Now that you’re engaged, you’re probably spending every waking moment planning your wedding. This is a very important day in your life, and in your relationship, so it’s only natural that you want to spend a lot of time and effort planning.
During the course of your planning, you’ve likely come across many different wedding traditions. In this post, we've listed a few that you’ve likely heard of, the meaning behind these traditions, and some reasons to consider them – in addition to some reasons to dump them entirely.
It can often be helpful to take the time to understand the history behind some common traditions. Not only does this allow you to appreciate where they come from, but it also lets you decide if you want to continue such traditions at your own wedding. Learning about wedding traditions can help you envision your own ceremony and steer you in the right direction when you're planning.
'Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue'
You’ve likely heard this one before. This saying comes from a traditional rhyme that details what a bride should wear at her wedding in order to have good luck. “Something old” represents your past, your history and continuity. “Something new” represents your optimism for the future. “Something borrowed” symbolizes the community that surrounds you in life and on your wedding day. “Something blue” stands for purity, love and fidelity.
Often these items come from friends and family, but there’s nothing stopping you from picking out your own items either. Don’t stress too much about this tradition. If you want to follow it for luck, go ahead, but you don’t need to make a big production out of it. Pick some items that mean something to you and your loved ones and they’ll make you feel extra loved on your special day.
Not Seeing Each Other Before the Ceremony
This is a tradition and a superstition that states that the bride and groom should not see each other on the wedding day until the actual wedding ceremony. This can be a nice tradition to keep, as it allows you to be surprised by the sight of one another all dressed up at the ceremony. However, sometimes it simply isn’t practical to avoid seeing one another the entire day.
Bridesmaids Wearing Matching Dresses
When in comes to dressing your bridal party, you can choose to ask all of your bridesmaids to wear the same dress but, if this proves to be difficult or if you’d rather not enforce this tradition, that’s fine too. There’s nothing wrong with having bridesmaids that are wearing dresses that complement one another, rather than matching gowns.
The Bouquet and the Garter
It’s a tradition that, at the reception, the bride tosses her bouquet and that all single women at the event attempt to catch it. The groom then does the same with the bride’s garter, and all single men try to catch that one. It has been said that catching these items is good luck and, in some traditions, those who catch the bouquet and garter are said to be the next ones to get married.
These traditions are still common at many weddings, but it’s entirely up to you if you want to continue them at your own event.
The White Wedding Dress
In the past, there was no other choice for a wedding dress other than white. Brides wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any other color. The white dress is supposed to symbolize purity. However, today, wedding dresses are available in ivory, off-white, eggshell and even a variety of different colors. Changing up the color of your wedding dress is a great way to express your individuality and it will look great in photos. However, if you want to wear a classic white dress, go for it!
The Bottom Line: Do What You Want
While all of these traditions certainly remain popular at modern weddings, there’s nothing written in stone saying that you need to do any of them. Today, brides have more options than ever when it comes to wedding planning. You don’t need to feel boxed in by certain traditions. Do what feels right for you and what you will enjoy.
However, if you want to keep any particular wedding traditions alive, you certainly should. You do not need to feel outdated or “out of touch” if you want to have some traditional elements at your wedding, or even if you want to have a completely traditional ceremony. After all, it’s your special day and you should be able to do what you’d like.