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I have three daughters. So, over the years, I’ve thought about what I will say to their future grooms as I’m giving each daughter away.
I certainly don’t have any words written at this point, but someone recently sent me a link to a video with the best “give your daughter away” speech I have ever heard. It made me both cry and laugh. It’s that good.
However, my favorite part is the ending. I love how the father of the bride concludes his speech with these words of advice for the young, starry-eyed groom:
“Me and God have worked hard …. Don’t screw it up!”
Watch the video; it only lasts about 3 minutes. And then I’d love to know what you said to your daughter as you gave her away on her wedding day. Or, if she’s not married yet, what are some things that a father should say in his “give your daughter away” speech?
Greg Smalley (@FocusMarriage) is a contributor for Dad Matters blog and the Executive Director of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family.
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I think it would be lovely, if father's wrote those things done when a daughter is young.
I lost my father at 14 and was given away by my mother. It hurt to walk down the aisle alone. I wish I had those words.
I find giving away the bride to be " a custom more honor'd in the breach than the observance" as Mr. Shakespeare would put it. And I think that the recent events in Steubenville have demonstrated that we should be very careful about treating women like pieces of property that can be passed from man to man. Better if the couple walked down the aisle together.
My daughters are not my property to "give away", but I'll be honored to walk them each down the aisle if that's what they choose.
It was a beautiful moment for me when my dad walked me down the aisle. He took such great care of me all my life -- praying for me, giving me good advice, providing for me -- that it was lovely to have him walk me down to my husband. My dad didn't say anything at that moment other answering the question, "Who gives this woman in marriage" with "her mother and I do," but later on in the ceremony, Dad prayed for us. His words meant the world to me, and his love for me and his hope in God for our future was evident.
I am sure this bride felt as cherished, loved and taken care of on her day as I did in mine. God bless the happy couple :-)
When asked, "Who gives this woman to be married?", my dad answered, "She gives herself, and her mother and I give our blessing."
"Giving her away" is less, I think, about treating your daughter as property (which I completely agree we need to discourage), and more about cherishing, valuing, honoring her and acknowledging the leadership you've been providing for her as she grows up and prepared for this step. I think if you ask most women about how they felt when their dad or father figure gave her away you wouldn't here "I felt like a piece of property."
That said, I like the unique take from JGirard, too. That parental blessing is so important to acknowledge no matter how the wording is stated.
--My dad and mom walked me down the isle. I cried the whole time! My parents and childhood was amazing; I couldn't believe I was moving on. A moment later, we were at the front. In that surreal moment, my dad gently took both my hands and gave me to my husband. He said to us, "May your love increase by the measure of our love for you." My dad and mom kissed me, then my husband. (I was bawling by this time!) A few years later, as I read my bible, I read 1Thessanians 3:12. I realized that my dad had chosen scripture to give me away. That made his choice of what to say more meaningful as Scripture is eternal--just like my love for my parents and my family.
--I laid my hand on the shoulder of my soon to be son-in-law and said, "Remember, this is not a loan."