If you follow along this blog, then you know I love to share tips and planning advice for your wedding day. You probably also know that I am a firm believe in celebrating your wedding day your way. When couples ask me how to structure their wedding day timeline, I often realize there are a few traditions that get overlooked. Take it or leave it, but today I’m sharing wedding traditions that you should at least consider when planning a wedding.
Wedding Traditions to Consider When Planning A Wedding
Pop the champagne and put a ring on it! Believe it or not but the number 1 reason brides opt not to have a bridal shower is because the simply do not know what they are. Bridal showers are a pre-wedding celebration that allow the bride’s close friends and family to gather to “shower” her with gifts. It is an opportunity for the bride to receive practical items and well wishes before her wedding day. The day is often filled with cake, games, and can eve be co-ed!
You’ve heard of a wedding rehearsal right? Traditionally after the rehearsal the bride and groom host a rehearsal dinner for those involved in the wedding. The dinner could involve the wedding party, immediate family members, and close friends. It serves as a time to thank everyone who will be part of the ceremony and for everyone to come together before the big day. Best of all a rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be a big fancy expensive dinner (although they can be). If you and your friends will be setting up for the wedding after the rehearsal, consider ordering pizza for everyone or having a taco bar. This way you can get ready for the wedding day, make memories, and have a snack too. Your wedding party will thank you.
Many American weddings incorporate a unity ceremony to symbolize the merging of two families or individuals. The most common unity ceremony traditions involve the couple lighting a single candle together from two separate candles or pouring sand, representing their union. My personal favorite unity ceremonies are the one’s that cater to your hobbies or interests. For our own wedding we poured one another a shot.
While traditional wedding vows are commonly used, many couples choose to write their own vows to express their personal promises and feelings to each other. This adds a unique and heartfelt touch to the ceremony. Sharing personal feelings in front of all your guests not your thing? You can always share your vows with on another privately before the ceremony. If you are having a first look this is a great way to bond and share a special moment right before you walk down the aisle. No first look? No problem. You can aways exchange letters.
After the ceremony and before the reception, it is common to have a cocktail hour where guests can mingle, enjoy drinks and appetizers, and socialize before the formal reception begins. This is a great way to keep your guests occupied as you take family photos. Want to jazz up cocktail hour? Some couples opt to book our Photo Booth!
A “first look” is one of the more modern traditions where the couple sees one another in their wedding attire before the ceremony. It provides an intimate moment for the couple to connect and share their excitement before the official start of the wedding events.
Grand Exit or Send-Off
At the end of the reception, a send-off tradition takes place where guests bid farewell to the newlyweds. It can involve a variety of activities such as throwing rice, blowing bubbles, releasing balloons, or lighting sparklers as the couple makes their grand exit.