I have been witness to this moment countless times over the years, and yet it always touches my heart.
If one of my brides walks down the aisle with her father, most often she chooses hugs and handshakes over some kind of traditional "giving away."
Contemporary and informal, this non-verbal exchange has deep meaning, especially when intentionally honored as a significant moment.
In the emotion and excitement of entering the ceremony, I've noticed how easy it is to rush, eager to get to your seat (dad) and get started (bride)!
That's why I always have them practice during rehearsals, saying, "Remember, this is your time. Take it. When you hug, make it a real one."
You have to stay long enough to truly feel it.
When that happens—when there's enough pause for two hearts to reach one another, to speak without words—it changes the energy in the whole room.
We feel our own hearts responding, suddenly opened, ready and present to experience what a wedding ceremony is really about: genuine connection.