Today, modern couples planning a wedding are focused on adding unique elements to the event and keeping their guests entertained. Over the past decade many NEW traditions have been introduced to weddings, including the use of live performers, engaging guests through social media and paring down the size of the bridal party for a more intimate affair. Along with some of the new traditions, are the age-old rituals which remain staples of even the most modern weddings.
Below see our Top 5 wedding traditions that never go out of style.
Ring Exchange & Vows
Throughout history the rings have symbolized the unending circle of love and are usually exchanged immediately following the recitation of the vows. The ring serves also as the promise that the couple makes to each other for a lifetime of fidelity, love and partnership.
Modern twist: While spoken vows may be untraditional the exchange of the rings remains true to tradition.
This tradition dates to royalty, when the ball or special event was opened with a “first dance” to be completed by the guest of honor. This evolved into the newlyweds sharing their first dance (which also symbolizes their first act as a married couple) to officially start the wedding reception.
Modern twist: Many couples are now investing in ballroom dance lessons to ensure the dance goes off without error and will wow their guests with their dancing abilities.
Cutting the Wedding Cake
There are many historical rites with cake, including smashing it over the bride’s head. Thank goodness that tradition did not stick, but the cutting of the cake is still an important part of the modern reception. Couples cut the cake together to symbolize their commitment to provide for each other and signify the continuity in their relationship, but rarely is it fed to one another anymore.
Modern twist: The cutting of the cake at many modern weddings is seen strictly as a photo opportunity for the newlyweds. Frequently this activity is not highlighted to reception goers, but rather a low-key “ceremonial” act for the photo albums.
Traditional bouquets were made up of wildflowers, grasses and strong-smelling herbs. The flowers were thought to denote fertility, while strong smelling herbs, such as garlic, were used to ward off evil spirits and bad fortune. Today, brides select bouquets made up of favorite flowers, seasonal accents or those that complement the look and feel of the ceremony (casual, beachy, formal, etc.)
Modern twist: Some couples have opted for “floral” bouquets made of paper, origami, burlap and felt flowers. Notice – the clear majority still carry bouquets whether live flowers or other.
This tradition began as a holiday that newlyweds would take following the wedding to learn about each other and become intimate while in seclusion. The traditional honeymoon began in Britain during the 1800’s as a post-wedding voyage of the newlyweds, frequently accompanied by family or friends, for the purpose of visiting relatives who were unable to attend the wedding. Today the honeymoon is typically a dream vacation which serves as a rest following the hustle and bustle of the wedding planning and celebratory events.
Modern twist: Many couple are opting for post-wedding vacations with friends. Honeymooning in groups adds a new social element to this modern tradition.
As couples prepare for their wedding day they rely on traditions, particularly family based customs, which provide a sense of romanticism, comfort and familiarity. Luckily those traditions can be made more modern through the introduction of elements which highlight the couple’s interests, allow for their unique sense of style to shine through and provide a vehicle for personal connections with guests. The bottom line is that the idea of tradition will not be lost on the newlyweds anytime soon.