How to Celebrate Different Wedding Customs

How to Celebrate Different Wedding Customs

Are you busy planning a wedding? You’ve probably had everyone from your work colleagues to your great aunty telling you which traditions are essential. Between tasting wedding cake, securing your dream venue, and working out the seating arrangements, you also need to meet the expectations of the more traditional guests at your wedding party.

If you’re confused about which wedding customs are a must-have or can be missed, read on.

Something Old

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

We’ve all heard this sweet rhyme before, and many Americans have incorporated these wedding traditions into their ceremonies, but when did they first appear? Apparently, it all started in the tradition-filled Victorian era.

Something old symbolizes the bride’s connection to her family and ancestors, while something new signifies the family she’s marrying into.

Something borrowed should be taken from a happily married couple since it passes on their good fortune. And the color blue (in “something blue”) once represented sincerity and tenderness.

Did you know there was a different ending to this little ditty? With “a sixpence in my shoe,” brides were encouraged to carry a coin for good luck.

A Church Wedding

When people of the Christian faith celebrate weddings, the ceremony often takes place in a church. In some cases, the faith’s doctrines require a church ceremony–such as in a Catholic wedding. In most cases, you can still decorate the church as you wish.

Can you have a church wedding even if you’re not Christian or a member of a particular congregation? The short answer is yes. Many churches allow the general public to hire their church for alternative weddings, especially if the church is a historically significant building.

Tossing the Bouquet

You’ve likely never been to any wedding ceremonies where a bouquet isn’t thrown. The garter toss was also once a popular custom at boisterous wedding receptions. Today, it’s slowly fading out of fashion.

Both are thrown at a waiting gaggle of single women wedding guests. Whoever catches it, so the story goes, is next in line to wed.

The tradition of throwing stuff at wedding guests seems undeniably weird. The origins, however, are decidedly more practical. The couple would take advantage of the chaos that ensued after a toss to sneak away and start their honeymoon.

Throwing Rice

Rice is an ancient foodstuff prevalent in most cultures around the world. Having these hearty grains in abundance means there was a good harvest. Hence, guests wished them prosperity, abundance, and fertility by showering a married couple with rice.

While rice itself might have fallen out of favor, the tradition of throwing something at newlyweds hasn’t. Today, people use all kinds of items instead of rice on their wedding day: pom poms, confetti, autumn leaves, rose petals… You’re only limited by your imagination with this one.

Wedding Customs for the 21st Century

At the end of the day, this is your wedding and no one else’s–and contemporary wedding practices are constantly evolving. If you think some wedding customs are silly, don’t be afraid to ditch them. And if there are certain traditions, such as a church wedding, that are essential for your family or your religion, feel free to keep those.

For more advice on wedding planning, head back to our blog and browse our articles.

Ellen Hollington

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