Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ideas for Something, Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Today many brides follow the tradition of wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. This tradition comes from an Old English rhyme which originated in England in the late 19th century:

Something olde,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue,
A sixpence in your shoe.

The four objects commonly added to the bride’s wedding attire or to what she carries with her on the big day are historically just good luck charms. Don't stress too much about them. You can easily accomplish this by keeping the items small and hanging them from the bridal bouquet. For instance, you can include an old photograph borrowed from a family member, tied with a blue ribbon and you’ll have old, new, borrowed, and blue all in the bouquet. Or for a really easy option, you can purchase a trinket that can be pinned or clicked into place.

What these Items Represent
While this practice is still widely practiced today, it belongs to wedding traditions thought to bring good luck. In this case, each item has its own meaning or blessing. 

Old represents continuity
New signifies optimism
Borrowed item stands for happiness
Blue symbolizes love, purity, and fidelity
Sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity (largely a British custom)

Most of the time the Maid of Honor is the one responsible for making sure the bride is equipped with these items, but it can be fun to include members of the family too.

Ideas for Something, Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
Including family or other loved ones in this wedding tradition adds an element of sentiment that will become part of your own wedding lore. For instance, go to your mom or sister for something borrowed. And for something old, have dad pull out an old photo of the two of you or a baby picture of you from his wallet just before you walk down the aisle. And ask a brother or uncle or close male family friend to come up with something blue. In this way, it’s more like a wedding scavenger hunt and a great way to create a special memory unique to your wedding story.

Source:, etsy

Saturday, May 28, 2016

What Did Weddings Look Like the Year You Were Born?

1960s bride and groom
When it comes to weddings, those of us who have been around for a while can look at a photo and guess the era of the wedding based on how the bride, groom, and bridal party is dressed and of course hairstyles.

While on Facebook today, I came across a slideshow that takes a look at bridal fashion starting back in 1916. It's a fun overview that includes interesting tidbits of history and wedding traditions. Enjoy the 100-year journey! And if you're considering a vintage wedding, it's also a perfect resource.

Wedding dresses like this one pictured in 1929 represent typical wedding dress style of the era, but by the 1950s designs evolved to include billowing skirts and wasp-waist designs. As an example of a wasp-waste the waistline, Elizabeth Taylor's wedding dress waist measured 20 inches!

By the 1960s, wedding dress designs became sleeker but cakes grew fancier. In the 60s and 70s it was still common to hold a wedding reception at someone's house, but as wedding traditions continued to evolve along with the dresses in the decades following, the wedding ceremony, venue, and reception grew increasingly extravagant...and expensive.
1929 wedding

Even in the 70s it wasn't unusual for a family member or close friend to make a wedding dress as a way to save money. Back then, fabric was way cheaper. To put it into perspective, malls were still a brand-new concept at the time. Another way to save was to order your dress through one of the catalogs like J.C. Penney, Sears, or Montgomery Wards. This was also a great place to order bridesmaids dresses especially when the wedding party lived in different states.

Photo credits: Pixbay, wikipedia

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Newer Wedding Trends and Traditions

In my last post we looked at some of today's most popular traditions and I mentioned that in this post we'd look new practices that are becoming traditions in their own rite. After all, every tradition starts somewhere. For instance, the tradition of wedding flowers started in ancient Rome when brides carried herbs beneath their veils to ward off evil spirits and ensure fertility and fidelity for the union. Similarly, in ancient Greece, brides used Ivy to represent lasting love.

Overtime, the incorporation of flowers in weddings has become a tradition. We have flower girls, wedding flowers, including the bridal bouquet, pew decorations, corsages for mothers of the bride and groom, reception flowers, and more. In fact, wedding flowers are big business with different flowers symbolizing unique meanings.

With all that said, today's modern trends in wedding flowers leave the traditional standard behind and leans toward personal preference. Traditional white is still in style, but today's trends have brides going with anything from bold and robust colors to monochromatic selections with only one flower or color, and bridesmaids' bouquets that no longer have to match the bride's bouquet. Plus in today's global society, flowers aren't as restricted by season, so if the bride loves stargazer lilies which traditionally bloom mid-to-late summer and are known for their fragrant perfume they are available for winter weddings, too.

Another tradition that's changing are the bride and groom's first dance, as well as the father-daughter or mother-and-son dance. Today, the trend for the newly married couple is to step away from the traditional slow dance and liven things up with something like a tango or salsa. Another step away from tradition replaces the father/daughter dance by having the bride dance with her mother, stepfather, or special friend.

Another trend for wedding dances is to have the DJ call all the married couples to the dance floor and gradually eliminate them as the dance goes on leaving the longest married couple with the honor of the last couple dancing.

Instead of Bouquet Toss
While the bouquet toss is still one of the most practiced wedding traditions, the trend seems to have brides moving away from the practice. The reason behind this seems to be many single friends aren't interested in participating in the bouquet toss these days, so instead brides are giving the bouquet to their parents as a special memento.

Instead of Garter Toss
Instead of the garter toss, couples are including their youngest guests in the fun. One popular idea is the tossing of a white teddy bear for one lucky winner to catch. An alternative to this is to toss soft, wrapped candy so all the kids can grab a prize.

Personalized Escort Cards
As a special way to thank each wedding guest, some couples write out a personalized thank-you on a small card which doubles as their escort cards. These also make a special keepsake for wedding guest.

Signature Drink
A fairly new trend includes offering a signature drink to guests during cocktail hour. The hardest part for this one is to think up a clever name for the drink.

Another new wedding tradition includes a slideshow designed to entertain guests with slides of the bride and groom starting with childhood photos and working through their lives to courtship and engagement.

Today, I guess we could say the newest wedding tradition is that anything goes. 

Photo credits: Pixbay, Viemo, Viemo

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wedding Traditions Most Practiced Today

Every bride and groom wants their wedding day to be special and memorable. And many want it to stand out from the rest by doing something different or unique. But it gets harder and harder to find the new and different because word spreads fast. For instance, I remember the first time I had carrot wedding cake. What a delicious difference. That might have been twenty years ago. Now it is common place to have wedding cakes comprised of different flavors for each layer, or even wedding cupcakes. So the traditional wedding cake is gradually becoming an obsolete tradition. 

Some wedding traditions have become so entrenched in culture that many times people look at them as rules to be followed. What you do with that will depend on whether you are one who abides by the rules or someone who believes rules are made to be broken. With that said, this post takes a look at the most-practiced wedding traditions today.

Father of Bride Giving the Bride Away
In a 2014 Harris poll, most people still think the father of the bride should give the bride away. However, people aren't so sure about sticking him with the bill for the wedding anymore.

Spending Night Before the Wedding Apart
The UK's four-star Hallmark Hotels also polled people in the UK regarding wedding traditions and 54 percent of them believe couples should spend the night before the wedding apart. In the U.S. we are even more traditional with 74 percent of us following this tradition.

Something, Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
This tradition of the bride wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue is a tradition that originates from an Old English rhyme but is still widely practiced today. 

Adding these items to what the bride wears is among wedding traditions thought to bring good luck, but each item has its own meaning. The old represents continuity, the new signifies optimism, the borrowed item stands for happiness, and the blue symbolizes love, purity, and fidelity.

Throwing the Bouquet
Throwing the bridal bouquet is another popular tradition which stems from a time when other women tried to rip pieces of the bride's dress and flowers to steal some of her good luck for themselves. Back then, the bride tossed her flowers into the air in order to make her get away while the guests were distracted. Today, the belief tied to this practice has morphed into whoever catches it will be the next to be married.

In my next blog we'll take a look at new practices that are quickly becoming traditions in their own rite.

Related article: Wedding Traditions Origins: Newer Wedding Trends and Traditions

Photo credits: John Mayer, Timothy Marsee

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Why Brides Carried a Bouquet

We've seen the surprising origins of many wedding traditions on this site, and the origins of the bridal bouquet is no different. I actually came across the information when looking up the colloquialism "piss poor." That saying came about at a time when urine was used to tan hides. Members of poor families would all urinate in one pot and then sell it to the tanner daily. Very poor families "didn't have a pot to piss in." So what did this have to do with a bridal bouquet?

It turns out people back then most often planned a June wedding, which is still a popular month to get married, but June was chosen by them because it wasn't too far after their yearly bath which happened in May. By June everyone still smelled pretty clean, but the bride carried a floral bouquet to help mask body odor that developed over the previous month.

And just to keep things in perspective, everyone in the family bathed in the same water. The man of the house was first, then the mother, followed by children with the youngest going last. This is where the saying, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water" came from because the water became dirty enough it was opaque.

So the original purpose of the bridal bouquet was more or less perfume to cover B.O. I'm certainly glad we've evolved from that to a bouquet as an aesthetic bridal accessory! 

And along with this practical reason for carrying a bouquet, some also believed it had the power to ward off evil spirits, which is a common thread among many wedding traditions from the wedding veil to the wedding cake. And tossing the bouquet to guests became a talisman for good luck.

Photo credits: wikimedia, Victorian Magazine