“Cultures grow on the vine of tradition”, they say, and isn't that the truest thing you heard today? We look at the past traditions to guide us towards our future, and we name it 'culture'. A practice accepted by all, and preserved over a long time slowly becomes a tradition and finally, adds to the cultural fabric of the society. Tradition anchors us to our roots, humble us, and makes us feel safe and secured. The old holds us together and helps us feel like we are a part of something bigger than us. While traditions are strong and ageless, sometimes it is on to us to nurture and preserve it and pass it to the generation following us or dispose of it as outdated. While some of the traditions might raise a question in our hearts, we still carry it forward for old time’s sake and for the time forgotten.
Traditions tend to make an appearance in the big events of our life, as this is when we tend to turn inwards and get sentimental and want to mark a momentous occasion in a special way. Weddings bring up a lot of old traditions. Let us explore how we can take these gorgeously timeless traditions and make little changes for them to suit our modern palettes. Let us take a look at age-old wedding traditions and how we can make them new again!
Unplugged: Most couples are going in for an unplugged wedding nowadays, which is a hard throwback to the simpler times when the couples were the center of attraction. Now with the annoying beep of notifications disrupting a precious moment as such, couples are decisively taking a strong step towards a social media-free wedding. This is a nice breather from a society fascinated by everything going on with everyone's life! It forces the guest to be present at the moment and truly play active participation on the wedding day. The guests are either asked to switch their phones off before they enter the venue or submit it at the welcome table.
Vows: While traditionally the priest or the wedding officiant does the vows as the couple repeats the words, the modern-day couples choose to write their vows sometimes, making their special day and their marriage entirely their own. While the couples still take inspiration from the time-tested vows while adding fragments of their relationship to make them personalized to their wedding. There are all kinds of adorable stationery available for the couple to write down their words on.
Letters: As the traditions go, brides and grooms can write letters to each other on the night before the wedding day, pouring their hearts out, and jotting down their tender feelings about each other. While it is very easy to forego this tradition, your phone is right there, and a text message way more convenient. However, there is something about writing a love note, putting pen to paper, and writing down all the feelings for your lover to read, which is special in its own account. It is romantic and tender and needs to be preserved because letter writing is already a lost art!
Dressing Traditional: While fashion is constantly evolving and new trends come in and fade out before we can say "bride", there are some traditional styles that never go out of style. Adorned for being classically appealing and timeless, traditional cuts and colors have and will stand the test of time when it comes to bridal gowns. Full ball gowns, classic trumpet-cut silhouettes, simple black-tie tuxedos, and matching floor-length dresses still are adored by most couples. A long flowing trail still adds a magical aura to the bridal gown. The wispy veil still adds to the mystique and enigma of the bride. Some things just never go out of style!
Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue: One of the most popular bridal traditions, this is to ensure that the bride starts the new chapter of her life with lady luck on her side. This tradition originated from the rhyme, "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe", this tradition can let the bride's close ones bestow her with little trinkets and heirloom pieces to carry on to her married life. It can be a veil which your grandmother used in her wedding or painting your nails blue for you "something blue", it can be a hair accessory which has been passed down from your great grandmother, or it can be a new neckpiece from your mother as your "something new". There is something special about showering a bride with gifts- old and new, and the best of wishes, so that she can start her life off just right! Now isn't that sweet and sentimental?
Cake Toppers: Cake Toppers are a fun decor element in every wedding, enabling the wedding theme to come out with more relevance. While it is a fun addition to your wedding cake, giving your wedding cake a special feeling. While traditionally cake toppers used were that of a bride and the groom, but it does not stop there now! People are getting increasingly creative with their cake toppers, with simple elegant additions like "Mr and Mrs" signages to a simple wedding shoe representation to fun Minecraft figurines to significant polaroids and buntings, the options are as vast as your imagination!
The Garter/Bouquet toss: The garter toss is to groomsmen what bouquet toss is to bridesmaid and both, agreed are derived from the medieval notion that having a part of the wedding ensemble can bring good luck to the one who caught it. While, over time, it has grown to be more of a fun activity for the wedding party. While the obvious symbolism attached to the practice is hard to miss, it also breaks the ice between the guests encouraging them to mingle and have fun. While this tradition has been skipped by many couples, it still manages to get the guests laughing! A more modern take on this is having both the groomsmen and the bridesmaids to be lined up for both the event!
The Grand Exit: Grand exits have a drama to it which makes the wedding the grand event that it is! It is heartening to see a couple of fresh-faced newlywed couples drive into the sunset to start their happily ever after, with all the bells and whistles! Whether it is the faux-send-off after the ceremony or the final goodbye after the reception, it is always special for the close friend and family to gather up to bid adieu to the happy couples they leave with stars in their eyes and a dazzling smile on their lips! The exit can be made extra special with the traditional "Just married" signage and the rattling tin cans, or can be more subdued with a canopy of sparklers or fairy lights!
First look at the ceremony: While it is normal for couples nowadays to see each other before the ceremony so they can get some time alone for some curated wedding portraits, it wasn't always such. In fact, in the earlier days, it was the tradition of not seeing your to-be-spouse before walking down the aisle. So the first look happened on the aisle, which had a special feeling of its own. It was an exhilarating and emotional experience and needs to be preserved. Not for superstitious reasons, but for the thrill of seeing your partner in the wedding ensemble alone.
Month-long honeymoon: In the age-old days, honeymoons used to refer to the newly-wed couple drinking a fermented wine made from honey for a month after their wedding day, while they soak in their newly-wed life. You don't have to drink for a whole month(or do it!), but the idea of a long stretched month of honeymoon after months of stressful wedding planning and the eventful wedding day might be pretty great. With demanding jobs and obligations, a long honeymoon might be difficult to fit in, but this is surely something that will be sweet and will be remembered for the rest of your married years! So maybe you can consider extending the two-week leave and fly across the world and spend lazy days exploring the city and soaking in each other’s company. We promise you won’t regret it!
Morning weddings: While the wedding day starting off in the afternoon and ending with the sun dowing down and well into the night is highly popular, morning weddings are something which can be quite charming! Morning weddings became a prevalent practice around the turn of the century, and it might actually be a pretty great idea. With the ideal time to marry being the high noon, the ceremony was followed by a lunchtime wedding reception. A lunchtime wedding is a great way to save some money, and is also a fun alternative, giving your wedding day a different vibe altogether! Also, less struggle to book a venue or vendors!
Planting a Tree: A tree is known to symbolize a new beginning, which explains why newlyweds traditionally start the new chapter of their lives by planting a tree at their home. While incorporating this sweet old-fashioned tradition into your wedding day can be charmingly sentimental, planting a tree is also never a bad idea! With the concept of eco-friendly weddings being on the rise, planting a tree can be not just a sentimental thing, but also a sustainable way to mark the most important day of your life. You can also take this traditional little further by distributing seed packets or plants as wedding favors, encouraging your guests to do the same. It can be traditional, symbolic, and eco-positive- all at once!
Groom's Cake: While groom’s cake is clearly an outdated concept and was a tradition originated in 19th century England as a way to honor the groom, we sure love the idea of the groom still being able to showcase his tastes and personality, providing a fun alter ego to the classic wedding cake. We don't know exactly when it stopped being a prevalent thing, but still think it is a fun way for the groom to feel equally involved in the wedding aesthetics. His and her cake can be a fun way to display the couple’s unique personalities, while we think there is no such thing as too much cake!
Wedding Cake Traditions: A wedding cake is the perfect sweet touch that a wedding needs and comes with its own share of wedding traditions. The classic Victorian-era tradition called the “Cake Pull” required putting ribboned charms with fortunes for the future inside the wedding cake for the female guests to find and pull out before serving. This tradition can add a bit of fun to the simple cake-cutting event and create a magical moment that guests can treasure forever. Another tradition is preserving a slice or the top tier of the wedding cake for the bride and groom to have on their first wedding anniversary. There are various ways to do the preservation and it can be a sentimental thing to look forward to on your first anniversary, as you share the remnants of the cake and reminisce on the day that was.
It takes an eternal amount of time for a practice to become a tradition. Wedding traditions not only pay tribute to the past but also bring people together with a strong sense of community. Old wedding traditions bring the clan together, all for generations of family, and leave them feeling happy and connected. Families get closer and emotions get stronger. Isn't that what traditions are supposed to do anyway? Let your wedding photographer capture the delicate traditions forever, all ready to be passed on to the next generation, keeping the wedding traditions alive. The thing about traditions is that it is immensely flexible and you can tailor it to your specific wedding. You can choose the ones to keep and ones to forego. Taking inspiration from the past but introducing slight changes as we go, isn't that how traditions evolve?
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