Saturday, February 2, 2019

Top 3 Fantasy Wedding Dresses for a Magical Wedding


By: Rebecca Krummert

Thinking of having a fantasy themed wedding? In our Western culture, one of the most important elements of a wedding is the bride’s dress. The bride wants to stand out. She wants to make the crowd say “Wow!” And it's no different for a fantasy wedding. People into the fantasy genre, whether based on old cultural traditions or the imaginative movies and books we have today, the centerpiece is the right fantasy wedding dress.
A medieval wedding dress is simple enough, you can even make one yourself.

Medieval Wedding Dresses

One of the most popular choices for a fantasy wedding dress is the Medieval style. Most Medieval styled dresses have a boatneck and have long flowing sleeves, that often flow all the way to the floor. Medieval styled dresses offer two options: Renaissance or Celtic. Renaissance dresses are usually a straighter cut, long and flowing. The Celtic style has a little more poof to the dress like the Victorian style.

If you don’t want a white dress, any color works with a Medieval style dress. These dresses are simple, yet elegant. That’s not to say you can’t find an extravagantly designed gown. On the other hand, it’s a great option for a bride who wants a fantasy wedding but doesn’t wish to spend hundreds of dollars on the dress. In fact, a medieval wedding dress is simple enough, you can even make one yourself if you are so inclined! 

Victorian Wedding Dresses

Victorian style wedding dresses can also bring a sense of fantasy to your wedding. Since it’s a simple style, the color of the dress can be whatever the bride wants. The Victorian style is a type of ballgown with a tight bodice and usually a high collar at the back of the neck with a low square neckline. But, stylistic choices can also include a sleeveless dress or long, tight-fitting sleeves.
This style can also work for a Gothic or Steampunk wedding theme. A Victorian wedding dress is easily functional for all these wedding themes, and although Steampunk is not as popular as fantasy, it is an interesting twist to a wedding.

Black Vintage Renaissance Wedding Dress


Black Wedding Dresses

Black wedding dresses are one of the most popular choices among millennials and Gen Z’s and they make a perfect fantasy wedding dress. It’s a change from the traditional white and a chance to stand out from other weddings. Of course, some people will think black is the wrong color for a wedding dress. You might even hear comments like, “the bride looks more like she’s going to a funeral.” However, when we look at the history of wedding dresses, before Queen Victoria was married in 1840, a black wedding dress was the most popular choice, especially in Scandinavia. Only two other brides wore white on their wedding day before Queen Victoria, Philippa of England in 1406 and Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1559. White was actually the color of mourning for French queens, so Queen Mary was a bit of a Goth as her favorite color was white!

When it comes to picking a black wedding dress, fantasy brides have several choices of styles. Whether you choose to go full-on Gothic, Rococo Revival style, or a wear a beautiful black A-line princess style dress, the possibilities are endless. If you aren’t sure what style is for you, take a look at Medieval and Victorian styles. You can choose long sleeve, short sleeves, ballgown style or something with a straighter cut. I personally recommend wearing a black wedding dress. They are absolutely beautiful. A great choice for a fantasy wedding!

A bride has several different choices for her fantasy wedding day. Whether she’s a lover of unicorns and fairies or of knights in shining armor and dragons, there’s something for everyone in the fantasy genre. 
Photo credits:  Amazon, Wikipedia.org, Amazon

Monday, January 21, 2019

Wedding Traditions for the Groom


When it comes to the groom’s traditional wedding duties, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Popping the question and placing the ring on the finger of the love of his life. But what this blog post is going to look at is the actual wedding day and wedding traditions for the groom.


Things for the Groom to Do on Wedding Day

While this shouldn't have to be said, one of the most important things for the groom to do on his wedding day is to show up for the ceremony on time. With that said, according to traditions listed in Emily Post the groom's traditional responsibilities include:

  • Hand the wedding officiant the fee (donation) or make arrangements for the best man to do so
  • Stand in the receiving line (if there is one) or join the bride in greeting all the guests at the reception
  • Make a toast and respond to toasts at the reception
  • Dance the first dance with the bride
  • Dance with his mother
  • Dance with the maid/matron of honor
  • Cut the wedding cake with the bride



Superstition Based Traditions for the Groom

Along with the traditional responsibilities there's one wedding day tradition for the groom that's steeped in superstition. The groom carrying the bride across the threshold. This tradition is very old and can be traced back to Roman times. The original belief was that the groom carried the bride over the threshold to protect her from evil spirits lurking within the new home. Along with this, it was thought that if she tripped as she entered the doorway it would bring the couple bad luck. Thus, being carried over the threshold took care of it all.

New Wedding Tradition

All traditions start somewhere, and while this one is new enough that I’m not sure it constitutes as a tradition now, but I think it has the potential of becoming a popular one.

Writing a love letter: The groom writing a love letter to his bride for her to read before the ceremony. I’ve seen videos of the bride reading such a letter trying not to spoil her wedding makeup. And it is worth saying here, that the bride should write one to her groom. 
Love letters make such a perfect keepsake.


Photo credits: pexels.com, wikimedia

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Ideas for a Medieval Wedding Theme


Whether you’re a fantasy fan or a history buff, a medieval wedding theme offers a fun way to bring a unique touch to your wedding. Of course, you’ll have to put aside the fact that most marriages in the middle ages were arranged and just use facts that work with the customs still commonly practiced today and work from there. The good news is there are plenty of them.



Medieval Wedding Traditions Still Practiced Today

Medieval wedding traditions still practiced today include wedding vows (much of the same wording is still utilized today), the bride still stands on the left and groom on the right (a tradition tied to the history of the best man), the ring exchange and the fact that the ring is still placed on the fourth finger of the left hand – all these are basically the same as during the middle ages. And then there is the large feast and a time for music and dancing following the wedding ceremony.

This foundation of rituals gives brides and grooms plenty to work with, and if you’re a creative couple, the following medieval wedding facts can provide the artistic fodder needed to make your day original and special. Think medieval wedding decorations, a venue such as a castle wedding, dressing in period clothing, and coming up with a medieval menu for your feast.

Peasant weddings were often held in a barn or outdoors.

Medieval Marriage Facts

The first question to ask yourself is: Do you want a peasant marriage from the middle ages or something more like the marriage of a noble or even a royal?

  • Peasant marriage in the middle ages: Peasant women had the most freedom when it came to marriage because those of the lower class were free to marry for love though many took place more because of need. You see, because they were poor, peasants were often needed to help with family work. As a result, they often married later and the ceremony was simple and they held their feast in a barn or outdoors.
  • Medieval royal wedding traditions: While royal weddings in the Middle Ages were filled with pomp they were most often political in nature and never amounted to more than that for the bride and groom.
  • Noble marriage in the middle ages: Nobel marriages were for the most part more of a contract than a celebration as we think of a wedding today. Husbands and wife were often promised at birth and didn’t even know each other. Weddings could take place once the girl reached puberty and it was common for nobility to hold a wedding ball.


Medieval Wedding Decorations
In Medieval times, tapestries decorated the walls. A raised table would be located at one end of the hall to seat the lord and his family plus any distinguished guests. On the main floor, two tables seated the rest of the guests who were seated on stools on only one side of the table so they could see the lord.




The Medieval Wedding Feast
The medieval wedding feast included family and friends. The menu offered things like fruit, soup or stew, roasts, tarts and other pastries including pies. The meal often ended with cracker-like wafers, cheese, and candied fruits. The couple drank wine and were entertained with love songs and poems performed by minstrels. (Picture a DJ dressed as a minstrel.) The medieval wedding cake was nothing like what we have today, so if you want to do something medieval, you’d serve an unsweetened loaf of bread. And you might even crumble it over the head of the bride and let guests gather up crumbs for good luck. Here are a few other historical facts that could make things memorable:

  • Forks hadn’t been invented yet, so no forks and guests were required to bring their own spoon and knife and stoup to drink from. These drinking vessels were commonly crafted of wood or clay.
  • 3-7 courses would be served but back then each course could include a mix of appetizers, main courses or desserts.
  • Guests were numbered in groups (called a “mess”) of 2-6 people who would “share” the food set before them. 
  • Between courses as the tables were cleared, guests were provided with entertainment. Think jugglers, musicians, court jester.

Medieval Celebrations: How to Plan Holidays, Weddings, and Feasts with Recipes, Customs and Costumes



Medieval Wedding Game
For fun, instead of clinking glasses, in medieval times guests stacked buns as high as they could in front of the newlyweds. Back then, the belief was that this brought prosperity IF the bride and groom could kiss each other while standing on opposite sides of the stack.


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Photo credits: wikimedia, Wikimedia, wikimedia

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Can You Guess What Ancient Viking Brides Focused on Instead of the Dress?

In the West, many brides-to-be go on the hunt for the perfect wedding dress for their big day and spare no expense, but this wasn’t the case for ancient Viking brides. When it came to Viking wedding clothes, the focus wasn’t on the wedding gown but on the bride’s hair and the bridal headpiece – a wedding crown.



Viking Bridal Hairstyles

In the Viking culture, women wore long hair. In fact, the longer the hair the better because is was representative of their sexual appeal. Blonde hair was the most valued and brunette women often chose to bleach their hair using soap which contained lye to give them red or golden blond hair. Before marriage, women wore their hair loose and long or sometimes braided in two braids hanging past their ears and so bridal hairstyles for Viking brides were basic and very simple.

Long hair symbolized the bride's sexual appeal -- the longer the better.


Viking Bridal Crown

Before marriage, a medieval Scandinavian woman wore a kransen, a gilt circlet, as a symbol of their virginity. This kransen was removed (but kept for the bride’s future daughter) in preparation for the wedding along with all her clothing and anything that represented she was single as she prepared to enter her life together with her husband.

During the wedding ceremony, a bridal crown replaced the kransen. This Viking bridal crown was most often an heirloom and commonly crafted of silver. The novelist Sigrid Unset, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928, described a Viking wedding crown in her trilogy, Kristin Lavransdatter, as a headpiece crafted of silver with points culminating in crosses and clover leaves by turns. It was decorated with rock-crystal and festooned with red and green silk cords.

Bridal Wedding Crown and Tiara with Crystals

Wedding Crowns Today



Today, some brides still choose to wear a wedding crown in this tradition with something as simple as woven straw decorated with flowers, or for something more elaborate a full crown or bridal tiara can be purchased for a reasonable price through a bridal store. These crowns can be worn in tandem with a veil or by themselves.


Some links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliate sites.


Photo Credits: Wikimedia, Wikimedia

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Wedding Gloves Tradition – Is It Right for You?


The wearing of wedding gloves is a tradition made popular in the 18th and 19th centuries as a customary wedding favor for guests. In fact, wearing of wedding gloves was actually “required” by wedding etiquette until 1960. While formal etiquette still recommends that brides wear gloves as a symbol of grace, today, some brides choose to wear gloves to make an elegant fashion statement or as an embellishment on their special day, while others decide to forego this fashion accessory all together. While most brides don’t really consider etiquette when deciding whether or not to wear gloves, it still helps those who want to wear gloves to decide on length and style to complement their dress.


Gauss Kevin Lace Gloves Wrist Length


Wedding Gloves Etiquette


When it comes to glove length, wedding gloves etiquette doesn’t offer a set of hard and fast rules but rather provides common sense when pairing gloves and dress. Along with the style of dress, another factor that plays a role is whether the wedding is formal or informal. Martha Stewart offers detailed guidelines regarding what wedding gloves work best based on wedding dress style and level of formality. 

Newdeve Fingerless Rhinestone Sequins White Bridal Lace Gloves


In general, wedding gloves length is dictated by sleeve length. For instance, wrist-length gloves are most appropriate for longer sleeves and classic elbow length gloves offer a stylish touch with a sleeveless dress. For instance, long gloves work well for brides wearing a ball gown style dress, because they complement the dress in elegance and formality and draw attention to your arms. However, shorties (wrist length gloves) can also be worn for a subtler effect. Opera gloves are formal gloves that reaches beyond the elbow and can be paired with simple gowns as an embellishment for a bold fashion statement. Modern brides sometimes even choose black opera gloves instead of white.

 
Black Women's Fingerless Opera Lace Satin Gloves with Floral Pattern and Sequin

Wedding Gloves and the Ring

One more thing to consider when wearing gloves is the exchange of rings during the wedding ceremony. In the 80s, fingerless gloves were the rage, perhaps this is why. Most often, gloves are worn when walking the aisle of the church, and when the bride hands off her bouquet to her maid/matron of honor, the gloves can be slipped off and handed off too.

While wedding gloves offer a custom with a rich history, today modern brides can choose to wear them or not. For those who do want to adhere to tradition, along with glove length, matching the fabric of the wedding dress is another consideration. However, for today’s brides it’s more common to choose gloves that match your wedding day dreams, so if you want to wear lace gloves with your satin dress, go for it.


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Thursday, September 20, 2018

What Is the Meaning of the Greek Wedding Dance Handkerchief?


While food plays a huge role in Greek weddings, music and dancing are also important. To put it into perspective it helps to know that there are more than 4000 traditional dances in the Greek culture, so yes, dancing is a big part of the celebration at Greek weddings. Probably the most infamous of these dances is the Money Dance. In the Greek wedding tradition this dance starts with the bride, the groom and a handkerchief, and it is during this dance that family and other guests give the bride and groom their wedding gifts in the form of money. That’s right, forget about toasters, crystal, or linen. Greeks give the gift that everyone needs – money.

Money Dance


How to Dance the Money Dance

Like the popular Greek Syrtos dance, the Money Dance (KalamatianĂ³s) is a line dance. Also known as the Bride’s Dance, this celebration starts with the bride and groom dancing with a handkerchief. The parents of the bride and groom prepare for this dance before the wedding by pinning together reams of the largest bill in their currency. (Some get fancy and create a crown made of money too.) During the Money Dance, the parents step forward first and drape the money stole they’ve crafted over the happy couple and then hold hands with them to form the start of a curving line of dancers, facing right.

Once the parents of the bride and groom have done their part, the rest of the wedding guests come forward and pin money on the couple. Some practice this a little differently by having guest throw money at the couple (no coins of course). This isn’t done in an orderly manner but can become pushy as everyone crowds around, but even the pushiness is part of the Greek wedding tradition. After pinning or throwing the money, guests join the dance line with the dancer at the right end of the line becoming the leader. This person can also perform a solo dance showing off moves like sapping his thighs while everyone else continues to do the basic step.

What Is the Meaning of the Greek Wedding Dance Handkerchief?

As I researched the Greek wedding dance, I tried to find out the significance of the handkerchief, but didn’t find anything specific. I do know that handkerchief dancing is part of Greek Orthodox weddings, so if you read this and can offer some insight, I’d love to hear from you.


Photo credits: Wikimedia

Monday, September 10, 2018

Meaning Behind Jordan Almond Wedding Favors


Jordan almond wedding favors are a common tradition that carries a special meaning with it. In the Greek wedding tradition, these candy-coated almonds are known as koufeta. I’m thinking that may be connected to the generic word used for this candy which is confetti. In the Italian wedding tradition, they are called coriandoli. As wedding favors, these sugared almonds are placed in pretty boxes or tulle bags called bomboniere which are often personalized with the couple's names and wedding date.



Koufeta Meaning in the Greek Wedding Tradition

In the Greek tradition, the bride and groom share little bombonieria (favors) filled with koufeta right after the ceremony as they greet their guests. In America, this tradition is slightly altered as they are included as one of the wedding favors at the reception. This wedding tradition finds its roots in Eastern Orthodox weddings and has been practiced for more than 3000 years, although back then the almonds were honey dipped. The salty-sweet combination is thought to symbolize life’s ups and downs and the hope that there will be more sweet than bitter. These favors typically include an odd number of almonds which represent the indivisible power of the couple’s marriage. Five is the most traditional number of almonds included in these wedding favors as each almond is thought to symbolize five hopes for married life: health, happiness, fertility, wealth and a long life.



Meaning of Jordan Almond Wedding Favors in the Italian Wedding Tradition

In Italy, these bomboniera are crafted by hand using silk, organza, tulle, ribbon and flowers and may be filled with confetti, almonds, or chocolates. A little tag (bigliettino) from Italy is attached. When using almonds, traditional Italian weddings include five Jordan almonds which represent five wishes for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, children and longevity.

As with any wedding tradition, you can adjust the Jordan almond tradition to make it your own. Pack the almonds in small decorative boxes, serve a handful in a champagne glass or a small glass bowl. However you decide to present these special wedding favors, be sure to include a small card that explains the meaning with your guests using this traditional poem:

Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat
To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet. 
Five wishes for the new husband and wife –Health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life!

Photo credits: Amazon, Amazon

https://historywedding.blogspot.com/2018/09/typical-ancient-greek-wedding-day.html