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Wednesday Wedding Fact: Giving away the bride

Welcome to another Wednesday Wedding Fact. This week, giving away the bride!

It’s information I’ve managed to discover over many years of being a wedding DJ, and it sometimes, just sometimes, comes in useful to know these things! If nothing else, it helps to find out where certain sayings and traditions came from!

Do you know where the saying “giving the bride away” comes from?

No, neither did I until a couple of years ago when I researched it. Being of Roman origin, it didn’t really surprise me though. In fact, this one as far as I can determine goes right through to about 300 years ago.

This one is completely wrong in today’s politically correct times, but things were a lot different back then!

You see ladies, back then in the dark ages, you were the PROPERTY of your father. Yes…he OWNED YOU as a commodity! (doesn’t bear thinking about these days, does it?).

So….”Giving away the bride” actually meant that your father was passing ownership of you from himself to your husband (who in turn then owned you!).

There were times as well were this also included payment in the form of a dowry….and many of the current traditions are based around this such as the existence of the Best Man, and even the reason that until recently, shoes were tied to the back of the vehicle you left the reception in!

So, when you’re standing in front of the registrar or any other officiant on your wedding day….think back to how it would have been as little as 300 years ago when your ownership was being transferred from one man to another…it certainly sends a shudder up MY spine!

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