Today I want to talk about wedding traditions. From photographing weddings, Jon and I learned many things that influenced the vision of our wedding day. We let go of many traditions and kept what felt right for us.
Tradition #1 The bride and groom "hide-and-don't-seek-till-the-ceremony"
This may sound odd to you, but as mentioned in the last post, I didn't actually "hide" from Jon until I put my dress on and we got ready for the first look. One married friend told me she wished she hadn't spent so much time hiding from her groom since the day went by so quickly. That made an impact on me. My husband is one of the most supportive, de-stressers in my life. He can take me from my navel gazing self-loathing funk and turn my eyes right back to the point. So we started the day with him coming over after I had gotten my hair and make-up done to help me load up the car and get ready to go set up at our venue. Our coordinator had the genius idea of doing our first look and then taking an hour apart before the ceremony. Just enough time to gather back the butterflies and get all excited again.
Tradition #2 The bride lifts not a pinky in the set up process
Initially our venue was going to be available to us the night before. However, last minute we were told we'd have to set up the day of. Since I knew I wasn't going to be "hiding" from Jon I was excited to help set up. Many folks gave frowny faces when I explained I wanted to be involved. But one must realize: a bride spends countless hours dreaming, planning, purchasing, and organizing these items. I was told repeatedly that I should just relax and let everyone else do the "work." I'd definitely say day of I did maybe 10% of the work and everyone else did 90%. The 10% I got to be involved in I cherished. Our day of wedding coordinator was amazing. She didn't bat an eye at me wanting to help. She had me set 1 table and she delegated and helped to set the rest. She gave me just enough responsibility to make me feel involved but not overwhelmed.
Tradition #3 The bride and groom's first look should be down the aisle
Let me start off by saying I'm good either way with this tradition. We however, being photographers, were keen on having a first look. It gave us more photos, and our wedding photographer more time to photograph us than just post ceremony
Tradition #4 A ceremony must have at least a: communion/sand pouring/paint mingling/unity candle
Our ceremony was low key. We had the traditional vows and our own. When Jon and I were just getting to know each other he'd write me text message novels which I absolutely adored. I felt confident in writing our own vows, and knew this would be a sentimental moment for the both of us. Although Jon admitted he improved the back half (it was too similar to the traditional vows in his estimation.) Our pastor shared an amazing message on marriage, and prayed over us. I really don't think we missed out on not doing any other traditions. After the ceremony guests came to tell me two doves were on an archway during the ceremony, and they flew away at our first kiss. That still gives me the good chills just thinking about that. I guess the doves felt like they wanted to be a part of our ceremony :)
Tradition #5 Tossing the garter and the bouquet
I've only photographed a few wedding where these two were either omitted or changed slightly to suit the couple's preferences. For our reception I wasn't too excited thinking about a garter toss (to my husbands male friends also Jon going up my dress in front of family...I was just meeting at the wedding ha) and a bouquet toss (to be reminded of your singleness as a female) I looked every where for alternatives. I heard about breakaway bouquets, a bouquet "hot potato" and a few alternatives like the longest married couples stay dancing on the dance floor, and having the garter already off the bride to avoid reaching up her dress. Those are great alternatives. Taking these all into account we came up with a plan. This plan involved no garters, gift cards, a mini squishy football, and a fake flower bouquet. The idea was married, single, young, and old could come up because a prize was involved if you caught the bouquet or the football. I chose the football because Jon had played in high school. We loved that this involved everyone, and who doesn't want a gift card?!
Tradition #6 Something new, borrowed, and blue
This is a fun one. I wore my mom's veil down the aisle, and bought new jewelry for the day. My something blue was on my bouquet as a little teal bee broach. After thought: it would be awesome if grooms had a tradition like that too.
Tradition #7 Make new traditions :)
We wanted to entertain our guests, so we played the "Shoe Game" (your MC has you stand or sit back to back while he asks you questions, and you raise the shoe of who you think fits the question best.) However, my husband is a majestic size 15-16 shoe coupled with the fact that holding a shoe makes the germ-o-phoebe in me scream. So we opted to point to our self or point backwards to the other instead. We cut our pies (instead of wedding cake) and had our guests come up to the pie table. We wanted to serve them instead of making our rounds at each table. It was an amazing time getting to personally thank each lovely person. We didn't have a sparkler exit, but we did leave with our hearts full. So full in fact that we didn't even want to leave our friends and family who were helping to put everything away.
Traditions are best looked at to give you ideas vs. being "the only way". What really matters is that you remember to have fun <3
xo Amy Marie