Walking Down Nature's Aisle - A New Look at an Old Tradition
In the past, the bride was brought down the aisle by a prominent man in her family to be given away to her husband. We no longer give Brides away, yet we still honor walking down the aisle. Nowadays, this walk is symbolic of leaving the past behind to arrive at a threshold that is being crossed as they enter into marriage.
Fall Creek in Henry Cowell State Park is among one of my favorite locations for a wedding ceremony in the forest. Along the path the earthen floor is beneath one’s feet. The trees rise overhead. Then, you come upon the lyrical sound of Fall Creek as it flows over river rocks. This is Nature’s Aisle that couples walk down become intertwined with each other in marriage!
Recently, I joined a couple together that eloped. The groom and his small family walked ahead of the bride to the wedding site where they waited for the bride– just as in a traditional ceremony. I walked down the path with the bride who had recently arrived from a different country to be with her beloved. Sensing that the Bride was nervous, (which is normal), I asked her how she was feeling. The Bride confided that everything was happening so fast. She was spinning with a mixture of excitement and nervousness. I looked at her and softly said, “Do you love him? “ She responded with, “I really love him”. I gave her a heartfelt smile saying that within a few minutes she would be joined together in marriage and that her fiance would be her husband! Her whole demeanor melted into joy with these words. Her face softened into a smile that only comes with being deeply in love and realizing that the dream she had of being married to this man was coming true in just a few short moments.
The last steps on this aisle are taken with stepping over a bridge to arrive at the ceremony site. The bride and I stopped at the beginning of the bridge. Looking into her eyes, I told her that this bridge represented leaving the past behind. With each step she was crossing the threshold into her new beginning as a wife. The bride started moving towards her beloved, traversing this bridge with a light heart. On the other side of the aisle she joined hands with her beloved and they walked together into their new life as husband and wife.
I love these moments and treasure them deeply. This was a moment of magic while walking down Nature's Aisle.