Modern Twists on Tradition
From the time early man started drawing on cave walls, cultures have had traditions that connect us to both the past and the future. But traditions evolve along with society — fortunately, throwing raw eggs at brides to promote fertility went out of fashion a few centuries back — so it’s perfectly acceptable to put your own twist on tradition to personalize your wedding ceremony and reception.
One of the more iconic traditions in American culture is the multi-tiered wedding cake. But deliciousness notwithstanding, many couples are opting to serve a selection of smaller cakes — even cupcakes — either as part of a dessert spread or as centerpieces. Some receptions forego the cake completely in favor of a dessert preferred by the couple. And really, why spend a small fortune on a dessert you really don’t like. These days everything from ice cream sundaes to cheesecake to apple pie is on the table. And those worried no wedding cake means a lost photo opp, sharing ice cream or slicing a pie can provide a just-as-memorable Kodak moment.
The Bouquet Toss
A growing number of brides are also foregoing the traditional tossing of the bouquet. Not all their single friends necessarily want to participate, and in some cases the bride ends up throwing the bouquet to a bunch of teens and tweens. A new twist has the bride choosing a special friend or family member to receive the bouquet as acknowledgment of their affection. Some give the bouquet to the couple in attendance who has been married the longest, in recognition of their years of togetherness. For the youngsters in the crowd, toss a cute stuffed animal for them to catch.
In a more socially conservative time, the bride and groom — eager to get started on the honeymoon — would spend some time at the reception then be the first ones out the door, leaving their guests to dance, drink, and party the night away. A growing number of couples, many of whom have already been living together for some time prior to getting married, are choosing to stay until the end of the evening to participate in the festivities with family and friends.
The first dance of the evening has traditionally been a slow dance, but some more extroverted — and coordinated — couples take to the floor with a lively salsa or sensual tango. Again, the idea is to have a wedding and reception that reflects your personality and preferences.
A new trend that is turning into a fun tradition is the signature cocktail. This is where the couple chooses a special drink to be served prior to the wedding during a cocktail hour — witty name optional. The drinks can also integrate the bride’s color scheme.
Lastly, while many brides still opt to have their father or father figure “give them away,” more brides are choosing to have both parents accompany her down the aisle.
Remember, the wedding ceremony and reception is designed to be enjoyed by everyone, but in the end, it’s all about you. Put your personal stamp on time-honored traditions or start one of your own to make your special day truly your own.