19 Jan 2017
January 19, 2017

End of Aisle Question, or Not

One of the ceremony pieces we discuss with our couples is the question to be asked by the Officiant to the person, or people, escorting the bride when they reach the end of the aisle.   And usually the discussion focuses on two things – 1) do you want an End of the Aisle question, and 2) if you do, what do you want the question to be?

In regards to number 1, it is not necessary to have an End of the Aisle question, and we have many couples who opt not to.  It could be because they just don’t want one, it could be because of family issues (e.g. father escorting daughter who was raised by step father who is also a guest), or it could be because they want to do a different type of family blessing/honoring.  If the couple doesn’t want one, assuming the standard procession in which one person is standing up front already, we usually still have the person who is escorting the bride (or other groom) stop at the end of the aisle, we then motion for the groom (or other bride) to go over to the end of the aisle, give handshakes and/or hugs, and then for the couple to come up to us together.

In regards to number 2, if the couple does want an end of the aisle question, we want to make sure that the question fits them.  The traditional question is, “Who gives this woman away in marriage?” with the usual answer being, “I Do”, “We Do”, or “Her Mother and I Do”.   However, for many modern couples, the giving away part doesn’t really fit so if they want something similar, but a bit more modern, we often recommend, “Who supports this woman as she joins this man in marriage?”.  They can also add in names to make it even more personal, “Who supports Michelle as she joins David in marriage?”.   And, if they want to do something a bit different, we have the Celtic tradition which is, “Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family’s blessing.  Michelle, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?  {Michelle: Yes, it is true}  Does she come with her family’s blessing?  {Parents: She does.}”

Even though it might seem like something small and standard, by discussing the End of Aisle question with your couple, and proposing some options, you are allowing them to personalize the ceremony which will just make it that much better.  Of course, we cover this and much more in the Asked to Officiate workbook.

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