I expect the two older people in this painting are the girl’s parents. I love this moment between them.
My two favorite moments of a wedding are when the father walks his daughter down the isle–their last moment together with exactly that simple relationship–and when the groom accepts the hand of his bride as the father hands her over, their first moment together in the setting of a marriage. One moment flows right into the other. It’s beautifully symbolic. I imagine the sequence of moments is just brimming with emotion, bittersweet and powerful.
I can’t wait to be married, but there is also a huge part of me which just clings to the life I have now. It treasures the family I’ve been given and hurts to think of giving them up, even though I yearn with all my heart for marriage and the specific man I’ll get to live with. The morning of my wedding will be one of great joy and anticipation, but the last moments with my parents before my wedding will, I expect, be difficult. Like in this painting, they’ll be proud of me, I’ll hopefully look beautiful, I’ll be happy, I’ll be sad, they’ll be happy, they’ll be sad. It’ll all be special. So special. Those last few moments together that I’m in their care. In this painting, the girl’s parents are seizing the opportunity to care for her as only parents can–they’re trying to bring out her best, her natural beauty. Like her, they’re holding onto that last moment together. And it’s a joyful one. Soon she’ll commit herself to the person she most wants to be with, but she’ll never let go of these precious times because they’ve shaped who she is. They’ve made her the person she’s giving to her future husband.