So we are dead set on our venue now and looking to book for summer 2020!
We haven’t yet finalised the booking as I want to have a final look around and map everything out. I also read THIS BLOG POST outlining why you should do a guest list and work out numbers BEFORE you choose the wedding venue; so Jason and I really need to sit down and work out an accurate number of guests!
Things are beginning to get real now and I feel like I need to examine and then re-examine every fragment of the day to make sure we get it just right. I don’t want to look back on it and think that there were any major oversights.
Personally, I believe that the two most important things are the food and the music. As long as we’ve got lots of that, people will be happy. As I’ve said before, I don’t want a traditional, rigid wedding. Jason and I have already lived a fairly nonconformist life together so far, and even though marriage in itself is a conventional celebration, for us it’s not so much about the signing of the papers or a nod to societal tradition. We simply want to celebrate our love and feel as much of a unit as we possibly can. Because we want a really unique wedding, I’ve been looking into how other couples celebrate weddings all over the world, old and new traditions alike. After researching a bit, I’ve put together a few of my favourite traditions and who knows? Maybe we will incorporate a few of them into our own day.
Forget jewellery, in India and parts of Morocco, the bride’s hands and feet are adorned with gorgeous, intricate henna tattoos. It’s a cultural appropriation that is becoming more and more popular in the UK, and I can see why! It looks so feminine and beautiful and it isn’t permanent like my tattoos *gulp*. I’m not big on jewellery and this non-blingy yet glamorous alternative is very appealing!
Bit of a soppy one, but a lovely sentiment; in Australia each guest is asked to take a stone to hold throughout the wedding ceremony. Afterwards the guests place the stones back in the bowl and are to be kept by the married couple to remind them of the unity and support they have from their friends and family. Some couples use lots of different coloured stones or semi precious stones to represent the different ways certain friends and family support them. Many couples even use this as an alternative to a guest book, using larger, flatter stones for guests to write a message on. Seeing as we are having a coastal wedding (tasty little clue), I think a unity bowl would work really nicely and would be a lovely keepsake for us to remember the day by.
Anyone who knows me well enough knows I have a massive sweet tooth. So when I read about the Italians using sugary treats as confetti I sat up with great interest. This ancient but still very popular tradition is that sugared almonds (bomboniere) are thrown as confetti to represent happiness, health, fertility and prosperity. My only concern would be that they could chip a tooth or take an eye out if guests got a bit over enthusiastic and started pelting us with them. Maybe we could have maltesers and marshmallows thrown at us instead? Eh?
Colourful slips and loose shirts
In Mexico the bridal attire varies dependant on the area. Many brides choose simple white cotton and others choose to wear a colourful, embroidered ‘huipil’. Traditionally, the bride sews three ribbons (one blue, one yellow and one red) into her underwear or on her dress to symbolise money, food, and passion. Lots of western brides incorporate the coloured ribbon ideas into their bouquet or room decorations but may not have even known that this is where that idea originated from. The groom wears a light coloured ‘guayabera’, which is a loose-fitting shirt perfectly suited for a hot Mexican sun.
Jason and I are all about wearing comfortable, practical clothes and I love the idea of a floaty, colourful, embroidered wedding dress!
Stealing the grooms shoes
Joota Chori which literally translates as ‘hiding shoes’ is a hilarious tradition commonly seen at Indian weddings. After the ceremony takes place, the groom’s shoes are stolen, normally by the Bride’s sisters and there is a big furore as each family tries to steal or take the shoes back. This is mixed with lots of singing, dancing and general merry making and gets the two sides of the wedding to laugh and bond. I love the idea of interactive entertainment to get the guests to participate and mingle, so I’ll have to put my thinking cap on and figure out something we could do to help our guests befriend each other.
Another Mexican tradition, Bridal attendants, ‘Madrinas’ help the bride by organising and helping with the wedding plans and generally supervising the day’s events. It is also their responsibility to guide the bride throughout her married life. They are granted this responsibility with the gravity that we might undertake when choosing a godparent for our children. I would say that without even having to think, I already have a few of these precious types of women in my life without having to choose them, but this lovely tradition makes me think that if I put in some thought into it, I could use my wedding day as an opportunity to show them as well as my groom how important they are in my life.
3 dress changes
In China it is common practice for the Bride to have three different dresses that she wears at different stages of the day. For the ceremony most brides opt for the traditional red ‘qipao’, they then change into a western style wedding gown, and later, for the reception celebrations the will change into a ball gown. Considering how uncertain I am about committing to a certain dress, this would be a fun, albeit, expensive resolution. Although let’s face it, if I was to change during my wedding, it would probably be into jeans and a pair of Doc Martens…
Bride and groom go MIA
Last but not least, it is a Venezuelan tradition for the Bride and Groom to disappear unnoticed before the evening’s celebrations are done. Maybe it’s raw passion that forces you and your newlywed to leave the party early, but let’s face it, it’s more likely you’ve had a bit too much champagne and wedding cake and you lost control at the buffet. Having barely slept the night before because you were too excited, you’re totally done in and need to take your uncomfortably tight wedding dress off! I imagine that I will probably partake in this Venezuelan tradition but due to fatigue and bloatedness more than anything else.
I’ve loved researching all these lovely, strange and inspiring wedding traditions. It’s also made me see just how much it is a universal celebration. There is no wrong or right way to do it. So many of the customs we’ve come to know and love are really a huge amalgamation of traditions from all over the world! In every culture marriage exists in one way or another and I love that with every single one it is just as much about community and family as it is about the couple being married. Life is full of ups and downs, knock downs and setbacks but a wedding brings everyone together in a celebration of love!
Are there any other wild, romantic or strange traditions you know of? Did you incorporate them into your wedding? I’d love to hear from you.