Wedding Traditions

Ever wonder about all those old fashioned wedding traditions?  Where did they come from, and what do they mean?  I think most are charming, and as a young bride, I used most myself.  I stumbled across a great article, “Wedding Traditions Explained” from

This cute article explained how they came about, meanings and old-time nostalgia.

Why do brides wear a garter?

Bridal garters are traditionally precious love tokens with magical properties.

One of the most outdated. Most of my brides are opting not to wear the traditional ornamental garter or have their grooms “toss” it to their single male friends

Why does a groom carry his bride over the threshold?

It was once believed in Medieval Europe that a bride was vulnerable to evil spirits, particularly through the soles of her feet! So, her groom would carry her to safety into their new home to avoid bringing any ghouls with them.

My groom carried ME over our threshold! ?

Why do brides wear a veil?

Rather than being to conceal her face from her soon-to-be husband, brides traditionally wore a veil in ancient Rome to disguise themselves from evil spirits who were jealous of her happiness.

Love the veil!  Although many brides forgo it these days, a bridal veil delicately covering her is the ultimate in romance and bridal mystery.   Above, my daughter.

Why is rain good luck on your wedding day?

Although it might not feel like it, rain is traditionally associated with good luck on your big day. But why? Rain supposedly symbolises fertility, with the superstition being that couples will have a baby soon.

A great photo op! Although rain is not ideal, outdoor photos can be more flattering without blinding sunshine.

Something blue

Blue is traditionally associated with love and fidelity, which is why brides have a ‘something blue’.

This is a particularly fun tradition.  There are so many options in incorporate the blue color.  My favorite? Blue shoes. Below… daughter Maggie’s.

Stephen Wang photos


Lost Wedding Traditions Part II

Did you enjoy “Lost Wedding Traditions”?  If you didn’t get a chance to read it, click on the link and it will direct you to the post.

In this post, I’ll share a few more favorite ‘Lost Traditions’ from the article, “Classic Wedding Traditions That Should Be Brought Back”( “Country Living Magazine”).  Click on the link if you’d like to read the whole article.  Enjoy!

  1.  Not seeing each other on the wedding day UNTIL the ceremony.  I’d say about half of the weddings I worked on this summer had a “First Look” photo session.  “What is this?”, you may ask.  It’s a pre-ceremony photo shoot of the bride, groom, sometimes attendants and family.  Why is this done?  So the principles can get right to cocktail hour and party with their guests.  But I prefer the first look below (my daughter, Maggie and son-in-law, Robert).  Could there be a sweeter look, or one filled with more love, than the look Rob gives his bride when he first sees her?  I love this photo.




2.  Hosting a simple reception


With four daughters, I am all for “hosting a more simple reception”!  In the 50’s and 60’s, wedding receptions were often just punch and cake.  And really why not?  When did it become the norm to serve a full cocktail hour, and a five course dinner to our wedding guests?  Truly not necessary.  Enjoyable, yes, but necessary…no.

3.  Taking a month long Honeymoon –  I could totally get behind this one!  How dreamy to take an extended honeymoon with your new husband!  But this was back in the day when couples didn’t live together years before they said, “I do.”  Say what you want about the practicality of this arrangement, it DOES take some of the sparkle away from setting up your home as “husband and wife”.

Elegant loving couple leaving for honeymoon with luggage, 1950s style
Elegant loving couple leaving for honeymoon with luggage, 1950s style Stock photo

4.  Having a ‘Morning Wedding’


Southern Weddings

Where do you think the term, “Morning Suit” came from?  From the British and  their tradition of morning weddings, to include a “Wedding Breakfast”.  This would help keep the cost of a reception down as well. While you may have a Bloody Mary or Mimosa request from a guest or two, your bar tab would be significantly less.  Even the beautiful royal couple, William and Kate, had a morning affair!


Gentleman’s Gazette

The Wedding Bracelet


The Wedding Bracelet …

With the birth of each child,  my husband presented me a piece of jewelry in the baby’s birthstone.  It is my intention to give this jewelry to each girl on her wedding day.

Maggie, my second daughter, was born in April.  Her birthstone is diamond.  My gift from her father on the day of her birth was the diamond tennis bracelet – lying on it’s side in the picture to the right (wish Maggie had photographed it flat so the stones would sparkle…).

I really don’t know what I envisioned when I thought of presenting it to her, but the way it happened was not on my radar…

Well — let’s go back a little.  There was that glitch in the wedding prep that I still have yet to divulge, the morning of the wedding.  (Since originally writing this blog post, I have divulged the secret… If you’d like to read about it, click on the following links). Last Year’s Wedding BlooperWedding Secret Part II  , Wedding Secret Part III . Although the wedding started right on time, I was discombobulated from the unplanned event.  I had the bracelet in it’s satin pouch ready on my desk to present to Maggie….and forgot it.  (Remember, the female bridal party was at the Hilton taking pictures.  Other family members were at our home).


I called my husband, and asked him, ever so sweetly, to please bring the bracelet to St Paul’s.  He did.

We, the six bridesmaid, the bride, and I, arrived at the church at 2:50 PM.  We had been instructed to wait inside the limo until 2:59 PM.  I dashed out of the limo, (don’t forget it’s raining), ran into the church, texted my Kenny, hugged a few friends, and he met me with the bracelet.  I ran back to the limo, crawled in, duck-walked in the low ceiling of the car to the back, and put the bracelet on Maggie’s wrist without shedding a tear.  No…it was not my vision, but the joy of the moment was perfect…

Photos: Pretty bridesmaids in the limo…  🙂

Name Change For New Brides

Name Change For New Brides: —

Tradition states women take their husband’s last name when they marry — will YOU?  Social Norms change, and it is no longer the only way.  Some brides keep their maiden name, some hyphenate their maiden name with their new married name but most still carry their husband’s.


Other cultures, an example is the lovely Indian woman above, are steeped in tradition, and rarely deviate from what is expected.  We as Americans, have always been able to step outside the box.

When I was married 32 year ago, I just started using my married name.  I did not have to file court papers, which some women go to the extreme to do today.  I DID have to physically make the trip to the DMV to change my driver’s license, get a new passport, send away for a new teaching certificate, however.

Now…there are companies who will do this for you.  Brilliant, really.  Hey…there’s even a “Groupon” package!  I think it would be a very worthwhile expense to purchase such a package, even if you DON’T find a Groupon for it (there are lots of companies out there clamoring to perform this service for a fee for you!  Just google).  What exactly is it?  To quote Groupon’s “In A Nutshell” description: “Name change service helps clients quickly and efficiently change their names after marriage – a perfect engagement shower or wedding gift.”


What are some other traditions that American Brides love to follow?  The bridal veil for one.  If you’d like to read a couple of former blog posts about choosing to wear a veil at YOUR wedding, click not the following links. Wedding Veils , Alternatives to Wedding Veils


And let’s not forget the time honored tradition of the groom carrying his bride over the threshold of their new home.   With the vast number of couples living together before they marry, this too may become a thing of the past…  When old traditions fall away, new ones come into being…  🙂



And the last photo…Just because I love the dress!  It’s a new style, by the way.  Not really white…more gray…