History of Wedding Traditions – Giving Her Away

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History of Wedding Traditions – Giving Her Away    

Dubsdread Catering Team Event Specialist, Peighton Ballant shares the history behind the wedding tradition of giving the bride away.


Depending on the time period and culture, money or property was often used in trade for a bride. This was referred to as a bride price, bride-dowry, bride wealth, or bride token. A bride price could also be used to show the groom’s family’s wealth, to prove that they could care for the future bride. Nowadays, some people view the engagement ring as a modern-day bride price. 

Women used to be considered property of their father’s until they got married, and it was his responsibility to find a good husband who could provide a large bride price. Once married, the bride would then become property of their husband. During the ceremony, the father giving the bride away symbolized the transferring of “ownership” from one man to another.


Though this tradition still occurs today, most cultures overlook the archaic roots and embrace the custom in a modern way. It is now seen as a way to honor the father and all that he and the family have done for the bride, and it gives his blessing as she begins her new life and welcomes a new member into the family. 


If this tradition is not for you, there are plenty of ways to do something that still honors your family or a loved one or symbolizes the blessing of creating a new part of the family.

  • The bride walks down with both parents, which is a practice often used in Jewish weddings.
  • The bride walks down with another family member that was important in their upbringing – mother, stepparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, etc.
  • The bride walks down with her children.
  • The bride walks down alone.


No wedding tradition is a one-size-fits-all, and it is good to know your other options, or create a new one. It is important to acknowledge that not every bride or groom has a relationship with their parents, or they may sadly no longer have them in their lives. Whatever you decide on, there are plenty of ways to create a meaningful ceremony that honors those around you, while also reflecting your individuality. 

Peighton Ballant is an Event Specialist with the Dubsdread Catering Team and enjoys working with prospective couples to discover what they are most interested in bringing to their special day, and how to make those ideas come to life. Contact her today at events@historicdubsdread.comgiving her away 2giving her away 3giving her away 4

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