the most important man in her life up until I came along. It was important to her that I acknowledge that by talking to him, and it was important for her to acknowledge it by having him escort her down the aisle. It may come from outdated customs, but as my father in law told me, while the reasoning behind these traditions may have gone away, it was still an important tradition.

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scuffleball
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# 16480

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Is the gender-asymmetry of a lady walking down an isle but not a man equally important?

quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by scuffleball:
Why do we still do giving away? Aren't we supposed to say it is sexist etc and saying ladies are but men's property?

Most women still change their names to that of their husband on marriage, too. Of the large number of women I know who prefer to be known as "Mrs. Husband" (and a fair few who like "Mrs. John Husband") I know precisely none who consider themselves subservient in any way - none of these are "male headship" types.

I know some women who use their maiden names professionally, but their husband's name socially, three who have kept their maiden names for all purposes, and one where the husband and wife hyphenated their names, so both changed surname on marriage.

Mostly, I think it's one of those traditions where people have largely lost sight of the root cause, and just do it because it's traditional.

Line of Thought 1 -

I think the use of a common name is important, because it represents the unification of a household. The idea that it should necessarily be the lady who changes her name seems odd though - is the lady joining the man's household any more than the woman is joining that of the man?

For instance, I know of a heterosexual couple whose surnames ending in -ley chose to change their names to Ley upon marriage. This is somewhat easier in Britain than on the Continent, where there are far stricter rules about what names you can have.

In fact, in Countries that use law derived from the Napoleonic system, a household apparently is treated as a single economic unit, and apparently this means the tax systems of those countries tend to favour marriage more than the British one. This also helps explain why SSM was so much more controversial in France than Britain, despite France being apparently more Secular.

Dutch law was apparently changed to make the law of name changes gender-neutral but apparently it was only recently that a man took on his wife's name upon marriage.

Irina Rempt on names in Dutch culture, esp with regards to marriage -

http://www.valdyas.org/fo3/tag/names/

Line of Thought 2 -

I think this shows that people care more about repeating customs than what the customs mean. I came from a somewhat iconoclastic left-ish non-conformist type culture which almost valued breaking traditions for the sake of it. But then I went to university and picked up lots of strange customs that seemed meaningless but essentially harmless and came to value them as a way of creating a sense of belonging and community.

To what extent are the meaning of customs important? Is it important to repeat customs so they don't die out to preserve British/Native American/African-American/... culture? Does it matter whether or not Christmas Trees or the Maypole once represented a fertility God? (Although I suspect Fertility Gods à la the Golden Bough are as much a Victorian invention as the Maypole itself.)

[ 12. August 2013, 20:32: Message edited by: scuffleball ]

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scuffleball
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quote:
Originally posted by would love to belong:
Why is "you may kiss the bride" sexist? I can see redundant and non-liturgical. We might as well say that marriage is sexist.

it may have escaped your attention, but people /do/ say that marriage is sexist. The number of times I have heard - "I don't see why same-sex couples want to get married, for marriage is itself a sexist institution that is just about ladies belonging to men and in particular just being transferred from one man to another, which is signified by their name change and giving away and other such things."

Which of course is not necessarily true, for marriage is about mutual care and support, and the unification of households, and creating a stable environment in which children can grow up - which must surely be equally present in same-sex couples.

quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
I agree with scuffleball. If it is a valuable custom why doesn't the groom also get 'given away'? I don't think people think these things through. It's like 'you may kiss the bride' which is [a] redundant, [b] unliturgical and [c] sexist.

Yeeeees, but unlike the latter, it was once actually part of the liturgy of the C. of E., as were asymmetric wedding vows.


quote:
Originally posted by comet:
at my daughter's wedding, I've been told that myself and the groom's mother will both be giving our respective spawn away.

By whom? Not the minister, I sincerely hope?
(And if so, I would be very interested to know the tradition.)

quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
But lots of women would be deeply disappointed if nobody said 'you may kiss the bride'! I know when I've tried talking about sexist elements of weddings, nobody wants to know. I'm either thinking about it too much (according to the people I'm talking to), or the people in question value the sexist aspect.

One lady who I knew who got married this summer went through a very traditional line to marriage - courtship in a very stereotypically Victorian "romantic" fashion and always very traditional feminine. Grand gestures in engagement, honeymoon. Also completely no sex or living together before marriage. Completely heteronormative and traditional gender roles &c.

She was from a tradition somewhere between liberal and evangelical - liberal enough to go to Greenbelt every year, and evangelical enough to , didn't grow up in a religious household, married someone she had been related to throughout sixth-form and university. And yet everywhere I thought she was doing things "traditionally" because she had made a conscious choice to do so - she was saying - "I respect that some people are not heterosexual, but this is what I have come to the conclusion I believe in. And I respect and acknowledge the fact that other people do not believe the same thing." And I have felt similarly about the attitudes of some Roman Catholic ladies I know. *

By contrast, I am interested to see that a lot of non-religious people still have church weddings and baptisms and send their children to religious schools even if they do not believe in any religion because that is the socially acceptable thing to do. Often these people repeat the customs of their ancestors without thinking about what they signify.

Here is an analogy - as a religious person singing in the church choir, I find it harder to sing a hymn like "I vow to thee my country" that I don't agree with than a non-religious person who went to an independent school where they had to go to chapel every day and sing all manner of hymns that they didn't believe in anyway and sit through sermons that were decidedly contentless and it was the expectation that everybody would be confirmed regardless of what they believed exactly.

*But I am not sure I could go along with a relationship like that, even if a lady wanted it. It would not sit well with my conscience.

[ 12. August 2013, 20:59: Message edited by: scuffleball ]

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Spiffy
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If I ever go crazy and get married again, I'd like to be escorted down the aisle by my parents. Way I look at it, I'm going to be nervous as hell and hanging on to two of the most supportive people in my world is the best thing I can think of.

And if someone was silly enough to ask, "Who gives this woman away" my father's going to be the first one to say, "She gives her own self away".

Thinking upon the concept of asking permission to marry, I'm brought back to this conversation from the TV show Bones.

quote:
Dr. Jack Hodgins: Well, it occurred to me that you might have a traditional... you're Texan. I mean *really* Texan, guitars and hot rods Texan. So I figured I should ask you for your daughter's hand in marriage as a sign of respect.
Angela's Dad: You're making a huge mistake, son.
Dr. Jack Hodgins: Marrying Angela?
Angela's Dad: No. If Angie finds out that a man - you - asked another man - me - for her hand or any other of her fine parts, horrible complications will ensue.
Dr. Jack Hodgins: I didn't think of that.
Angela's Dad: You could get us both killed.

I did recently attend a wedding where the opening procession went:
Virger
Crucifer
Virger
Whole mess of priests
Virger
Crucifer
Choir
Virger
Bishop
The couple, holding hands

I cried and cried and cried. It was great.

(The parents were escorted to the front before the parade)

[ 12. August 2013, 22:07: Message edited by: Spiffy ]

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HughWillRidmee
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quote:
Originally posted by would love to belong:
We're taught in evangeli-land that the man pursues the woman and not vice versa. So presumably the man kisses and the woman receives.

Is that a) how they think it happens or b) just how they think it should happen?

If a) – they’re bonkers – if b) they’re scared (and probably bonkers as well).
Afterthought – why did the term bonkers come to mind – over to you Dr Sigmund.

Back in the 1960s my father used to set aside Friday evening for couples who wished to arrange for him to call their Banns. I recall him telling me that, as part of gentling them into a less terrified condition (most had probably never spoken with a real, live vicar and had certainly never been in one’s study in a proper vicarage), he would ask them how long they had known each other. Apparently the norm was for both to rush to answer, but that typically the bride would suggest a period six months longer than offered by her intended. Dad was of the opinion that this indicated that the groom was trussed up like a chicken before he even knew that string existed – but I will accept that there are other possible explanations.

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LeRoc

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quote:
scuffleball: Dutch law was apparently changed to make the law of name changes gender-neutral but apparently it was only recently that a man took on his wife's name upon marriage.

Irina Rempt on names in Dutch culture, esp with regards to marriage -

http://www.valdyas.org/fo3/tag/names/

The Dutch situation is a bit complicated in fact. Until recently, your legal name didn't change after marriage, neither that of the husband nor that of the spouse. So I guess you could say that it was gender-neutral.

However, in practice most married women would use the name FirstName MarriedName-MaidenName in many situations, even if that wasn't her legal name. Also, she would have the possibility to put 'FirstName MaidenName - wife of MarriedName' in her passport. My mother has that. I don't think that many men did the reverse thing, but I guess that it would have been possible.

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Nicolemr
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BTW in a traditional Jewish wedding, as I understand it, both bride and groom are walked down the aisle by both parents.

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la vie en rouge
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A while back on the radio I heard a very wise lady who works as a wedding planner. She said that planning a wedding is all about managing expectations. The thing about all the traditions (white dress, giving away, veils, bridesmaids, cakes bla bla bla) that go with weddings is that people have all kinds of expectations about them and you have to work round all the questions of who's going to be offended and/or upset if you don't do what they were expecting. Doesn't mean you can't choose to make a decision that's going to upset someone, but you need to work out what the expectations are and then manage them.

FWIW a traditional French way of doing things is:

Bride's mother and groom's father together
Groom's mother and bride's father together
Bride and groom together.

Which I think is kind of nice. This of course depends on everyone still being alive and no subsequent remarriages etc. Also I think a lot of French brides have now adopted the thing of being walked down the aisle by their father because it's what they see in the movies.

Which brings me back to expectations: when it comes to it, I am planning to be walked down the aisle by my father, because expectations. He would be horribly disappointed if I did it any other way, not because he sees me as his property, but because we are close and he would be devastated if I excluded him from the role he's always expected in one of the most important days of my life. In MyDadland, walking your daughter down the aisle is just What You Do™. OTOH, there will be no giving away question, because I think it's nonsense. I would also be mortified if my boyfriend asked my father's permission to marry me. I'm a 33 year-old independent woman and I don't need anyone's permission. If my family really disliked my choice I would be prepared to marry the person anyway against their wishes. (NB this is a hypothetical situation, I'm not anticipating this will be the case! [Big Grin] )

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
i I would also be mortified if my boyfriend asked my father's permission to marry me. I'm a 33 year-old independent woman and I don't need anyone's permission. If my family really disliked my choice I would be prepared to marry the person anyway against their wishes. (NB this is a hypothetical situation, I'm not anticipating this will be the case!)

Strangely, the custom of seeking permission from the woman's father has come back here. When Madame and I became engaged, we went together to our parents and told them what we had decided. Others in our group told their own parents separately. In the next generation, most of the young fellows have asked her father (after asking her, of course).

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I would also be mortified if my boyfriend asked my father's permission to marry me. I'm a 33 year-old independent woman and I don't need anyone's permission.

For me, it wasn't about his permission. When a person gets married, their family dynamic shifts. Asking a father's blessing is one way of easing that shift. Even if you lay aside trappings of patriarchal society, there are roles that a father has in his daughter's life. When the daughter is married, her husband takes some of those roles from her father, and the father and husband become partners in other roles. That is a complex relationship for the father and husband to navigate. The blessing conversation for me was intended (and accepted) as a good faith effort to try to acknowledge that the relationship between her father and I was about to profoundly change, and that we were going to try to help each other through that transition.

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Caissa
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I think Ms. C. and I informed both sets of parents that we intended to get married. Memory fades after 17 years.
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Gwai
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I would also be mortified if my boyfriend asked my father's permission to marry me. I'm a 33 year-old independent woman and I don't need anyone's permission.

For me, it wasn't about his permission. When a person gets married, their family dynamic shifts.
So I presume that she asked your people for permission to marry you then?

[ 13. August 2013, 18:24: Message edited by: Gwai ]

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A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I would also be mortified if my boyfriend asked my father's permission to marry me. I'm a 33 year-old independent woman and I don't need anyone's permission.

For me, it wasn't about his permission. When a person gets married, their family dynamic shifts.
So I presume that she asked your people for permission to marry you then?
In some cultures I'm sure that an only son is expected to marry with his family's approval, especially if his income has been helping to support his parents and his brothers and sisters.

In modern Western culture giving a daughter away in marriage or asking for her father's 'permission' to marry her is little more than play-acting IMO. It's a nod to the fairy stories where everyone has a big wedding and lives 'happily ever after'. But in reality, Westerners choose to marry and choose to divorce largely independently of what their families might think.

I suspect that getting your bride's father's blessing is mainly a good idea if she expects him to pay for a big do. Otherwise, it's a just about inviting him to share in your happiness.

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Gwai
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That was sort of why I asked, SvitlanaV2. He was saying it was just a nod to a changing dynamic. My point was that if it were only that then presumably they both asked permission of the respective families. Surely family's dynamics change regardless of the gender of the person forming their own family.

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Og, King of Bashan

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Perhaps I should mention that she specifically asked me to talk to him, while I did not specifically ask her to talk to my parents. My wife knows her father well enough to know that he likes to think of himself as a protector, and that his feelings would have been hurt had I not spoken to him. My parents didn't require that kind of gesture. And I think that is what is important- figuring out what everyone needs to help them settle into a new dynamic. In La Vie En Rouge's case, it would disturb the settling if the potential groom went through the playacting. In my case, it was an important part of settling both my father in law and my wife. Sure, the original meaning of "giving away" the bride and "asking permission" from the father have gone away. But it is important to look at all of the shifts going around, and to try to figure out how you are going to manage them. Social customs often come down to playacting. But they still have some value.

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SvitlanaV2
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Gwai

The dynamic changes in both cases, but I think that in many Western families, daughters still play a slightly different role from sons. Speaking personally, if I got married it would have more of an impact on my family than if my brother got married. I'm better at keeping in touch, at holding those caring and intimate conversations, so my sudden preoccupation with creating a new household would probably be experienced as more of a loss.

As I implied above, I think asking for permission and 'giving away' the bride gives the father a role to play - and this may be valuable in a culture that's increasingly confused about why a father is necessary at all. This role doesn't mean that the father has more 'control' over the family than the mother - it's just ensuring that he doesn't become totally invisible!

[ 13. August 2013, 20:06: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Spiffy
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I would also be mortified if my boyfriend asked my father's permission to marry me. I'm a 33 year-old independent woman and I don't need anyone's permission.

For me, it wasn't about his permission. When a person gets married, their family dynamic shifts. Asking a father's blessing is one way of easing that shift. Even if you lay aside trappings of patriarchal society, there are roles that a father has in his daughter's life. When the daughter is married, her husband takes some of those roles from her father, and the father and husband become partners in other roles. That is a complex relationship for the father and husband to navigate. The blessing conversation for me was intended (and accepted) as a good faith effort to try to acknowledge that the relationship between her father and I was about to profoundly change, and that we were going to try to help each other through that transition.
My father would laugh in the face of any partner of mine who wandered into his house espousing these ideas. And then reiterate the sentiment in the TV quote from my previous post with regards to if I got wind of the conversation, both the previously mentioned partner and my father would face my wrath.

But then again, I didn't marry you, so there's that. Considering I own my own home, have two college degrees, and live 600 miles away from my father, I sincerely doubt any future partner would have any role they could 'take' from my father, and any role that I can think of that some future partner might presume my father holds over me that can, theoretically, be transferred, my father ceded to me about the same time I stopped depending on him for the majority of my financial support over a decade ago.

My father takes great pride in having helped raise two (very, distinctly, fiercely) independent women. Whenever I fall into a Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull/Stay at Home Daughter Movement Google hole, I usually wind up calling my father and saying, "Thank you."

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Og, King of Bashan

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And if I had been marrying you, I would have been smart enough to know that I shouldn't bother with that ritual. It was important to my father in law that I talk to him. Context and intention matters. Was it going to offend her? No. In fact, she told me to do it. Was it going to make him happy? Yes. Meaningless or not (we both knew perfectly well that the call was all hers) it was the right thing for me to do in my specific circomstance. And as long as you consider all of the factors and do what seems right, it doesn't particularly matter that someone outside of the parties involved thinks this custom is beneath them.

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scuffleball
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In the Anglican Tradition:

http://www.bnc.ox.ac.uk/324/about-brasenose-31/college-life-151/the-chapel-387.html?limitstart=2

"Your families should approve of the marriage. The College Chaplain is obliged by the Archbishop [of Canterbury] to enquire whether your families approve, regardless of your age."

This may be because it is describing marriage by special faculty and not by banns being read.

ETA note gender-neutrality

[ 14. August 2013, 08:09: Message edited by: scuffleball ]

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Badger Lady
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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
A while back on the radio I heard a very wise lady who works as a wedding planner. She said that planning a wedding is all about managing expectations. The thing about all the traditions (white dress, giving away, veils, bridesmaids, cakes bla bla bla) that go with weddings is that people have all kinds of expectations about them and you have to work round all the questions of who's going to be offended and/or upset if you don't do what they were expecting. Doesn't mean you can't choose to make a decision that's going to upset someone, but you need to work out what the expectations are and then manage them.

This. Exactly this.

I am being walked down the aisle and we have the giving away question. The latter is partly because Badger Gent is a father and it was very important to him to have it. He also spoke to my father before popping the question (from what I know about this conversation my dad didn't really 'give permission').

The thing I struggle with far more than all the above is changing my surname. That seems to me a far more visible and permanent step than a line in the wedding service. And far more symbolic of a 'women as their husband's property' culture. I know that my in laws expect me to (and, to be frank whatever I officially do, will call me Mrs BadgerGentSurname). However, my name is so much a part of my identity that changing it seems wrong.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Badger Lady:

The thing I struggle with far more than all the above is changing my surname. [..] I know that my in laws expect me to (and, to be frank whatever I officially do, will call me Mrs BadgerGentSurname). However, my name is so much a part of my identity that changing it seems wrong.

It is perfectly acceptable to maintain Badger Lady as your "official" name, but use Mrs BadgerGent on whatever subset of social occasions it seems appropriate. Every now and then there's a story about a couple encountering difficulties with foreign travel when they have different names, but I think these are getting less frequent, so probably not a big deal.

Or, of course, you could change your name to Badger Lady BadgerGent, so you'd have matching surnames on the paperwork, but call yourself Badger Lady socially and/or professionally.

Just make sure that if you do travel abroad, the name on the ticket matches the name in your passport, rather than any other version of your name.

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Edith
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Our daughter recently married. She and her now husband had bought their house and been living in it for a year, so both independent etc etc. But when we were on holiday last year we had an email from D telling us that he loved our daughter more than anything and that he intended to ask her to marry him, he added that he'd sent an email as he knew he would shed a tear if he asked us in person. We were delighted. And who broke down at the wedding as he put our daughter's hand in D's? Her Daddy.

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Edith

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Latchkey Kid
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quote:
Originally posted by Badger Lady:
The thing I struggle with far more than all the above is changing my surname. That seems to me a far more visible and permanent step than a line in the wedding service. And far more symbolic of a 'women as their husband's property' culture. I know that my in laws expect me to (and, to be frank whatever I officially do, will call me Mrs BadgerGentSurname). However, my name is so much a part of my identity that changing it seems wrong.

When we planned our wedding I just assumed LKKSpouse would keep her own name (I thought the name change reflected the transfer of property from the father to the husband) and stated that I thought that's what she would want; and rightly.
This was 1974 and we were even interviewed on the radio about it, some claiming that we did not respect the sanctity of marriage!

Back then, I thought that was going to be part of a general social change, but it seems to happen less now. Some people found it hard to comprehend. Comments like "That's what she calls herself, but her real name is Mrs LKK, isn't it?" and some have taken decades to adjust, even her brother!

In Aus there is no legal requirement to change your name; it is just a custom. Keeping it has meant that long lost contacts could eventually find her again.

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