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Inspiration Detail | Traditional Redux

Traditional Redux

Like many special occasions, a wedding is full of traditions that date back generations. Often, but not always, these common traditions are key in making your wedding day meaningful. We are here to tell you that you don’t have to feel bound by any of the “wedding rules” if the tradition doesn’t hold meaning for you or if it is simply not a good fit. Whether referred to as rules, guidelines or traditions, we have outlined some common wedding customs that are okay to dispense with if they are not appropriate to your situation. At the end of the day, your wedding should be unique to you and your groom and a true representation of your taste, style and personality as a couple. 

Traditionally, the parents of the bride are expected to step up to cover a hefty portion of the wedding expenses, leaving the rehearsal dinner and a few minor wedding-day essentials for the groom’s family to absorb. Keep in mind you don’t have to follow this tradition. In fact, many would agree that it is common to find the couple paying for much of their own wedding -- especially if the bride and groom are a little older, more financially established and settled down on their own. This doesn’t mean parents can’t contribute to the wedding expenses. The bottom line is that there are no steadfast rules that must be followed. The discussion of who will contribute how much should be addressed early in the wedding-planning process and should be revisited if a significant change in budget or circumstance occurs. Depending upon ability and willingness to pay, the bride and groom should have a conversation with each set of parents to discuss the budget and their respective contributions. Regardless of tradition, no one should pay beyond what they are able to afford.

Have you ever wondered where the tradition of the bride wearing white on her wedding day originated? This custom dates back to the white lace gown worn by Queen Victoria in 1840. The Queen selected white as most brides wore gowns of color during that period. Current trends indicate that many brides are backing away from true white and turning to designers who are showcasing an array of bridal gowns in blush tones and light grays. Whether you opt for a subtle shade of blush or decide to turn tradition on its heels with a bolder color or pattern, remember to keep your wedding-day details in mind. Before finalizing your choice, be certain to ask yourself if your dress choice coordinates with the style and theme of your wedding-day décor? No doubt, you will be the star of the show, so select a color or pattern that will complement your wedding style rather than to gain attention. If you choose to step outside of the traditional boundaries with color, consider opting for a classic style for balance to ensure an appropriate bridal look. 

It is time to focus on your leading ladies. We all know the popular look for bridesmaids is to outfit them in the same color, style and look. However, choosing one dress style for all of your maids may present some challenges due to the variety of body types, ages and even personalities. Instead, you might consider offering your maids a choice. This allows your gal pals to choose the style and shade of dress that best complements them. Remember to set some boundaries and don’t complicate the process with too many choices. It is important that your bridesmaids maintain a coordinated look. By sticking to one color palette and letting your bridesmaids mix and match from a selection you provide, your supporting cast will be excited to participate in the decision-making process and also be outfitted in a fashion that thoughtfully considers their opinion.

Is it bad luck for the couple to see one another before walking down the aisle? There was a time when it was common for the bride and groom to avoid seeing one another in their wedding attire before the moment the bride walks down the aisle. This tradition stems from a time when arranged marriages were common and the bride was not allowed to show her face until the final moment before the ceremony. Many couples still follow the “no-peeking” tradition to build anticipation before the ceremony, yet others embrace the opportunity to steal away a quiet moment together. Just the bride and groom (and the photographer) step away from all the commotion for a few minutes, simply to concentrate on this momentous occasion. A first-look session with the photographer before the ceremony often provides some of the most precious memories of the occasion. 

So why is a “first look” so important to many couples? It not only gives you that unique photo opportunity with a beautifully-completed look, it also gives you time to be alone with your soon-to-be spouse. If you are a traditionalist, but still yearn for those first-look photos or a chance to hold hands with your groom for a minute, you can arrange to meet with a door separating you or consider each wearing a blindfold. This allows you to take a moment to catch your breath and relax before the ceremony without losing the anticipation and excitement of your first look while walking down the aisle. It is as simple as talking it through as a couple to determine what best fits your style. 

If a traditional white wedding cake with white frosting does not tickle your taste buds, do not despair! Options abound with cake and icing flavors, fillings, colors and styles. From layer cakes to cupcakes to specialty cakes, the choices are endless. 

Now if wedding cake just isn’t your style or if you happen to have an insatiable sweet tooth, you could consider treating your guests to a wedding-day dessert bar that serves up a mix of your favorite sweet treats. There are many options available to complement or replace the traditional wedding cake at your reception. Many alternatives also offer the added advantage of serving a variety of tastes. Be certain to keep your budget in mind when choosing your dessert alternative as some delectable desserts may actually have a cost per serving greater than you anticipated. 

If you are having a larger wedding, consider having a dessert bar with only bite-sized goodies. This will allow your guests to mix and match whatever small-bite desserts catch their fancy. Have as many desserts as your heart desires, but just remember to incorporate a cohesive element of décor to tie your choices together. 
For example, if you and your husband-to-be have a fond habit of making Sunday morning donut runs, create a donut tower for you and your guests to enjoy. You can even add a single-tier cake to the top for you and your groom to cut. Decorate your donut tower to incorporate your wedding style. It will add a little flare to your tasty treats and put a unique spin on the traditional wedding cake that your guests will love! 

A few other sweet ideas include pies, macarons, meringues, cookies, brownies, bars, cheesecakes, tarts or even cream puffs — mini or full-sized — the sky’s the limit! Other non-traditional options include a fruit tower, cheese tower or even a wedding cake made of crepes. If you choose a creative alternative, consider ordering a small cake or dessert you and your groom can cut to symbolize the beginning of your life together.

So whether you follow traditional wedding customs or decide to break with tradition, it is your day and it should reflect the true beauty and style of you and your groom. |NWD|