I should note that unlike is true in some religious traditions, the Catholic Church does not advocate a formal giving away of the bride, and the Church often prefers that the bride and groom actually walk down the aisle together as symbol of their equality both before and after marriage. I thought about having this type of processional, walking down the aisle alone, or even having Stephen meet me halfway so that we could make the rest of the walk together.
But as I became more involved in the planning process, something changed, and I somehow I started to feel an attachment to classic weddings traditions, in spite of myself. In the end, I allowed myself to be walked down the aisle, and I allowed my hand to be placed in my groom’s. Though I did put my foot down on being introduced as "Mrs. Stephen Walrath," and would have objected strongly to a typical “who gives this woman” opening phrase, the other traditions in some strange way just felt right.
The way I see it, walking down the aisle with my parents was a sign of my love for them and all they have given me throughout my life. And seeing Stephen waiting for me at the end of the aisle filled me with tremendous joy. Does my going along with these traditions mean I am no longer a feminist? Not in my opinion. In the end, by choosing to honor tradition, I made my own decision and defined myself in the way that I chose, which is what I believe feminism is really about. I had a choice, and I made the best choice for myself, without any doubts or regrets.
What do you think? Do certain wedding traditions make you uncomfortable, and how did you or will you deal with these issues?
(Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography)