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The Saddest Part of a Wedding

Updated on July 1, 2020
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes Bible lessons and motivational articles.

Some people have attended lots of weddings in their lifetime. Some weddings take place in churches, on the beach, in hotel conference rooms, in the park and other places.

Some of the weddings have popular customs and traditions that most people have seen over and over many times. However, some of the things that happen in wedding ceremonies are not fully understood by those who are there to witness two people uniting as one.

It is a tradition that the main part of the wedding ceremony doesn't actually begin until after the bride is walked down the aisle to meet the groom at the altar.

The bride is usually walked down the aisle by her father, and there is a reason for that. A young woman is supported and protected by her father while she is single. Ideally, it is the father who walks the bride down the aisle and gives her away. Sometimes the father is not available, and another person can be designated. It is appropriate for an uncle or older brother to take over that responsibility.

Today, the bride has been known to get anyone to walk her down the aisle. Some brides have gotten their mother or children to take on that role. Then, in some cases, the bride walks down the aisle alone.

God was the first Father of the Bride when He gave Eve to Adam.

Wedding Ceremony

It might surprise you to know that some of the customs are based on the Bible, and some of the traditions are superstitions. One part of the ceremony is very touching and has a profound theological meaning, but it is the saddest part of the ceremony.

Unfortunately, most people miss it. So what is that part?

Father Giving the Bride Away

Before any vows or rings are exchanged, there is a part that is very brief, but it has a special meaning. The wedding doesn't officially start until the minister asks, "Who gives this woman in marriage?"

That questions should not be taken lightly because it means so much. The person who walks the bride down the aisle has the privilege of answering that question. The father says, "I do" or includes his wife and says, "Her mother and I do."

Notice the father says "I do" before his daughter says, "I do" later when it is her turn to say those words in reference to the man who will take on the father's supporting role.

After the father acknowledges that he gives his daughter away, the next few moments are the saddest part of the ceremony.

Saddest Part of a Wedding

The saddest part of a wedding is the brief interval between the father's "I do" and the groom's "I do." It is the saddest part because the bride belongs to neither her father nor the groom for those few moments. Thankfully, the interval is very short because the bride stands there belonging to neither man. Her father has given her away, but the groom has not accepted her yet.

Lifting the Veil

In most cases, the father also lifts his daughter's veil at the altar so the groom can see her face for the first time as his bride. Then the father hands her his daughter off to the groom.

In other cases, the father hands his daughter over to her future husband and the groom lifts the veil to see the woman he will promise to protect and provide for in the absence of her father.

Legally, the father is relieved of his responsibilities and the groom will pick up the responsibilities. She is then covered by the groom.

Bride Belongs to No One

Up until the bride becomes the wife, she belongs to her father. Once he says he gives her away and sits down, the bride belongs to no one. She doesn't belong to her father who walked her to the altar. Neither does she belongs to the man she is about to marry who will walk her away from the altar.

After the father releases his daughter, there is a gap before she is given over to the man she is about to marry. During that brief time, the bride belongs to no one. That's sad because she is on her own for that short period of time.

The Gap

During the gap, the officiant takes the couple through the other parts of the service. It is not until he pronounces the couple husband and wife that the woman belongs to someone again.

There should be great joy at that particular point because the woman is now bone of her husband's bone and flesh of his flesh.

A Sacred Exchange

After the vows have been said, the rings exchanged and the two people have been pronounced husband and wife, the bride belongs to someone again.

The father walked his daughter down the aisle to the alter. The new husband walks his bride from the altar. There has been a sacred exchange.

Did you know about the saddest part of a wedding ceremony before reading this article?

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