Wedding Traditions, New and Old
I love tradition. Tell me you want to deep-fry my turkey for Thanksgiving, and I will freak out; a good, old-fashioned, baked and basted turkey is where it's at. But, I also love creating new traditions with my family that are all our own. I feel the same way about weddings: brides and grooms should hold onto the traditions that they firmly believe in, but when it comes to everything else, I love to help them create new wedding traditions all their own.
One of my favorite parts of working with a couple in planning their wedding is to learn about their own family wedding traditions, as well as the new traditions that they look forward to creating for themselves. Here are a few of my favorite wedding traditions that I see couples putting a new spin on:
1. Greeting Guests
Some brides and grooms hold fast to the notion of the traditional receiving line after their ceremony. They say that they love the element of surprise and wonder that they feel is added when the bride and groom don't see each other or their guests prior to the ceremony; then, everyone gets to witness the magical moment where the groom sees his beautiful bride for the first time.
For those less-traditionalists out there, another option is for the bride and groom to do a more private "first look" ahead of the ceremony, and then they are available to say hello to their guests as guests arrive for the ceremony. This can be a great way to say "welcome, we are so glad you could make it" in a very personal way.
2. Walking Down the Aisle
The tried-and-true tradition is for just the bride's father to walk her down the aisle. But more and more, brides are opting to be escorted by both their parents. And sometimes, the most heart-felt walks are those with Mom. No matter which tradition you decide on, that walk down the aisle will be beautiful and meaningful, and your guests will be wiping away their tears of joy.
3. Bridesmaid Dresses
The good-old tradition for bridal parties is for all of the bridesmaids to wear the same outfit. And while this does create a very polished, symmetrical look, the alternative, which is quickly becoming a tradition in its own right, is for bridesmaids to each wear a different, coordinating dress. Both options will show off the bride and groom's personal style, and will look beautiful in photographs.
4. Garter Toss
Now this is a fun one. Whether the bride and groom decide to be very traditional and do a garter toss, or to add a fun spin to this part of the reception, it is sure to bring laughter and excitement to your guests. At one wedding, I even watched a groom put on "spelunking" gear before diving under his wife's skirt; he was then dragged out by his groomsmen via a rope tied around his waist!
Flowers are such a beautiful way to add color and personality to the styling of a wedding ceremony and reception. However, for the less traditional bride, or for the couple who wants something that will last longer, alternatives to flowers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Perhaps instead of carrying flowers, bridesmaids will carry lanterns, flower girls will carry signs, or groomsmen will have pinwheels for their boutonnieres. The possibilities are endless!