Thursday, April 12, 2012

Who gives this woman?

I love my dad very much. He raised 5 young children all while going to college and grad school in order to become a teacher in his 30s. He's an amazing man, and I'm lucky to have him in my life.

But I don't want him to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day.

I am uncomfortable with the traditional, patriarchal implications of being "given away" by my father at my wedding. Though the tradition has become a sentimental one, at its heart, it's a transaction of property. I'm not a piece of property to be passed from one man to the next.

I've decided to reclaim the tradition by having both of my parents walk me down the aisle. Both of my parents have shaped me into the person I am today, so I think they both deserve the honor of walking their eldest child down the aisle.

But I'm not content with that solution alone. If I'm going to be "given away" by my parents, I want both of Adam's parents to walk him down the aisle, too. It took a little bit of explanation and convincing, but Adam is on board with this idea. We've decided that we will treat the aisle-walking as a symbolic transfer of the two of us from our birth families to our new baby family.

We're definitely not the first people to choose this option. It's Jewish tradition to have the parents of the bride and groom escort their children down the aisle. Not only that, but my parents did this at their wedding. I guess you can say that reclaiming sexist traditions runs in the family!

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