Updates to Old Wedding Traditions

Weddings are full of customs and traditions passed down from one generation to the next, yet they are also ever-changing. Times change, trends change, and preferences change over the years. So while the same basic elements are still included in most weddings, they are often done in a fresh new way. Check out these updates to old wedding traditions.

Old Tradition: Wearing your mother’s bridal gown and her wedding jewelry.

New Tradition: Using parts of your mother’s bridal gown and wedding jewelry in combination with new pieces to put your personal stamp on them. Ideas include taking lace from your mom’s gown to stitch onto a new bridal gown or wearing the pearl necklace from her wedding jewelry set with a new pair of dramatic pearl chandelier earrings. It is a great way to blend the old and the new.

Old Tradition: Bridal portraits. These were portraits taken in the photographer’s studio shortly before the wedding day with the bride in her gown, veil, wedding jewelry, and full bridal regalia. Poses were traditional, and the main purpose was to showcase the beauty of the bride and capture the details of her wedding gown.

New Tradition: Engagement photos. These pictures are taken of the bride and groom together, often well before the wedding day. The trend in engagement pictures is for a photojournalistic style which captures the couple in their natural setting, such as in the city streets where they live. The idea is to document the bride and groom’s relationship, rather than the beauty of the bridal gown.

Old Tradition: The bride’s father escorting her down the aisle to “give her away”.

New Tradition: The bride walking halfway down the aisle by herself, where she is met by her groom. They then walk together to the altar to exchange their vows. The symbolism is drastically different than in the old custom, as the bride is not being handed over from father to husband, but rather the bride and groom walk together into their future as a married couple.

Old Tradition: The bride is preceded down the aisle by a group of identical bridesmaids. Her bridal party traditionally wore the same dress, carried the same bouquet, wore the same shoes, and maybe even had the same hairstyle.

New Tradition: The bride is preceded down the aisle by a group of bridesmaid who look like individuals. They may be wearing different dresses, they might carry unique bouquets, each is wearing her choice of shoes, and they might even be dressed in different colors. What they have in common is that each bridesmaid feels beautiful because she was allowed to retain her personal style, rather than being forced to fit a mold.

Some brides may wish to fill their weddings with updated traditions, while others choose the old-fashioned way of doing some things and the contemporary version of others. That is just fine, because another important trend in weddings these days is personalization. Each couple can plan their wedding in a way which fits their unique personalities, styles, and families.

Wedding Traditions – Keep Or Discard?

Weddings are rich with tradition. In fact, many of the customs which a bride and groom may include in their own wedding are there because it “is the way things have always been done”, rather than because they specifically want those elements as part of their special day. Take a look at this look into some of the most common wedding traditions, as we answer the question: should they be kept or discarded?

White Wedding Gowns. This custom does not date as far back as many people think. It was Queen Victoria who started the craze for white bridal gowns. Before her marriage to Prince Albert, most brides simply wore their best dress or a new gown in their favorite color. The white wedding gown has taken on many connotations, especially as a symbol of the purity of the bride. There is a trend these days moving away from white (or ivory) gowns in favor of wedding dresses with either a little color or made entirely in a color like red. So as to the question of whether this tradition should be kept or discarded, the answer is to wear a traditional white wedding gown with classic pearl wedding jewelry only if you really want to. If you want to wear a red dress for your wedding day, by all means do it!

Bridesmaids. Did you know that the original purpose of bridesmaids was to dress in clothing similar to that of the bride’s to confuse the evil spirits who were believed to be drawn to brides? And bridesmaids today think they have it bad; at least all they have to ward off is unwanted advances from drunken groomsmen! Today the custom of having a bridal party has evolved into choosing to spend your wedding surrounded by your best girlfriends for support and to make the wedding planning process more fun along the way. Who doesn’t want her best friends around on one of the most exciting days of her life? Bridesmaids are a definite tradition to keep. Abuse of bridesmaids, however, is something that is definitely out, so remember to treat them like your friends, not your personal servants.

Wedding Gifts. When there is a wedding in the works, there are sure to be lots of presents involved. There are bridal shower gifts, wedding presents, gifts from the bride and groom to one another, gifts from the bride and groom to their parents, groomsmen and bridesmaid gifts, and even wedding favors to thank the guests for coming. Whew! Are all these gifts really necessary? Well, it depends. For a young couple just starting out, the answer is yes, the gift giving traditions surrounding weddings are wonderful. The shower and wedding presents are designed to help the newlyweds set up their first home, and the gifts which they give to their parents and bridal party to show appreciation are definitely important. Besides, what bride doesn’t want to receive a some special pearl wedding jewelry from her father or fiance right before the ceremony? That said, when the couple has been married before, some of the gift giving customs have to go. A shower is a no-no for the second time bride, and lavish wedding gifts are also unnecessary when the bride and groom are merging two complete households.

Garter Toss. The garter toss started out because of an old superstition that said grabbing a piece of the bride’s clothing would bring some of her good fortune to the bearer. After a while, brides tired of having their gowns ripped apart by their guests, and started tossing their garters to the crowd instead. The groom got in on the act to prevent any over eager luck-seekers from trying to go under the bridal gown to retrieve the lucky garter themselves. These days, however, the garter toss has turned into nothing more than a tacky moment in what should be an elegant day. The point is no longer about catching the garter for luck, but rather in seeing how far the groom can push the borders of good taste. For that reason, the garter toss belongs on the scrap heap of wedding traditions!

So, what other traditions do you think are worthy of keeping or ditching? The dollar dance, the rehearsal dinner, or maybe the traditional marriage vows? Let the debating begin!

Get the Lowdown on Mexican Wedding Traditions

Are you and your significant other planning a Mexican wedding? Is one or are both of you of Mexican descent, and would you like to incorporate Mexican traditions into your wedding to honor that heritage? If so, the first thing you need to do is sit down and learn about these traditions, and find ways to make sure that they are a part of your special day. Not only is what you are wearing going to be extremely important, there are also some differences in the ceremonies than there are in most North American weddings, and you will need to understand the significance of these ceremonies.

Ceremonies to Remember

In any culture, there are many ceremonies, and many traditions within these ceremonies. This includes weddings, and there are a number of traditions that go along with a typical Mexican wedding that you may or may not want to uphold. Two that are extremely important are the traditions of the 13 gold coins and the lazo wedding tradition, which is actually something that is a part of every Mexican wedding ceremony.

One thing that you will probably want to include in your traditional Mexican wedding ceremony is the tradition of the 13 gold coins, or arras. This is done right after the bride and groom exchange their vows. The groom gives the bride 13 wedding arras coins (golden coins), which represent Christ and the twelve Apostles. They are delivered to the ceremony on a small tray or in a decorative box, and are first given to the priest or minister, who blesses them and passes them on to the groom, who offers them to his bride as a symbol of prosperity for the marriage, and to say that he is offering all of his material possessions to her. When the bride accepts this gift, she is saying that she will be a loving wife and mother, and will give him her unconditional love.

Another important part of any Mexican wedding ceremony is the lazo or lasso. This is a ribbon or cord that is decorated and placed around the necks of both the bride and groom. Usually, there is a loop at either end of the lazo, which is placed around the groom’s neck first, then the brides, and it binds them to one another, cementing the commitment that they are making to each other. This is done by either the attendants or the godparents of the couple once they have completed their vows, and the lazo remains on the couple until the end of the ceremony. Sometimes, instead of a cord or ribbon, a large rosary may be used. Once the ceremony is over, the priest or godparents remove the lazo, and the bride keeps it as a memento.

Your Clothing

If you are going all out and making your wedding a completely traditional Mexican wedding, you are certainly going to want to look the part. The clothing worn in a Mexican wedding is extremely beautiful and romantic. The bride wears a slim dress with a bolero jacket, or she may want to go a bit fancier, and wear a gorgeous Flamenco-style dress that has lots of feminine ruffles. The groom usually wears a suit that is similar to what a matador would wear, tight fitted pants and a bolero jacket, or, loose drawstring style pants with a Mexican Wedding shirt, called a guayabera. This style dates back about 200 years, and it is filled with detailed embroidered panels covering the front and back of the shirt. This type of shirt is often worn with a tuxedo if the ceremony is inside a church, and it is also popular for beach weddings.

There are many other things you can have to ensure that yours is a traditional Mexican wedding. Food and music are important, so don’t skimp on the spice rice, beans and tortillas, and of course, there just has to be an amazing mariachi band playing for your reception, and of course, some beautiful flamenco guitar for your ceremony. Talking to your family and friends is a great way to learn more about Mexican wedding traditions, so you can plan the wedding of a lifetime.