The Meaning Behind Five Popular Wedding Rituals

Giving Away the Bride from Caseytygrett.com

Giving Away the Bride from Caseytygrett.com

While planning a wedding, brides worry most about their dress,  flowers,  food, and venue. But, they sometimes forget all the little rituals and traditions that are part of this big event.

Although these rituals and traditions might seem silly, or you might take them for granted, they have a deep rooted history. Without them, a  wedding wouldn’t seem like a wedding.

Curious and intrigued, I went in search of reasons behind the most common wedding rituals, and here’s what I found.

Giving Away the Bride

The process of giving away the bride dates back to a time when young women were thought of as property. Until they were married, they were owned by their fathers, and he could even use them in business negotiations. It was common for fathers to promise their daughter’s  to wealthy men, in hopes that they too would benefit from this exchange.

As sexist and outdated as this tradition might seem, it’s still quite common. However, the modern day meaning behind it is more symbolical, which is why this tradition is still widely accepted. Now, it is interpreted as the father “letting go” of his little girl, and allowing her to become an independent woman.

The Lighting of the Unity Candle

The unity candle ceremony is most common in traditional weddings with religious undertones.  One secular interpretation of this is the sand ceremony, which you can read more about below. In the unity candle ceremony, the bride and groom both use two smaller candles to simultaneously light one large candle. This symbolizes the joining of two as one.

Unity Candle Ceremony from WeddingLush.com

Unity Candle Ceremony from WeddingLush.com

The Broom Ceremony

While doing some research, I found an old tradition called the broom ceremony. This is a common ritual among African American couples, although it isn’t practiced as much now as it used to be. When slavery existed, slaves were not allowed to have traditional, legally recognized ceremonies. The broom ceremony was something that developed within the community, as a secret way of confirming a couple’s union. The officiant would place a broom on the ground, and the couple would jump over it together. This symbolized them crossing over together into a new life.

The Sand Ceremony

The sand ceremony is the secular version of the unity candle. Not everyone wants a ceremony based on religious tradition, but they still want to do something that signifies the joining of two into one. The sand ceremony is the perfect alternative. The bride and groom both pour different colored sand into a glass, which is fun, symbolic, and gives them a great post wedding keepsake.

Sand Ceremony from thereverendken.wordpress.com

Sand Ceremony from thereverendken.wordpress.com

Circling

Circling is a popular tradition in Eastern Europe, especially among those who practice the Hindu religion. In this ritual, the bride and groom circle the altar three times, which symbolizes their newfound journey together as a couple,  and unified them as one. Circling is to Eastern Europeans as a post ceremony kiss is to Americans –  a publicly acknowledged way of sealing the deal.

Do you have any unique wedding rituals that your family practices? Comment below!

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Charitable Wedding Planning

With the amount of time, energy and money you put into your wedding day don’t you wish you could pass on some of the fruits of your labor?  Perhaps pay it forward a bit and let someone else enjoy the bliss of your special day?

Today.com reports,”With the hefty cost of wedding flowers, food, décor, and a gown, more couples are opting to extend the life of their investment by donating their leftovers to hospitals and nursing homes that can continue to enjoy them long past last call at a reception.”

Planning a charitable wedding that works to recycle post wedding items takes a little extra planning itself.  Conscious couples can research, with a quick google search, what charities and organizations are available in their area to receive or even help with distributing donations.  In addition to post wedding donations couples can also find many ways to give back to charities throughout their wedding planning.

Recycled Wedding Items

A great deal of planning, resources and money goes into making everything just right for your special day, from wedding food, flowers, decor to attire.  After all that hard work why not “extend your investment” or do a good deed and allow for others to enjoy something from your special day.

Laresen Jay from Random Acts of Flowers in Knoxville, Tenn. shares, “flowers from one medium-sized wedding can go on to serve 30-50 people who are sick in local hospitals.”  See if there is a non-profit group like Jay’s in your area or make contacts with local community agencies like nursing homes, hospice facilities or hospitals to drop off wedding flower arrangements post wedding.  Volunteers or patients can enjoy distributing them throughout the facility giving them purpose and brightening someone’s day with flowers.

Charitable Wedding;

Charitable Wedding; bridesagainstbreastcancer.org; feedingamerica.org; donation invite-google.com; giving bands- charitycharms.com

Resources

A tip for charitable conscious couples is to work with vendors, local community agencies and online resources to find the best options to recycle your wedding items.  Today.com reports“the practice of couples donating their wedding items has grown exponentially in the past five years and that more companies are now equipped to either handle the donation or provide local resources that can.”

Caterers may have a relationship established with  local soup kitchens or shelters to distribute leftovers.  They will also be able to give you the right guidelines to follow for safe food donations.  Today.com gives a warning to keep in mind with food donations hot or cold food needs to be kept at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time.

BridesAgainstBreastCancer.org is an organization that utilizes bridal dress donations to help support breast cancer research.  Brides traditionally hold on to their wedding dress for sentimental reasons, if you are able to part with your dress it can go on to serve another bride and benefit a great cause.

Charitable Planning

Charitable conscious couples can help out their favorite charities in many other ways than just post wedding donations.  With a little bit of extra planning and resources the right decisions can have a big impact.  Bridalguide.com highlights several great charitable options in their post “25 Ways to Create a Charitable Wedding”.

Couples can incorporate charitable donations onto their wedding registry or a charitable gift in lieu of reception favors, consider a non-profit venue for your wedding like a museum or historic site your venue fees will help benefit the site.

Smart shopping.  When making purchases for your wedding day from invitations or gifts for bridesmaids, consider companies that give back.  Bridalguide.com gives several great sites like idofoundation.org and charitycharms.com that you can make wedding purchases with while giving back.  Another fabulous idea, donating frequent flier miles from your honeymoon trip to a cause like hero miles for injured soldiers.

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Unplugged Vs. Social Media Friendly Wedding

Nowadays everything and anything is available at the tips of our fingertips anytime of the day.  Social media is huge.  Facebook, twitter, pinterest have influenced this trend not to mention the mobile devices we’re attached to that access instant updates and news.

With the growing popularity  of social media another trend has emerged and that is going unplugged.  Unplugged is removing yourself from all mobile devices, txting and pesky social media.  Many people have been declaring specific time set aside to be unplugged, whether it be the weekend or an extended vacation.

Taking into account both the popularity of social media and the growing unplugged trend how will either of these trends influence your wedding planning?

A wedding might not seem the place these two trends would come to a crossroad.  However it is the perfect place to bring up a very good debate:

Unplugged Ceremony and/or Reception.  Do you ask guests to set down their camera phones and forget status updates, allowing them to truly be present in your special day?

vs.

Social Media Friendly Affair.  Do you embrace what social media has to offer and for the reasons we love it, allowing guests to enjoy the day and have a good time?

Unplugged vs. Social Media Wedding

Unplugged vs. Social Media Wedding; smart phone aisle- hermonsainn.wordpress.com; flash wash out- Corey Ann photography huffpostwedding.com; hashtag screen- postano.com; ipad photo- eventexperts.com

Unplugged: Backing our first argument is Huffpost Wedding’s recent post Why You Might Want to Consider an Unplugged Wedding” by professional photographer Corey Ann.  Ann brings up many distractions from a photographer’s perspective of why mobile devices with cameras are a nuisance.  Guests with cameras and camera phones often influence the professional photographer’s images that the couple has hired them to capture.

Smart phones pose another issue and that is social media apps.  Wedding images may be leaked through guests’ social media posts before the approval of the newly wed couple.  Also be cautious not to slip any sneak peaks of the bride or groom before the ceremony.

Ann touches on the most important argument to go unplugged during your wedding ceremony, she shares “it’s also been sad to watch the progression from seeing smiling, encouraging and happy faces as the bride is escorted up the aisle to faces hidden behind the backs of cameras and cell phones that line the aisle.”

Social Media Friendly:  The other argument is to embrace technology and encourage guests to interact with the wedding planning process and during the actual wedding day via social media apps.  There are several apps, free or paid, that guests and wedding party members can download and interact with together from the wedding announcement right up until the actual wedding day.

Apps like Wedding Snap, Wedding Party, Wed Social (see bridalguide.com’s app post or more) let you build your own profile and share photos.  Some apps allow the bride and groom to share their story along with introducing members of their bridal party.  The most popular feature of these specific apps is the ability for guests to take and share photos the day of the wedding.  Gone are the days of leaving out disposable cameras!

The supporting points to a social media friendly wedding are guests can be encouraged to utilize and have fun with technology trends  in the right ways.  Using a customized wedding app guests and the wedding party can become members of a group capturing and sharing images of the newly weds’ special day from multiple perspectives.  Something the couple can enjoy the day of and many days after the wedding.

Which argument wins?  Both have strong points and supporting factors, but the verdict truly lines in what is best for the engaged couple planning their wedding.  Perhaps even both win.  An unplugged ceremony focusing on the intimacy of the couple’s vows and a reception that lets loose and allows everyone to connect and share virally.

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Bridesmaid Dress Trends

There is no question that the bride is the main attraction on her wedding day.  But we can’t forget about a girl’s best friends on her special day.  No, I’m not talking about diamonds but a girl’s real, true best friends that she has asked to be part of her bridal party as bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids, or I should clarify bridesmaids dresses have gotten a bad rap over the years.  Poofy, frilly or gaudy dresses are a nightmare haunting anyone that holds the honor of carrying the bridesmaid title.  Flashes of Katherine Heigl in the movie 27 Dresses appear in front of my eyes when you say the words: bridesmaid dresses.

Now I might be getting carried away here, not every bridesmaid dress is hideous and brides do have the best intentions when selecting dress choices.  It is however hard to please everyone, especially taking into account different body sizes and styles preferred by each bridesmaid.

That said, is there still hope for bridesmaids out there?  The Journal and Courier online recently posted, “Fashion: Fun, Flirty looks on Trend for Bridesmaids this Wedding Season”jconline.com reports, “the newest trend in wedding fashion is mismatched bridesmaid dresses.” This leaves a bride one of two choices.  The first one being, “the bride picks a color and allows the bridesmaids to choose the style of the dress.” The second choice, “the bride may even allow them to select the hue.”

Multicolored Bridesmaid Dresses & Styles

Multicolored Bridesmaid Dresses & Styles; multicolored- weddinggawker.com; silver monotone with different styles- simpleregistery.com; pink/peach with different styles- stylemepretty.com; multicolored with bouquets- thedemoiselle.com

What are your thoughts on this wedding fashion trend?  Yea or Nay to allowing bridesmaids to hold some decision making power?

Same hue, different styles is one option.  Bridesmaids can select their own style of dress whether it is long, short, tea length, strapless or not ect. to best suit their style and body type.  The bride can specify the hue to ensure some continuity and helping to coordinate wedding decor.

Tip: Brides considering this trend should set some specifications.  There are a lot of variations of blue in the color spectrum.  Brides need to be specific.  Jconline.com suggests if choosing a specific hue and allowing the bridesmaids to select a style ask them to stick within a specific brand.  They will be afforded options for dresses and the bride will get the same hue in all the dresses not variations of one color.

Fun Color.  Another fashion trend is allowing bridesmaids freedom to pick there own color dress.  Bridal parties let loose with multicolored and styled dresses.  This trend might not be the best fit for a more formal wedding ceremony but it is a fun twist on tradition.  A summer, rustic, whimsical or even vintage wedding theme would be fun with this trend.

Tip: If bridesmaids are to pick their own color dress this will still require some coordination on the bride’s part.  Communicate who has what color so there are no doubles.  Also set the spectrum for colors you are looking for, pastels, solid hues or brights?

One last thing to remember if you are having fun with bridesmaid’s dresses, don’t forget the guys!  Let groomsmen have some fun with multicolored ties. Boutonnieres and bridal party bouquets can be kept simple with monotone or neutral wedding flowers, playing up the bridesmaid dress trend.

 

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Wedding Trends in Nail Art

Planning every last detail of your wedding day can be exhausting. But some days you have to go with the glass is half full philosophy.  The little details are what can make it fun!

That is what today’s post is all about, some fun planning details.  We are getting right down to specifics with your bridal fashion and an accessory you might be close to overlook.  Wedding nail art.  Weekly on this blog we talk about and highlight many wedding trends.  Let’s take a look at how some of these hot new trends cross over into every and any aspect of your wedding decor and fashion, including nail art.

Wedding Nail Trends, Pop of Color

Wedding Nail Trends, Pop of Color; emerald nails- photochamber.net; bouquet- junebugweddings.com; pastel nails- fashiondivadesign.com; bouquet- ruffledblog.com

Pop of Color

2013 has hit some fabulous trendy hues for your wedding palette.  Pantone’s color of the year, Emerald Green is rich and vibrant.  Used throughout decor items, bridal party fashion and florals this rich hue would make a bold statement as your bridal nail color.  Glam it up with some glitter and sparkle.

Just in time for bright and cheery Spring weddings pastel wedding palettes are all over wedding and fashion alerts.  Go for a more muted tone with soft pastels or a brighter color in sunshine yellow, mint or blush pink.

Wedding Nail Art, Trendy Styles

Wedding Nail Art, Trendy Styles; chevron- pinkurock.com; ombre- beautylish.com; art decor black- indulgy.com; art deco- tumblr.com; ombre petals- bridalguide.com; cake laelcakes.blogspot.com

Trendy Styles

Ombre and Chevron decor have hit both the interior and fashion worlds.  Both trends are versatile, hence their popularity, and can be worked into decor for an eye catching accent.  Textiles, florals, wedding cakes to nail art mix and match the trend with corresponding solid hues.

One of the hottest wedding trends from the past several seasons has been vintage decor and fashion.  This year takes it to the next level with 1920′s glam and art deco style.  Looking for a great way to pay homage to the famous, sleek and crisp style?  Go geometric in classy black with gold accents.

Wedding Nail Art, Simple

Wedding Nail Art, Simple; web.stagram.com; pinterest board; instagram.com

Keeping it Simple

Not looking to make a big statement with bridal nail art?  Still don’t forget to set aside some time to pamper yourself and get a fabulous manicure for your special day.  You can still enjoy some style with sleek neutrals, soft pinks and a little sparkle.

 

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