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15 Twists on Wedding Traditions

Most couples take the traditional route when planning their weddings. After all, practices that have been passed down generations are usually the safest option to ensure your wedding progresses smoothly. The chances for complaints are few when your guests get exactly what they expect. So, you are most likely to receive a thumbs up from the older generation when you stick to the traditional format when planning your special day.

Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong in adding your own unique spin on at least few age-old traditions. What makes this special is that it allows you to still honor the tradition, while adding a personal flavor to your big day. Don’t you think this idea of giving a modern update to something classic is interesting? It will make your wedding memorable, even while you keep the essence of the tradition alive.

If you are wondering how you can do this, we have good news! You can add your own spin on almost any traditional ritual, practice or wedding task. Here are some ideas to inspire you.

Your engagement ring

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For a long time now, diamond rings are considered synonymous with engagements! This simply goes on to say how common it is. You can always take this standard route and splurge on an ostentatious solitaire that will be impressive. However, how does the idea of finding another stone that is perhaps even prettier sound?

Visit your favorite jeweler and you are bound to find beautiful a variety of gemstones that are more interesting. Sapphires, rubies and emeralds have the same impact as a diamond. I think that a gemstone like sapphire set within a band of thin diamonds is much prettier than a traditional diamond ring. Don’t let tradition cloud your preferences. Wear it on your finger and see for yourself!

The wedding invitation

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It may be too extreme to adopt the paperless route and opt for an e-invite. This certainly doesn’t have the same charm as the hard copy of a wedding invitation sent via snail mail. Instead, switch from the paper stationery on card stock with several sheets of paper to an eco-friendly, yet functional alternative.

There are so many ways in which you can make a unique statement. From recycled paper invitations to plantable papers and even soy-based ink for the print, there are so many choices. This will allow you to invite your near and dear ones to your special day in a special way. Take a look at this article on the Ethical Bride for more ideas. 

Something old, something new and Something blue

The charming Victorian bridal rhyme goes

Something old,something new,something borrowed,something blue.” 

Almost all brides continue with this practice of wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue as part of their wedding outfit. These are believed to be tokens of good luck. The something new is pretty simple—it could easily be the new wedding dress or accessories.

Traditional brides usually wear heirloom jewelry or veils as their something old or something borrowed and incorporate the blue as their wedding garter. 

Now, here are some ideas for modern twists on the “something old, something borrowed and something blue.”

Something old: Forget the old jewelry and heirloom veil. Get creative with your something old. This article on the Bridebox website has some excellent ideas. My favorite is the idea of re-purposing a piece of family jewelry into an entirely different accessory. How wonderful would it be to wear a bracelet of pretty pair of earrings made from an old out-of-date necklace?

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Something borrowed: The Borrowed and Blue blog suggests sewing a meaningful cloth or fabric item into the lining of your wedding dress. I find it to be thrilling and exciting.  You must visit the link to see how unique you can make this look.

Something blue: Don’t hide the blue in a garter. Instead, show it off! Pick a pair of beautiful blue heels for your wedding shoes. Not only will this be a beautiful accessory that you can use and re-use after the wedding, it will create a statement look for your beautiful bridal feet.

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Switch out the white wedding dress

From the time Queen Victoria introduced brides to the white wedding dress, it is the signature wedding dress color for brides everywhere. Many brides occasionally opt for a wild and bold colorful alternative to traditional white. This is easier nowadays. Many designers bring out with wedding dresses in soft, muted hues that do not deviate too far from white every year. So, it is now easy to add a touch of personality to your wedding outfit with a small dose of color. Consider light pinks, blush, blues or even grays for an alternate look. This allows you to avoid a color that is too bright for a bride.

Or wear something other than a dress

If you are a bride who must wear white on your wedding day, your options to shine are still numerous. There are plenty of different bridal attires that are not exactly wedding gowns. There are little white dresses to choose from or even bridal pant suits, which are a big trend these days. While the color remains white, you can choose an attire that reflects your personality and style. Designer collections not only carry dresses with shorter hemlines, you can also find two-piece wedding dresses, well tailored pant suits and even loosely structured jumpsuits.

Unique party décor

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Flowers are staple wedding décor. At most weddings, we see everything from the entry to the aisles and centerpieces with floral décor. Although flowers have an exquisite charm and are perfect as wedding party décor, they can be pricey. It is also so common, and your options to make it stand out are few.

Instead choose alternative décor elements, and the entire setting will be more memorable. Seasonal fruits and foliage are an attractive alternative. You can also opt for candles, crystals, statues and other unique décor items to make a statement. Not only are these non-perishable, you can also reuse them in your new home afterwards. And if you must have flowers in your décor, why don’t you replace cut flowers with flower pots? These are a sustainable, yet attractive option. There’s an added bonus—after using them as décor, you can even have them do double duty as party favors for your guests.

Do away with the traditional guest book

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If you feel you must have a guest book for your reception, you ought to think otherwise. Instead of a guest book that will later be stashed somewhere in your storage, opt for an attractive which you can display in your home. You can either have your guests sign notes and drop them in a pretty container, or have them share their wishes on a poster, picture or even vintage globe. There are some brilliant guest book alternatives here on the Brides website. From messages on vintage postcards to pretty pebbles, these are unusual ways to create a keepsake with your guest’s wedding wishes.

Skip the bubbly

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Champagne is hard on the pocket. However, few people enjoy it despite its expensive price tag. Yet, most couples keep it for their reception. The wedding toast is a tradition that is worth keeping. However, you can do it without champagne. Choose another drink for the purpose.

It is highly unlikely that your guests will miss the champagne, and are more likely to enjoy the switch. Make it more personal by choosing your favorite drink for the toast. Or, you can also make it a prettier option by serving a range of cocktails. Not only will the scenery be visually interesting, your guests are likely to enjoy this drink better than an expensive glass of bubbly.

Creative cakes

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The wedding cake is a towering display that serves little purpose at the wedding. Many of the cakes are amazing to look at, but all that fondant and flour do not taste great. In fact, few guests have the appetite to enjoy a whole slice of cake after their main course. So, the bigger your cake is, the more quantity gets wasted. Although a classic wedding staple, I think it is high time brides and grooms chose a better option to end their wedding feast with.

One way to keep the tradition intact is to opt for a scaled-down version of a couture cake to use for the cake-cutting ceremony. Serve a variety of more appealing deserts to the party. The other option is to switch the cake out. Instead, choose from more appetizing deserts. For a whole list of options, take a look at this previous post. I am sure there is something to satisfy every bride and groom’s choice in there.

To have or not to have a different dress for the reception?

Traditionally, the bride dances in the same dress she is wed in. Nevertheless, many brides choose a new look for the reception, both for a change of style and also for practical purposes. Although getting married in a heavy ball gown or mermaid dress looks great, it isn’t the ideal choice for dancing at the reception. The modern update is the two-in-one wedding dress. It features an overlay skirt which you can remove after the ceremony, to reveal a modern slimmer silhouette beneath it. This has to be the ideal wedding dress in terms of budget and functionality.

Skip the garter toss

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In the garter toss, the bridegroom removes the brides garter and tosses it at the bachelors at the party. The one to catch it will be the next to marry. To be honest, not everyone is one hundred percent excited about the garter toss. If you aren’t so pleased about it yourself, we think this is one tradition you should skip.

I like this idea on this blog of tossing something else, like a soft teddy bear or candy to the guests. Invite everyone, not just the bachelors, to be involved in the fun. 

Or if you must toss the garter, how about adding a creative twist? Place it around a soccer ball and throw it instead. That ought to elicit a few laughs from the crowd! Here is a sample. 

Same with the bouquet toss

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This is the cringe-worthy counterpart of the garter toss. It is highly likely that modern spinsters would not be happy to stand in line to catch the bouquet. Instead, save your wedding bouquet to be preserved as a keepsake and have the ritual with the teddy toss we mentioned about earlier. Or, you can even dedicate the bouquet to somebody special. You can thus follow tradition and give it away. Both options are undeniably more elegant than the throw-and-catch alternative.

Find something unusual instead of the getaway car

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The couple must exit in style. Nonetheless, it doesn’t always have to be in a vintage car. There are many other ways in which you can make it more interesting. Be creative and find a way to show off your personal style and fitness. How romantic would it be if your husband were to ride away with you on a bicycle. Deck it up with a flower basket in the front and a “Just married” floating balloon at the back. It will be a picture of perfection.

At Best for Bride, we enjoy both traditions and modernity. Hence our collection caters to brides with a penchant for tradition or modernity. With a vast inventory of wedding dresses of all types, shapes and sizes, finding the right choice for your special day couldn’t be any easier. So, step in to one of our stores and tell us what you seek. Our trusted and talented bridal consultants will help you realize your wedding vision in the dress of your dreams. Or if you would like to preview what choices are available to you, take a look at our website which lists the entire collection we carry in our stores.

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How to preserve the top tier of your wedding cake and enjoy it on your anniversary

Some wedding traditions are unique and pretty unusual. One of these is the practice of preserving the top tier of your wedding cake, and to share and enjoy it on your first anniversary. This age-old tradition is quite odd, since cake tastes best when eaten fresh. It is even more surprising that this tradition dates back to the 19th century, a time when there were no refrigerators. But, as most traditions have a reason behind them, so does this.

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In those days, it was often assumed that a couple would have a child within the year that followed their wedding. So, the intention of preserving the cake tier was to use it at the christening of their child. Though this doesn’t really have much significance today, couples still choose to save the first tier of their wedding cake and relish it on their milestone anniversary.

Before refrigerators were available, cake preservation was possible only in the case of rich fruit cakes,which had a long shelf life. Today, we are not limited to fruit cakes, as technology allows us to preserve more varieties. Since it is highly unlikely that you will be serving fruit cake at your wedding, let us look at what you can do to ensure that your wedding cake stands the test of time and is edible and safe a year after it was made.

Choose the right flavor

Some cakes store better than others. Chocolate, hazelnut and carrot cakes are examples. Avoid cakes with fresh fruit and whipped toppings as these tend to dry out and do not taste nice when chilled.

Pack and move your cake promptly

Soon after your wedding, have your cake boxed and sent home immediately. Once home, uncover the cake, remove the decorations and place it in your refrigerator for a couple of hours. This allows the icing to harden. Don’t leave it near foods with strong odors (like onions or garlic), as the cake may absorb the odor and smell and taste of it.

Wrap in plastic and store in an airtight container

Once your cake is chilled and the frosting is hard, wrap the entire cake in several layers of cling film or plastic wrap. Next, place it in an airtight box. You can either choose a plastic container or a cardboard box, as long as whatever you choose will insulate and isolate the cake well.

Freeze in a ventilated section

Once again cover the cake with plastic wrap for added protection and place it in a well-ventilated section of your deep freeze. Always remember that your cake is in the freezer and don’t allow it to thaw and refreeze at any time. This can make it spoil. Should you have to take the cake out at any time, move it into a freezer immediately, so food safety isn’t compromised.

Enjoy it on your anniversary

Mark your calendar or set an alarm to remind you to take the cake out of the freezer on the day before your anniversary. Thaw it completely and enjoy it with your husband on your first wedding anniversary. Enjoy how all those memories of your wedding day flood back, as you do so.

To choose a splendid wedding cake or for any of your other wedding-related requirements, make sure you visit us at Best for Bride.

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Is it wise to go bridal shopping with your fiance?

As a soon-to-be bride, it is likely that you follow TLC’s show “Say Yes to the Dress”, at least occasionally. In that case, you may not be too surprised to see brides who take their fiance wedding shopping with them.

If you are old-school, you may not agree to this idea, as it is believed to be bad luck for the groom to see his bride in her wedding dress, before the actual wedding day. In this context, it is only apt that we look at what is behind this tradition.

According to this article on CNN, this practice originated in the days when arranged marriages were the norm. The bridegroom was not allowed to see the bride at all (wedding dress or not!), till the time they were actually wed. This was so that if either of them were disappointed with who was to be their life partner, they wouldn’t have the option of backing out.

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Today, the situation is different. Although many brides follow this without question, there are others who choose to do so for another reason. It is a memorable moment when the bridegroom first sees the bride in her bridal finesse, and one that the couple will fondly remember. Not to mention, the first-look is a photography favorite that most couples don’t want to ruin.

Nevertheless, what if you want your fiance’s opinion on this matter? What if you believe that he is the best person to give you an honest feedback when you look for your bridal gown?

In this article on the Glamor weddings website, the author Jenny Feldman shares her experience of how she went shopping with the girls, but showed all the dresses she ordered to her husband, and made her final decision with him. Despite this, the experience of seeing each other in their wedding outfits on the actual day was in no way less special.

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In short, it entirely depends on your personal situation, and what you would like to do. Here are some factors to consider.

  • Are you sure that your fiance will love your wedding dress, no matter what you select? Or does he have very strong opinions on what you wear, and you are worried about disappointing him by choosing something he wouldn’t approve?
  • Does he understand your taste, and does he help you make good dress choices?
  • Do you think that the magic of the moment when you first see each other on your wedding day, will be ruined, if your groom has already seen you in your wedding dress?
  • If the two of you are paying for the dress, it may be advisable to consult him as it is a considerable expense that you want to spend right.

Finally, make sure you discuss your ideas beforehand, so he knows what to expect and both of you are on the same page when you go shopping. Also, don’t forget to check out our bridal gallery at Best for Bride, to shortlist the dresses that will be perfect for your big day.

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Make your wedding truly memorable by adding your own personal touches to it

Wedding planning is one of the most stressful tasks anyone can undertake in their lifetime. There are a zillion details to take care of, and it can overwhelm even the most level-headed bride. This is why most couples choose to go with a wedding planner or delegate part of the wedding planning process to someone, so they can stay sane.

There is no issue with this, as long as you still do your part to make sure your wedding is unique. One of the main problems with delegating party planning and other details is that, it can easily become impersonal. If the weddings in your planner’s portfolio look pretty much the same, this should be what your wedding will also end up like.

As long as you don’t mind having a wedding that people will soon forget all about, it is alright. But, if you want a memorable wedding, which is one that everyone will remember long after the event, you need to inject some personality into your wedding plans. Only then will the memories linger, and you can say that your wedding was a grand success.

Even if you work with a wedding planner, or book an all-inclusive wedding package for your wedding, here are some details that you can focus on and add your own personal touches to.

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Personalize your wedding favors

This is one easy way of making sure that your guests will remember your wedding for years. Choose a wedding favor that is representative of the people you are. It could be anything like a traveler’s kit if both of you love traveling, or a CD with your favorite songs if you are avid music fans. Just make sure that it is not just another pretty looking favor that matches the theme of the party, and can be tossed after use. Instead, choose a practical gift that will remind the receiver of the two of you, every time they see it. Personalize it to match the theme of your party, and Voila! You have a gift that makes your wedding all the more memorable.

Involve the guests in an incredibly fun activity

Your wedding is all about you. Nevertheless, make it an exciting and entertaining occasion for your wedding guests, by adding an exciting element to it. This could be an instant photo booth, that ties to the theme of the wedding. Or it could be a variation to the traditional guest signing booth. You could use our petal wishes kit, to have the guests leave their own special message for the couple, and it is likely they will remember spending some time with jotting down a small note for you.

Use your creativity to plan unique additions to your wedding

Think out of the box, and find ideas to inject a unique message into your wedding décor. Display pictures or interesting messages that you can identify with. This is the opportunity to proudly bring forth the traditions of your family, and display it creatively with it. Bring out family heirlooms, add portraits to your décor, or incorporate family dishes into the menu. Some couples choose to even include their furry friends in their ceremony, and even this can be interesting. Just remember to keep it meaningful and well-planned, and you will do it right.

If you want more interesting ideas to make your wedding one-of-a-kind, we suggest you head over to the offbeat bride website, which is chock-full of winning ideas.

Visit us on Best for Bride, and we can help you realize your wedding vision in the most unique and interesting way.