Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Hidden Meaning Behind Wedding Traditions

Filed under: Wedding Tips,wedding traditions — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Have you ever wondered why confetti is thrown over the bride and groom at a wedding? Or why the bride traditionally wears something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue? Here are some of the hidden meanings behind some of our most cherished wedding traditions.

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Copyright © 2016 – Ingle and Rhode

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Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Let’s Lock Wedding Tradition in the Box…

AND not let it out… ever!

It can be a lot more fun when you have the courage to step out of the box and do your own thing at your own wedding. Wheew! Express your own creativity! What an exhilarating feeling!

WEDTraditionBOX1You really don’t have to worry about tradition and what others might think… once you decide, you can cast all traditions aside (or maybe keep a few traditions – your choice). The point is… it’s your choice, not your Moms, not the person who is paying for the wedding (I know, that’s a tough one), but yours (and your partner, of course).

There are so many interesting things that are not traditional that will keep the buzz at the reception buzzing for many months into the future.

1. Tradition says the Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honor walk down the aisle just before the ring bearer and the flower girl; next comes the Bride and her escort. Dump tradition. If you have 3 or 4 (or more) Bridesmaids and Groomsmen on each side, it is often a better idea to have the Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honor walk in after the Minister and the Groom so that everyone else knows exactly where they are suppose to stand.

The traditional way often has the spacing between everyone staggered or off the mark and may show up as loosely organized and bad in the wedding photos. If you decide to do it this way, please remember to tell the wedding venue coordinator because they usually line everyone up to go in the traditional way.

2. No more Bride’s or Groom’s side! “At many ceremonies, all the bride’s friends have to sit on one side of the room and all the groom’s friends sit on the other side. That sucks, because sometimes you’re friends with both of them — how do you choose? That moment of indecision is just weird for me. Plus, one side is usually much less crowded and people sit there thinking, ‘Gee, the groom doesn’t have many friends.’ All of this can easily be avoided by just letting guests sit where they want.” — Angie, 35

I totally agree! Usually it works best if when the guest asks the usher, “Which side is the Bride’s side?” that they tell them to not choose sides, but pick a good seat on either side towards the front. Find some neat sign’s you can post on my Pintrest Page.

3. What about seating the parents? Tradition says the parents of the bride sit in the front row on the left side and the parents of the groom sit in the front row on the right side. When the couple walks up the aisle, the bride is usually on the left and whoever is escorting her is on the right. Once the groom takes his place next to the bride their backs are to the guests. In my “romantic” wedding ceremony after about 6 minutes into the presentation of the ceremony they are asked to face each other holding hands.

When the bride faces the groom, she is facing away from her parents and the only thing they see is her back. The parents of the groom can only see the back of the groom. Solution: Seat the parents of the bride on the right side and the parents of the groom on the left side. I know, that’s not tradition, however the first time we actually seated the parents in this manner, both sets of parents came up to me after the ceremony to personally thank me for allowing them to see the expressions on the faces of their daughter and son as the ceremony was being performed.

4. Assigned seating at the reception? Some brides and grooms spend way to much time on trying to put the right guests at the right table. It’s not likely that you will please everyone. I’m finding that more and more couples are opting for “open seating,” – letting the guests sit with whomever they want. AND there are times when it is important to select the seating for a guest, such as exes who need to be separated, or putting a shy couple with someone you know that will engage them in conversation and help them to feel like part of the celebration. There are exceptions to every rule. I recommend two table of “reserved seating” for the the mothers and fathers and their close family members.

bridesmaidrainbow5. No more cloned “look alike” bridesmaids. In order to have a great time at your wedding, your bridesmaids need to feel attractive too – something that’s impossible if you’ve micromanaged their looks down to the lipstick hue. Plus, buying a bunch of matching accessories they may never wear again gets expensive. Not to worry… YOU will still be the main attraction! Why not select a dresses they can actually wear again without altering?

Your bridesmaids will look even better if you give them leeway to let their individual styles shine through the blush-colored chiffon gowns you’ve dressed them in. Even if the dresses are all completely different, you can still have a preview to determine who should stand next to who in order to create balance.

Their look should compliment their body type. Same color, different styles and lengths is another idea. Let them choose their hair and makeup styles; give them more than one option with accessories like shoes, jewelry, and cover-ups. Should your bridesmaids wear the same dress? No, just similar enough to be a little of the same but individual enough to compliment each girl.

Your bridesmaids don’t have to hold the same kind of flowers to look the part. Have each one carry a bouquet in a signature color or let your florist create several mono-botanic bouquets in the same hue. Perhaps it is finally time to ditch tradition of the matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses! What say you?

6. Have your DJ or Band play “Another One Bites the Dust” for your processional. “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles is great too.

7. Bridesmaids are female and groomsmen are male. Wrong! Not anymore. Never confine your list of VIPs to your female friends (or his to only guys)! If the brides best friend in the world happens to be a guy, make him your bridesman, or the groom can ask his good friend to be a groomswoman.

8. Let’s get this party started! While it’s rare, I have had several couples offer cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks about 30 minutes before the ceremony. Or you can set up a table at the ceremony site with a few snacks, lemonade, iced tea, juice or even ice water with sliced lemons, limes or cucumber. Here in Arizona it’s wise to always have a bottled water table available at all times to help your guests stay hydrated.

9. Your wedding dress “has” to be white. NOT! You could still wear a white or ivory dress – but don’t be afraid to add a dash of color with a sash, cardigan, pair of shoes (or tennis shoes or something comphy) or fancy piece of jewelry. You could also do a lightly colored skirt with a white or ivory overlay for a barely there hint of color. Be brave and brazen! Champagne, black, blush and pastel-hued dresses in mint, lavender or cornflower blue are on trend right now, adding an understated uniqueness to your ensemble. (A special thank you to the Knot.com for this tip).

10. Add a fresh spin by incorporating some new ceremony material instead of the classic unity candle. This blog offers about 25 excellent “add-on” ceremonies, any of which will make your wedding more memorable or consider starting a new tradition of your own.

11. You can’t see each other before the ceremony. For many brides this is no longer true. Schedule a “first-look” photo session with just you and your groom and the photographer before the ceremony. This frees up more time after the ceremony so you can go directly to photos with the photographer or enjoy your own cocktail hour. It can also help with the pre-wedding jitters.

Being a full-time, non-denominational Wedding Officiant has allowed me to be a part of many non-traditional weddings and receptions. One Pirate themed wedding I was dressed like a pirate. Another renewal of vows ceremony was performed in a hot air balloon. Want a “beach wedding?” A 4 1/2 drive from Phoenix to Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Mexico with a few close friends is something completely different.

Based upon the wishes of the bride and groom, I can also add a little light humor to give the guests a few giggles. Most guests would not expect the Wedding Officiant to have a sense of humor. Some weddings will have a slight touch of tradition, however the weddings that are memorable are the ones where the bride and groom are not afraid to do what “they” want.

My experience has been that most brides and grooms prefer a mixture of a little traditional and more non-traditional in their wedding. Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

BONUS Articles: Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?
Traditional Wedding or NOT!?
A Bright Idea for Seating the Parents of the Bride and Groom
Cloned “look alike” Bridesmaids
To See… or Not to See? That is the Question!

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

6 Wedding Traditions That Are Fading Fast

Many wedding traditions have evolved from old ideas that we may see as a little strange and out-of-date for today. Some wedding traditions are so hardwired into our brains that they’re just something we’re supposed to do – even if we have no idea why. Today many brides and grooms are side-stepping many traditions so they can do their own thing.

1. Shivaree (also known as a Charivari) ~ Unless you are in your 60’s or 70’s you may not even know about this one. This is probably the most annoying wedding-related tradition. Shivaree is defined as “a discordant mock serenade to newlyweds, made with pans, kettles, etc.” On a couple’s wedding night, a large gathering of friends, family members and other wedding guests would congregate outside the newlyweds’ home and proceed to make as much obnoxious noise as possible. They’d bang on pots, sing out of tune, hollering, hammering on a circular saw, and serenading and do whatever they could to disturb the couple. It often ended with the revelers being invited into the house for drinks, etc.

WEDTradition2Another version of the Shivaree was to have a rowdy parade of cars down the middle of the main street with banners, horns honking and tin cans attached to the groom’s car. Sometimes the revelers stayed behind, and poured cereal in between the sheets of the newlywed’s bed, removed labels from canned goods, short=sheeted the sheets and knotted clothes together. Pranks were a part of it. It was all in fun.

2. Reception Line ~ A receiving line is the best opportunity to greet each guest individually and thank him or her for coming to your wedding. And if you’re having more than 50 guests, it’s considered proper etiquette. The line also guarantees your guests a minute of face-to-face time with you, a chance to hug, kiss, and congratulate you both, and to say things like “The ceremony was lovely. Larry James was terrific!” (Wink, wink) 😉 However, receiving lines are an old tradition that have pretty much gone out of fashion. More and more couples plan to visit each table during the reception instead of a receiving line.

3. Parents seating ~ Tradition says the parents of the bride sit in the front row on the left side and the parents of the groom sit in the front row on the right side. When the couple walks up the aisle, the bride is usually on the left and whoever is escorting her is on the right. Once the groom takes his place next to the bride their backs are to the guests. In my “romantic” wedding ceremony after about 6 minutes into the presentation of the ceremony they are asked to face each other holding hands.

Here’s the problem. When the bride faces the groom, she is facing away from her parents and the only thing they see is her back. The parents of the groom can only see the back of the groom. Solution: Seat the parents of the bride on the right side and the parents of the groom on the left side. I know, that’s not tradition, however the first time we actually seated the parents in this manner, both sets of parents came up to me after the ceremony to personally thank me for allowing them to see the expressions on the faces of their daughter and son as the ceremony was being performed.

4. Best Man and Maid of honor walk in first ~ Although tradition says that the Best Man and the Maid of Honor usually walk up just before Ring Bearer, Flower girl and the Bride and her escort, if you have 3 or 4 (or more) Bridesmaids and Groomsmen on each side, it is often a better idea to have the Best Man and the Maid of Honor walk in after the Minister and the Groom so that everyone else knows exactly where they are suppose to stand.

The traditional way often has the spacing between everyone staggered or off the mark and may show up as loosely organized and bad in the wedding photos. If you decide to do it this way, please remember to tell the wedding venue coordinator because they usually line everyone up to go in the traditional way.

5. Decorating the groom’s car with tin cans, etc. ~ I still run across this one occasionally. As a surprise to the bride and groom, you may find “Just Married,” or “Just Hitched” scribbled in soap or shaving cream on the windows, tin cans tied to the back of the car, crepe paper rosettes, maybe a banner across the back of the car or streamers to the rear bumper. As the bride and groom escape the reception, people honk their horns, scream congratulations out their car windows, or wave from the sidewalk.

6. Seeing each other before the wedding ~ The idea of not seeing each other before the ceremony comes from the days when marriages were arranged and the groom might never have seen the bride. In some religions and cultures the option of seeing each other before is simply not allowed. The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families. Not too romantic, right? There was a chance that he might take one look at her and bolt – so it was often safer for them to meet for the first time at the altar. Most admit it’s a bit old-fashioned. Today, however, many couples choose to meet up and even have portrait sessions before the wedding ceremony. “First Look” often replaces this tradition. (See Bonus Article below).

Here are a few other traditions:

WEDTradition1. Tradition suggests that the bride’s parents pay all wedding expenses. A small percent still rely on their parents to fully fund their big event. Today, when couples tend to be older, the majority of couples often share the wedding expenses with their parents.

2. The original purpose of the bridesmaid and the best man was to aid in the capture of the bride, get her to church on time, and keep any hostile family members away! Now the bridesmaids usher the guests to their seats, the best man carries the ring, and offers a toast.

3. Your Matching Bridesmaids Dresses Make Them Decoys. ~ The bridal party is a tradition that has been established for many centuries. For a long time the purpose of the bridal party was to fool evil spirits. The bride’s friends dressed similarly to her in order to confuse any virulent presences that might be lurking about. Today bridesmaids are there to support the bride in the stressful times during the wedding. Read, “Wedding Lore and Traditions” @ http://www.infoplease.com

4. Freezing the Top Tier of the Wedding Cake ! It used to be that newly married couples were expected to have their first baby before their first anniversary, and as a result of that, weddings and christenings were much more tightly linked to each other than they are today — and, as it turned out, both occasions called for cake. (Source: http://people.howstuffworks.com)

5. Giving Away the Bride ! The tradition of the father giving away his daughter has its roots in the days of arranged marriages. Daughters in those times were considered their father’s property. It was the father’s right to give his child to the groom, usually for a price. Today a father giving away his daughter is a symbol of his blessing of the marriage. Read more: Wedding Lore and Traditions” @ http://www.infoplease.com

6. Bride on Groom’s Left ~ Because grooms in Anglo-Saxon England often had to defend their brides, the bride would stand to the left of her groom so that his sword arm was free. Read, “Wedding Lore and Traditions @ http://www.infoplease.com

BONUS Articles: No More “Receiving Lines!”
Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?
Are You Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding? – “No way!”… However…

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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