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Source: (consider it) Thread: Giving Away
Nicolemr
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# 28

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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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# 13815

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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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# 9562

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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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# 16710

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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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# 11076

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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 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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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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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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# 11076

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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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# 9562

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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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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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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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# 5267

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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

Ship's giant Amorite
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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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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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scuffleball
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# 16480

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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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# 13453

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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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# 17564

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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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# 16978

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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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# 12444

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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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