We just celebrated Father’s Day, a time when we all pause to honor our dads. When we think of weddings, there are many ways to show honor to someone special. Dads are even easier to honor during the wedding ceremony.
Traditionally, the father of the bride’s role is to open the wallet, shell out the cash, and have the honor of walking his daughter down the aisle. The father of the groom sometimes is honored with the role of Best Man. For years, the fathers have held a place of honor at the wedding of their children.
Prior to modern times, many weddings were arranged by the fathers of both the bride and the groom. The marriage was more of a business deal than a love affair. The wedding united two families as an alliance of peace. Occasionally these alliances were between royalty from different countries. That alliance of peace may have reduced the number of world wars considerably!
Other weddings were arranged by the father of the bride to ensure that someone cared for his daughter for the duration of her life. He may have offered a dowry, or gift to the groom and his family, in exchange for the promise to take care of her needs for the rest of her life.
Weddings became prestigious affairs in which the fathers were on display as much as the couple themselves. The fathers took great care in choosing the spouse for their child. This most important decision was not taken lightly and rarely considered the feelings of the bride or groom.
Today, however, arranged marriages are not as common and are certainly rare in America. Regardless, many brides and grooms feel the need to honor their fathers because of how important their fathers have been in the early years of the lives of the bride and groom. Asking a father to walk the bride down the aisle symbolizes that the father was the most important man in her life up to that point. The father of the groom can be the Best Man to symbolize that the groom looks to his father as the most important man in his life.
If the father is deceased, candles in their memory are a nice way to honor their lives and the influence they had on their children. Sometimes brides and grooms remember a deceased parent by placing flowers in the seat where the parent would have sat or by printing a memorial in the program.
In addition to honoring earthly fathers, remember to honor your Heavenly Father with your wedding day in every way you can!