DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-year resident of Germany, and I married a German man. I have a suggestion for "Ready to Go It Alone in Mississippi." Here in Germany, the bride is not "given away." Instead, the happy couple walks down the aisle together. This lovely custom serves as a symbol of starting their own life. -- MONIQUE SIMMER, SAARBRUECKEN, GERMANY
DEAR MONIQUE: As your letter proves, there are many varied but perfectly acceptable wedding customs. Culture isn't static, it's organic -- and change is healthy.