Weddings have certainly evolved over the years as many people move to embrace contemporary, different ceremonies to those of decades and even centuries past.
There are however plenty of classic wedding traditions and etiquette that remain today, whilst some have been adapted for more modern times.We bring you a fantastic selection of traditional and modern wedding etiquette and traditions known for bringing good luck and joy to those getting married, read on for some truly fascinating facts.
- Traditionally, it is the father of the bride who walks her down the aisle ‘giving her away’ to her new protector, but today where families have diversified – the person to give the bride away could be anyone who has importance and significance in her life such as other family members (mothers, brothers, sisters, grandparents) or even friends. It is considered an honour to be asked and cements bonds between the bride and her chosen person.
- Vows are an important part of any wedding ceremony, in which the bride and groom will make their declarations to each other in front of their friends and family. Whilst these vows were once static, more and more people are beginning a new tradition of writing personal vows, reflective of their individual relationship. The traditional vows however are still popular, although many couples choose to amend or admit certain vows depending on their beliefs.
- Throwing the bouquet was once one of the ways of signalling the end of a wedding, with the bride passing on her good luck to another would-be bride. Whilst many still throw the bouquet, many brides choose to keep the bouquet as a memento from their wedding day, drying the flowers and creating a display. Don’t be disappointed if this is what the bride chooses.
- Wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue is done as a sign of good luck and refers to the items a bride may choose to wear on her wedding day. Often, a garter features some blue detailing whilst something old or borrowed may refer to jewellery loaned to the bride by a relative. A classic tradition, but one which still has a place today.
- Many couples who get married have already lived together, which can make buying wedding gifts difficult. The couple will often state on the invitation their preferred choice of gift, so unless you know the couple very well in order to present them with a personal alternative, stick with the request that they have made.
- Be on time for the wedding. If you’re late or skip the ceremony altogether, that would be considered poor etiquette. Whilst weddings are notorious for running late, you shouldn’t.
- Taking photos is now even easier, as well as being instant, thanks to mobile phones and digital cameras. Whilst it’s great that you want to capture your own memories of the bride and groom, excise caution before uploading them to social media, and ask their permission if you’re unsure. It may be that the bride wishes the first picture to be published of her in her dress comes from her own private, professional collection.
- Ladies, never wear white to a wedding. As most brides opt for a shade of white or ivory, it is disrespectful to the bride if you show up in white. Always respect the dress code outlined on the invitation.
- Never show up with a guest unless you were invited with one. Let the bride and groom know who they are in advance of the wedding and respect their decision if you have only been granted a single invite. Weddings are expensive occasions and unless you’re married, engaged or co-habiting, the bride may not wish to consider extending your invitation. This goes for children as well.
Whilst wedding etiquette and traditions may have changed over the years, there is plenty of solid advice to follow, whether for your own wedding or someone else’s. The aim of a wedding is to celebrate the joining of two people together, so get into the spirit of the occasion and enjoy every minute with the happy couple.