Category Archives: Tradition

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.

I’d Like to Place an Order


When it comes to your bridal party, you may not give much thought to who stands where although there can easily be insinuations made by those you have chosen to include which can either be flattering or hurtful. It goes without saying that your matron of honor is traditionally your sister (if you have one) or best friend. That should not be offensive to anyone.

However, there are many ways to select an order for the remaining participants and the following are just a few ideas. While it can be potentially construed as hurtful, you can assign positions based on the nature of your relationship. It should not be lost on anyone you ask to stand next to you that they hold a special place in your heart and mean a great deal or else they wouldn’t be there.

One idea is that those who are closest to you (while each one is) stands nearest. That may be based on the number of years you have known them, the nature of your relationship or many other factors. Another option is to create an alignment in congruence with age.

It is completely appropriate to delegate who stands where based upon maturity. If you choose to do so, there will be no hard feelings as it would be difficult to find fault with any bride with that preference. If photos are one of the most important elements to you, a great way to appoint positions is height based in descending order so as to maximize the pleasance of each picture while keeping the focus on you and your husband.

The list goes on in reference as to how to determine who will stand where. It is yet another thing that brides don’t typically think requires any sort of consideration but, in actuality, does. Your decision is your own and is made because of your own personal reasons which are of the utmost importance.

A MEmento to YOU

 

For the most part, brides and grooms exchange gifts (through third parties) on their wedding day both as a way to calm one another’s nerves and to remind each other of the excitement and preparedness for the moments, days and years to come. It is the meaning which is important and not the opulence or cost but it serves as a lasting reminder of the commitment made. While many brides choose gifts such as cuff links or watches, it’s fun to think outside of the box and give something one of a kind.

Go to a paint-your-own-pottery location and spend time creating something unique which would be representative of a memorable moment in your relationship. You can guarantee that, while it may not look perfect (unless you are an artist), it will be significant and the thought, time and energy invested are what make it sentimental. It could be anything from a bowl for him to eat cereal or soup out of to a monkey that reminds you of a date at the zoo. Most places have countless options to choose from.

Find a small box (perhaps with a personalized charm) and fill it with small one-sentence reasons why you are so excited for your future. Many can fit into the container and it’s a gift that he will be able to keep, open in the future, randomly select one and be reminded of your love for him.

Gift him with tickets to see his favorite team play with some of his friends. That way, he can relax and remember that, while marriage is complete devotion to one another, neither of you has to lose your individuality in the process.

Personalize a key chain. It doesn’t have to be ornate or flashy. Engrave your wedding date, a special message or something as simple as a heart. It’s just another way to provide a daily reminder of what your relationship and marriage mean to you.

No matter what you choose, it will be a representation of your union and the meaning behind the decision to spend your life together. Whether you’ve been married a day, a month, a year or twenty, it’s always nice to have a keepsake of the love, happiness and devotion you feel.

 

Stand By Me

As society changes and modernizes, what is and isn’t acceptable does as well, weddings and just about every detail that goes into them being no exception. It has become appropriate to wear virtually any color that suits your fancy, opt for tennis shoes or cowboy boots instead of heels or even have your dog act as your ring bearer. Something else that has become admissible is choosing a man of honor in lieu of a matron of honor. If you make that decision, there are some things that you should give some thought to and here are just a few….

It is imperative that you discuss making that selection prior to doing so to ensure that your fiancé is okay with the idea, doesn’t feel disrespected or caught off guard. You also don’t want him to get the sense that the attention is taken away either from how wedding parties usually appear or by distracting or offending your guests by having a man at your side.

It goes without saying that donning a dress is not an option but a connection with your side of the party is paramount so as not to appear as if he is just standing in the wrong place. He should wear the same suit as the groomsmen. However, if they have ties on, his should differ by matching the color of your bridesmaids’ dresses and if boutonnieres are selected instead, his should coordinate with your bouquet in a different way than that of the others. In the event that neither are incorporated, a shirt in a matching shade to your bridesmaids is appropriate.

Your man of honor (also referred to as a male attendant) often takes on the duties that a maid of honor would such as helping you in your dress selection, deciding even the smallest details and holding your bouquet as you say your vows. The sole difference is that he is not a female.

You should not feel tied to appointing someone to the position due to a sense of obligation as, if someone is closer to you and their being the one standing next to you on your most important day would be more meaningful, that’s exactly what you should do. After all, you never want to look back and wish you’d made a different choice and certainly not one that was solely based on the influence of others.

Let’s Break the Rules

Certain things in life have rules and expectations that must be adhered to but others that, while are assumed, definitely are not required to be followed. There are long-standing wedding customs with important meanings behind them and some that were simply started and have been incorporated as time has gone on. It is a personal decision whether or not you choose to integrate any or all into your ceremony and here are just a few of them….

The Seating Chart: It’s not necessary to assign a place for every guest to sit at your venue and is perfectly acceptable to allow each to select their own upon arrival. No one needs to sit on one side or the other based on which part of the family they are associated with. The same goes for your reception space as, not only does not worrying about it ease your stress level and save you preparation time, it allows people to meet, mingle and interact with others they may not know.

The Rehearsal Dinner: While your rehearsal isn’t a tradition you should skip so as to ensure your wedding runs smoothly, the subsequent dinner is one you can. Any way to save money is a positive thing and two fancy dinners in a row are not necessary so long as that is clarified early on. One option is to invite those in your wedding party to eat while specifying you are not hosting (hence not funding) it. Another is gathering after your practice to simply give thank you notes or small tokens of appreciation.

The First Dance: Every wedding you’ve been to probably included a first dance with the couple, whether rehearsed or simply to a chosen song but that is not necessary either. After all, your guests have already witnessed the special commitment between your husband and yourself during your ceremony. Therefore, why not skip everyone watch you share more intimate time together before the festivities begin and let the first dance be one for everyone?

The Dress: The term “blushing bride” has a new meaning in the sense that it’s no longer necessary for you to wear a stark white dress. Shades of ivory, pale pink or beige are unique without being over the top and completely acceptable. If you want to go bolder, it’s perfectly fine as well. The tradition of wearing white began with Queen Victoria so it goes without saying that it’s one that can be discarded in this day and age.

It is your day, after all, and you should have it your way. Not only breaking these traditions but any of many others will make it special and memorable for yourself and your guests but likely inspire and open the minds of any friends who get married in the future.

 

Let’s Book It

Planning a wedding is an overwhelming task but also something you will want to recall every moment of in the future. Keeping those times in your mind often isn’t easy as they will fade and most likely disappear at some point. Many brides don’t realize that notebooks, journals or diaries are wonderful ways to preserve every facet and later look back upon. Each one contains different information, is done in a distinctive way and is unique solely to you.

One option is very simple in the sense of just scrawling your thoughts and feelings as you go through the planning process. You don’t have to be specific but can plainly write a sentence or two about what you are thinking or feeling on any given day whether something particular or solely excitement, a recollection of your relationship, the moment of your proposal and so on.

Another idea is photographing each step from selecting flowers, shopping for a gown, finding your venue etc. and writing a few words on the back of every one. This way, you can make a fun and interesting collage of the months that went into your big day and the people who shared those moments with you not only on that day but on each one leading up to it.

Additionally, everyone close to you who has seen the growth and development of your relationship could compose a note addressed to the two of you that could be put together in a logbook or folder. In that case, the memories would reflect things that perhaps you didn’t know or hadn’t seen.

Whether you opt for an uncomplicated and handwritten diary of random moments, a plethora of photos separated in a binder, a combination of the two or special notes, you will have something personal and timeless to look back on for countless years to come and is definitely worth spending time investing time in doing.