Women in white bridal gowns popping out of limousines with handsome men in perfectly pressed tuxedos. Yes, we are smack dab in the middle of wedding season.
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There are so many aspects to the average wedding, from choosing the perfect venue, to setting the mood with the invitation and making sure that each word is such that no one is offended or left out, to the finest detail of what colour flower bud should be placed in front of whose place setting.
There are traditions and customs, from either side, which the older generations hope will be incorporated into the ceremony and celebration as well. Short of eloping, it’s hard not to get caught up in it all at whatever budget level.
Today’s brides are also statistically older, perhaps more independent, and many are career women who would like to be in charge of their own nuptials. And each one hopes to put their own unique stamp on their special day.
But are they going too far in the way of individuality and a sort of “screw tradition” attitude?
One bride I know asked that her guests refrain from wearing red to her Valentine’s Day wedding so she would stand out even more when she pranced down the aisle in a devilish red gown.
Although many brides are no longer virgins (sorry dads!), the tradition of wearing white, or shades thereof, is so ingrained, many of this particular bride’s guests were shocked by her outrageously bold coloured dress.
At a recent party for a bride-to-be, the conversation turned to the schedule of events. The bride replied that she and her groom were planning on spending the night before and the night of their wedding together, at home.
In an uproar of disbelief, all the women gathered insisted that this not be the case. They agreed that even if you live together, there’s a certain significance to spending the night before apart, and the wedding night somewhere special. Each woman had a memorable story about the night before — who they spent it with, what they did — and the night of. Ask them about the flowers, food, or even the speeches at the wedding itself and those were harder to recall.
One woman explained, “The separation of the bridal couple the night before gives them each a chance to reflect on their life up until this moment, to be alone with their own thoughts, and to enjoy, with either close friends or family, the closing of this chapter of their lives.”
And spending your first night together as a married couple is more romantic and free if it’s not in your own home.
To all you brides and grooms: Good luck, have fun, and remember, some traditions have lasted centuries for good reason.