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