Category Archives: Tradition

Dropping Petals

It has been a long-standing tradition that flower girls drop petals along the aisle prior to the bride’s entrance. Depending on the venue, real petals may be prohibited and artificial ones are used instead. However, as customs lessen, many different and unique alternatives are becoming popular. Here are just a few:

Individual stems: A basket full of individual stemmed flowers for your flower girl to hand out to either give to your guests seated at the end of each aisle or to those who are most important to you and your fiancé.

Bubbles: Blowing bubbles is a fun and whimsical way to precede your entrance. Aside from not being messy, even adults can’t help but smile at the sight of bubbles and some guests might even try to catch them.

Miniature bouquet: Any little girl given a special job would be honored and feel even more significant if she was given a small bouquet (one suitable for her size) that matches yours.

Customized sign: A sign or pennant with a message introducing you is another clever substitute for petals. Whether it says “Here comes the bride” or “Introducing Mrs. (insert your new last name), not only will your guests be surprised but it will be a keepsake to remember your special day.

Paper hearts: Your wedding is a celebration of the love you have built and will continue to grow. Whether made of shades that match your décor or are crafted out of something important to the two of you, they are a wonderful thing to see as you walk down the aisle.

There are many creative and fun things for flower girls to carry. Not only are they unexpected but each will bring joy to both you and your guests and be an element that sets your wedding apart.

Something Old

As part of the saying goes “Something old….,” is a portion of what is representative of good luck for your upcoming nuptials. Whether traditional or modern in nature, many brides follow the superstition if for nothing more than fun.

Your bouquet is a great place to start. Everyone’s grandma had handkerchiefs (usually handmade) that can be wrapped around your flowers rather than the typical ribbon tie. Perhaps you have your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding rings. Even if only borrowing them for the day, you can secure them in the ribbon. Then you can feel them as you hold your bouquet and they symbolize the lengthy marriage you long to have.

Every bride looks forward to opulent jewels accenting their dress on the special day. However, there are many families in which brides have worn the same jewelry for generations. If that is the case in yours, it would be very meaningful for you keep up the tradition for them (and likely in retrospect, for you).

Most girls gather things that are meaningful in some way as a child. If you’d rather not be so traditional, you can incorporate something from your collection and, depending upon what it is, find a way to integrate it into your ceremony or reception.

A great idea is to include your husband. Maybe there is a pin he could wear on his lapel in place of a boutonniere from someone meaningful to you both.

While your wedding day is all about you and your fiancé, it’s hard to discount how meaningful it is for your family to be included. They are your roots, the epitome of relationships you strive to have and the beginning of two families joining together.

He’s My Man (of Honor)

The person standing next to you at the altar (aside from your fiancé) is meant to be the one who is closest, knows you best and whose friendship is most cherished above all others. No rule says it must be a woman and, while often expected by guests, if that person for you is a male, there’s nothing wrong with him taking on the role. However, typically, his duties will differ in some ways than that of a Maid of Honor.

While he likely won’t be at your floral appointments or help you pick out table runners, your Man of Honor can still help you decorate and his handyman skills may be an added bonus. While he may not share the enthusiasm a girlfriend would for every little detail, he certainly will provide the listening ear and offer assistance which is the most important part of anyone in the coveted position.

Additionally, gender is no issue when it comes to rehearsal roles. Man or woman, the duties are primarily to provide you with a practice bouquet, make sure everyone shows up on time, is paying attention and to give a toast (if appropriate).

The day of is where things typically get a little bit different. Because he won’t be cinching your corset or pinning on your veil doesn’t mean he has to be excluded from the festivities. Put him in charge of grabbing anything for emergencies that may arise and getting food and drinks that he can enjoy with you and the ladies as you all relax and prepare.

Ideally, your Man of Honor will wear something that matches your bridesmaids but, keep in mind that he will probably be in some photos with just the guys too. Electing for something that meets in the middle is the safest and best way to go.

No matter who you choose to stand directly next to you during your ceremony, the selection should be based upon your history, trust and value rather than be constrained by gender or the expectations of what is considered “normal” or “acceptable.”

Never(tr)ending Ideas

Every year (and often each season), new and creative styles and ideas for your wedding day emerge as the notion of what is acceptable or expected continues to evolve. These allow every bride, from the most conservative to the extraordinarily eclectic, have some fresh ideas in their stockpile from which to choose.

Sometimes two is better than one (pieces that is). More and more brides are opting for gowns consisting of a top and separate skirt. Doing so opens up the door to infinite options by letting you mix and match fabrics, styles and even colors. Additionally, you will have fun designing your own dress and know that it will truly be one of a kind.

Having a friend or loved one perform your ceremony is also growing in popularity although it requires research as well as time and effort. The person you select must be willing to go through the necessary steps to become ordained and the laws regarding officiants vary depending on location. On the upside, doing so gives you the chance to work together on the ceremony script, making it highly personalized.

Flowers, whether for bouquets, boutonnieres or table decorations, are being taken over by berry-accented greenery, moss, ivy and succulents. Doing so can be pulled off in a very elegant, unexpected and surprising (not to mention cost-effective) manner.

It was typically expected that your wedding would be filled with bright and cheerful colors as a symbol of your marriage. As options expand, there is an increase in those who opt for neutrals, whether all white, ecru, tan or similar shades with very few accents. Surprisingly, rather than appearing drab, such tones radiate while creating a sense of elegance.

You can step outside the box and experiment with what is new and modern without doing so in ways that will make you look back at your wedding photos and wonder what you were thinking. Do not be afraid of the word “trend” as it don’t not have to be synonymous with blatant or over the top.

Some Rules Were Meant to be Broken

Weddings are often planned around age old traditions, some of which you may feel comfortable making slight variations to but don’t want to appear as if you are either stepping too far outside the box or not taking your commitment seriously. Thankfully, times are changing and, after all, it is YOUR day so here are some ideas you may not have considered….

You don’t need a theme and not everything has to match. It would not only be unique but an honor to let your bridal party choose their own gowns. One may be pink, long and satin while another could be short, causal and floral. There’s an element of fun in letting those closest to you show their individual personality (not to mention that it makes for great photos).

Customarily, your parents pay for the wedding and your fiancé’s do so for the rehearsal dinner although the two of you may be on your own. One way to save money and set yourself apart, regardless of who is contributing, is to have your bridesmaids wear corsages. Opting out of bouquets not only significantly reduces your budget but makes it easier for them to help you both in preparation for but as well your ceremony.

Maybe white isn’t right whether it comes to your ring or your dress. If there is a stone you love and would prefer over a diamond, select it as you will be wearing it for countless years to come. What matters is the meaning behind it to you. Additionally, in reference to your dress, a selection of white paired with another color is one option or, if you have your heart set on red, blue pink etc., any gown can still be made to look as elegant and special despite not being white.

Weddings are celebrations and meant to be fun. Not only should you show off your individuality/personality but allow everyone else to do the same.

Banded Together

While selecting your engagement ring is not your choice, discussing your future often occurs prior to your fiancé actually asking the big question. Undoubtedly, one topic that may arise is the desired style of ring as it will be worn for the remainder of your life. Most likely, you have always imagined a huge diamond (as that has always been the trend) although there are options to consider which not only stand out but make your personality shine as well.

Gems: Many have a special attachment to either their birthstone or another with special meaning. Not only can they be created in any shape and diamonds be added as an embellishment (if chosen to do so), the ring is both an expression of you and certainly increases the value and intimacy behind the choice.

Simple bands: While no longer looked upon as being cheap or skimpy, they are a wonderful way to show the growth of your relationship as layers can be added on as your years together pass. It is a symbol that your relationship is not based on flaunting it to others but is a portrayal of the intimate commitment you have with one another.

Double Up: Perhaps the most sentimental design is a combination with special meaning to each of you. One option is two stones of the same type or one that each of you prefers. Alternately, perhaps there is a unique and relevant shape which could be made from any consolidation you choose.

Again, you are not the one who will determine what your ring looks like but if your fiancé knows you well enough and you have had discussions and dreams for your future, whatever he selects will be just perfect.

Getting Trendy

Every year, wedding trends change and, while they may be a jumping off point when it comes time to begin planning, there is no need to base your entire day solely on what is currently in style. Many brides want to fit in with what is “hip” and “chic” in the moment and fear getting caught up in the past or seeming too far out of the box. However, here are some trends for 2016 and years to come.

Patterns: Have some fun. Not everything has to match nor does your color scheme have to solely consist of one or two colors. You can select the colors you want for flowers, decorations and bridesmaids dresses, making beautiful combinations of each for your save the date cards, invitations, napkins, etc. Color blocking/random combinations are both expressive and creative.

Sleeves: Although strapless, sweetheart neckline gowns were the rage for years, the creativity with both short and long sleeves is growing. Having either, especially with an open back, is very popular due to exuding femininity, sensuality and elegance at the same time. They can be made of lace, crystals or other beading and accentuate your dress whether simple or the most extravagant.

Incorporation: If you opt to have a reading included in your ceremony, rather than being performed by the pastor, give short portions to certain chosen guests where they can stand up and read them from their seats. Not only would each be honored to do (those won’t be chosen will not feel left out) but it creates an intimacy and an unspoken symbol of value to everyone you invited.

Personal Moments: Personal photo shoots have always been a tradition but now, rather than being intimate, it has become more stylish to take pictures as you get dressed with your bridesmaids, your mother and those nearest to you buttoning your dress or perfecting your veil because the most beautiful images are those which silently express your anticipation and excitement.

Smaller, more intimate unions are not only more meaningful to each person involved but make any sort of variety of old and new both fun and memorable, and that, perhaps, is the biggest new trend of all.

Flower (Girl) Power

One concern that may not immediately come to mind is the type of dress your flower girl should wear as you may think people will not notice the outfit but solely the entrance she is making in anticipation of yours. That is not true and there are things that should be considered when making the settling on one.

Typically, flower girls wear white dresses that are small versions of your gown but should incorporate an element which ties in with the wedding whether a sash matching the bridesmaids gowns or a floral headband in harmony with your bouquet.

Be careful of the length of the gown as well as the material it is made of. She needs to feel comfortable as her responsibility is a very important one to her. Therefore, it is imperative that her dress is not too long because her concentration is on the task at hand and she shouldn’t have to worry about getting her shoes caught and tripping. Additionally, you don’t want anything made of a fabric that could irritate her soft skin as, that too, would be a distraction.

The outfits can be purchased from many places whether bridal salons or any number of stores at your local mall. Something to consider is that, most often, the parents of your chosen flower girl are responsible for the cost of the dress. Children grow quickly and, it goes without saying that it is something she will probably only wear for your special day.

She will be nervous as well as filled with excitement. Don’t put any pressure on her and allow her parents to sit in an aisle near the front so she can both see and focus on them as it will calm her nerves. No matter what, any little girl feels honored to take on the responsibility and does so with the hopes of carrying it out with absolute perfection.

Cover Me Up….but Barely

No decision in reference to your wedding is easy despite some seeming crystal clear, one of which being whether or not to wear a veil. You may feel as if they are antiquated, add a sense of formality to a ceremony you’ve planned to be casual or will detract from your dress and accessories just to name a few.

If your ceremony is laid back and/or your dress includes accents and embellishments, a short veil (typically only sweeping your shoulders) with some detailing along the edges is a wonderful way to mimic and emphasize the design elements in a subtle yet noticeable way.

If you are looking for something a bit longer, consider one that reaches your elbow. Most often, they are perfect matches for ball gowns, princess style or ones with full skirts as they end right where your dress begins to expand and become full. Therefore, the flow between the two appears seamless.

The most popular veils are those that are fingertip length (meaning that they touch your fingers when your arms are expanded) but are not cumbersome or restrictive in any way. The reason is because they easily can be individualized so as to work flawlessly with any style or formality of dress. If sheer, they won’t detract from any notion of simplicity nor will they cover any detailing, embellishment or an open back. At the same time, they add a sense of tradition and, if being used as your “something old” or “something borrowed,” it will most likely be the length you will be given.

Regardless of the length you opt for, you can play it up or down by adding tiers for additional coverage to a strapless gown, include matching details around the edges, make it extraordinarily simple so as to continue the element of custom etc. The number of options is limitless and just another aspect you can have fun playing around with.

I Take You….Just Not Your Name

In the past, it was expected that you would take your husband’s last name upon getting married. Times have changed and there are many reasons why you may elect not to do so, none of which are either offensive or based in past traditions. However, you should consider some things before making that decision.

Identity: Beginning as a child, you have responded to, written and signed your last name throughout your life thus far. Perhaps you feel as if you would lose part of your individuality which is something partners in marriage should keep. Upon choosing your spouse, you are opting to make many compromises but need to feel as if you aren’t completely surrendering your entire self.

Preference: Possibly you have a unique surname and that of your fiancé doesn’t seem to match in conjunction with your first name or is is just too common. Maybe you just don’t like his at all. Many women practice being addressed by “Smith,” for example, and just cannot acclimate or become accustomed to it.

Professionalism: Chances are you graduated from college prior to getting engaged and your degree(s) has/have the inscription of your birth name. Unfortunately, the working world is much tougher for women in terms of gaining credibility, respect and the opportunity to advance. In addition to the difficulty required in making the alterations, much confusion would be involved.

Children: Because you select to keep your maiden name does not mean that your offspring must do the same. While a necessary conversation to have before walking down the aisle, typically babies do take the father’s name as hyphenation is nothing other than complicated to them but increases in complexity as they grow.

Your decision is your own and is not indicative of your level of love for your spouse. Your vows, pledges and responsibility to one another are what indicate the future the two of you have planned.