Photo by Jared Ladia Photography
Weddings are steeped in history, in fact no matter the culture, religion or customs, wedding rituals, whether quirky or sentimental, began to emerge centuries ago. As you embark on your own wedding journey, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most are still practiced. While it is completely up to you if you want to embrace them on your wedding day, it is certainly fun to learn about the traditions (and superstitions) that have withstood the test of time…and wedding trends!
Wedding traditions will pop up in all aspects of your beautiful journey, so whether you are superstitious about receiving knives for your shower, wearing a soon to be “Mrs.” on your shirt or wouldn’t dare cross the threshold on your own two feet, read on for some of our favorite wedding traditions that you may or may not want to make your own. If you are as sappy as us when it comes to weddings, you don’t want to miss this!
Something Old, Something New…
Every bride knows the importance of this rhyme, but how many brides really know the meaning behind it? Let me break it down for you…wearing something old represents the bride’s past while something new symbolizes the couple’s happy future together. Your something borrowed is supposed to come from someone that is happily married in hopes that their good fortune will rub off on you. Lastly, something blue signifies fidelity and love. While we can all agree that the meaning behind this is special, we can’t help but feel that the hunt for all of the “something’s” is just as meaningful.
Ringing Bells and Clinking Glasses
Bells are traditionally chimed at weddings to keep the evil spirits away and to ensure harmony in your life as a married couple. Furthermore, bells are often a wedding gift in some cultures because it is a reminder of the sacred vows that were shared. Oftentimes you may catch a bride with bells attached to her bouquet because of the sentimental value it portrays.
Throughout the reception, newlyweds are encouraged to smooch every time guests clink their glasses or ring bells. While the sound of tapping on glass and an endless showing of affection may not be your cup of tea, we think this is a sweet tradition that most couples want to embrace.
Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding
This superstition is tied to the idea that if a couple involved in an arranged marriage were given the chance to see each other before the wedding they may decide not to go through with it! Today, however, more and more couples are opting for the “first look”, an extremely private, beautiful and sentimental moment between the bride and groom that definitely goes unmatched. Although it goes against tradition, we can’t say enough about this moment that produces so many raw emotions…except maybe to make sure you use waterproof mascara!
The Guest Book
A guest book is often on display for guests to sign and leave well wishes for the couple. While we think this serves as a very special memento for the couple, sadly, it is often passed over by many guests. While we love the notion of a guest book, we often urge our couples to come up with something more unique and unconventional, something that will be sure to catch the attention of your guests.
Bouquet/ Garter Toss
This is possibly one of the most popular wedding reception traditions. And while it was a staple at every wedding decades ago, many couples are shying away from this somewhat silly (and dare I say embarrassing) tradition. In this tradition, we single out our unbetrothed family and friends and toss both the bouquet and garter to see who is the next to walk down the aisle. While this is all in good fun, a lot of couples are finding alternatives to this custom or just doing away with it completely.
The Anniversary Dance
We love any reason to get out on the dance floor, and the anniversary dance is no exception. This is a beautiful way to honor grandparents, parents, and friends who have endured the test of time…and marriage. The anniversary dance honors couples who have been married, ending when the couple that has been married the longest is still on the dance floor. A beautiful and sweet tradition that honors love and marriage…and definitely something grandma and grandpa can appreciate.
The Cake Topper
Believe it or not these cute couple figurines became known to symbolize marriage stability over the years. This cake decor first began in the 1800’s when Queen Victoria decided to adorn her cake with figures that resembled her and her groom…a silly gesture that snowballed into a major marriage must-have. While couples are still opting to use a cake topper, the style and design have changed drastically…oftentimes not even resembling the bride and groom but instead something they may enjoy together…pets, music, and hobbies.
Burying the Bourbon
While this tradition takes place a month before the wedding, this would not be a blog about wedding traditions without mentioning this one that hits close to home. Southern folklore dictates that in order to prevent rain on your wedding day, the couple should visit the site of their wedding and bury a bottle of bourbon upside down. Once the ceremony is over, the couple will dig up the bourbon and enjoy it…hopefully under a sunny sky!
No matter how silly or bizarre….for better or for worse, these wedding traditions are here to stay. The question is whether or not these customs suit you. Bottom line, it is your day so you get to decide how customary you want your day to be. Traditions are fun and your guests will love to see them, but making the wedding all your own is just as beautiful!