“Let go of the past, and the past will let go of you,” they said, and if you think about it, there is definitely a grain of salt to that thought. The old humbles us. The old makes us feel safe and secured. The old holds us together. The old is that invisible but fragile thread that connects us to the person that we are now. It needs nurturing and sprucing, which is why we do so many things for old time’s sake.
It is no surprise that people turn inward when it comes to momentous occasions like marriage. It is then that people seek the old traditions the most. There are certain old traditions which are brought out in most weddings and are twisted and adjusted to suit our modern palettes. Let us explore a little on how these age-old wedding traditions that are new again, or, never really gone.
The Garter: The garter traditional is potentially going to be the only time when any part of your underwear will be removed by your husband and flung while people cheered and tried to catch it. Whether it’s plain cringy or just some harmless fun for you, the relevance of the garter runs deep. It stems from how owning a piece of the wedding ensemble brings good luck to the guests. Also, the obvious symbolism attached related to the newlyweds consummating their marriage, and the garter stands as proof of consummation. Either way, it is surely a great opportunity for both parties to mingle and have fun. You can find some awesome garters in Etsy ranging from bedazzled ones to quirky ones-the options are endless with this one!
Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: When you are starting a new chapter in life, so what is the harm in having Lady Luck by your side? This tradition originated from the rhyme, "Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe" These can, of course, be small trinkets and tokens of love from your close family and friends to take into your married life, but some also incorporate these in huge ways like a having the bridesmaid dress in blue to be the bride’s something blue, or grandmother’s veil to be the something borrowed. It can actually be really fun and sentimental.
The Grand Exit: Grand entry and grand exits are something which makes the wedding ceremony a lot more special. It is heartening to see that a bunch of happy faces excited to see you wed off and drive into the sunset to start your happily ever after. It can be a faux-send-off after the ceremony for the couple to return for the reception or the last event at the end of the day where the friends and family gather to bid the happy couple goodbye as they say their goodbyes and leave. The exit is made extra special with the inclusion of sparkers, or a boulevard of fairy lights while the couple makes a dramatic exit in a fancy vehicle with a sign proud making an announcement of them being ‘just married’.
Cake Toppers: Cake Toppers are a fun addition to your wedding cake, giving it a special feel like wedding cakes should. While traditionally cake toppers used were that of a bride and the groom, but people are getting really creative with their cake toppers now. Whether it’s a simple Mr and Mrs sign or a quote which makes sense to the couple, the options are many and all are exciting. Some include figurines of their pets, while there are others you use their polaroids or small buntings. This is where people can get really creative.
Vows and Writing Letters: While traditionally the priest or the wedding officiant does the vows as the couple repeats the words, but people now choose to write their vows on their own. This lets them customize their promise of ‘forever’ in a way that is unique to their relationship. There are all kinds of adorable stationery available for the couple to write down their words on. As traditionally the couples are not allowed to see each other before the ceremony, the couples are essentially bending the rules by writing letters to each other and pouring in their last thoughts before the ceremony.
Unplugged on Purpose: With the beep of notifications disrupting our already minuscule attention span, couples are decisively taking a firm step towards an ‘unplugged’ wedding. This essentially takes the couples and the guest back in time, when times were simpler and not everything from the morning coffee to your pet’s surgery was out there for everyone to see. The guests need to either switch their phones off before they enter the venue or submit their handsets upfront.
Dressing Traditional: While there are so many different styles of weddings, the white tuxes and/or black tie tuxes, full ball gowns and bridesmaid dresses in matching floor-length dresses still stands through the test of time. While some might add their own unique touches with the dress designs or the accessories, the traditional styles of the wedding ensemble are still going strong.
It takes an endless amount of history for something to be a tradition. Wedding traditions not only pays an ode to the past but also brings people together with a strong sense of community. Old wedding traditions bring the clan together and leave them feeling happy and with a sense of belongingness. Is that not what traditions are supposed to do anyway? Let your wedding photographer capture the traditions forever and you can pass it on to the next generation, to keep the wedding traditions alive.
With old traditions, one can always cherry-pick what they want to do and what they want to skip on. It is, after all, your wedding and you don't have to do everything that the old book of rules says. Do whatever goes with your theme, value, preference or your heart says, and it’s all good.