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Wedding Traditions and Other Information To Help With Your Wedding Plans

Custom Photo Invitations

Custom photo invitations are easy to make at Galleria Ventures. Here is an example of a recent photo flat card invitation made for a wedding celebration:

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All custom cards made at Galleria Ventures can be printed as a postcard, a flat card, or as a folded card. Use this link to see more about making a custom wedding celebration invitation.

Wedding Formalities

A description of how wedding service formalities are undertaken.

Formalities:

When you become a bride, you don’t automatically know how to organise a wedding, let alone all the rules and details. Liz Re has the low-down on wedding stationery, speeches and the ceremony order of service.

First impressions count and if you want your guests to get excited about your wedding, it all begins with your invitations. These days, there are plenty of options from funky postcards to detailed cards with illustrations and photos.

Red ink-vites owner Natasha Mathers says the bare essentials for wedding invitations are: the couple’s names, wedding date, time and venue, and an RSVP date and method.

Natasha says some couples stick to the traditional format of listing their parents’ names such as: “Joe and Sue Bloggs and Tom and Sally Smith invite you to celebrate the wedding of Tim Bloggs and Jane Smith.” But, many couples use something simpler such as: “Tim and Jane invite you to celebrate their wedding”, or “You are invited to celebrate the wedding of Tim and Jane”.

She says most people include an address and phone number in the RSVP details, and some include an email address. Or, you can use RSVP cards which are sent with the invitations and can be printed with the couple’s name and address, ready to be posted back. Other helpful information such as maps or directions can be printed on the back of the invitations.

Natasha says you should send your invitations four to six weeks before the day, but as early as possible if you are having interstate and overseas guests.

Order of service:

Other stationery to consider includes thank you cards, menus, place settings, and order of service booklets or sheets. While you don’t have to have any of these, if you are having any sort of formal ceremony, it is nice to give guests an idea of when things will occur with an order of service booklet.

If you’re having a fairly traditional ceremony, you should include your bridal party’s names and the words to any hymns or prayers in your ceremony. You might also like to give your guests a bit of entertainment by including the story of how you met and became engaged

I’d like to thank:

Traditionally, the bride’s father opened the speeches at a wedding reception, followed by the groom and the best man, and each had certain people to thank and toasts to make. Today, the format is a lot more free-flowing and open to different speakers and less conventional topics.

If you want to keep tradition in mind, the bride’s father was responsible for welcoming guests, the groom and his family, give words of wisdom and good wishes to the couples and propose a toast to them.

The groom then thanked the bride’s parents for letting him marry her, thanked his parents, the hosts and any other helpers, spoke fondly about his bride and toasted the bridal party.

Finally, the best man traditionally injected humour into the formalities by telling a funny story or two about the groom before wishing the couple well, reading cards from those unable to attend and proposing a final toast to the bride and groom.

Choose what parts of this format you want to keep when organising your speeches and remember not to bore your guests with speaker after speaker, each thanking the same people.

Melbourne woman Allison Harlie planned to thank everyone involved in her wedding, from an aunt who made the cake to a cousin who provided the cars, until three weeks before the day. She went to another wedding and the bride and groom delivered a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation. “They thanked all and sundry for anything and everything,” Allison says. “And it was excruciatingly boring for the audience.”

After that, Allison decided to thank everyone personally as she mingled among guests on the night.

Another important thing to remember is: don’t get too carried away trying to be funny. Be wary of crossing the line between funny and telling embarrassing tales guests probably don’t want to know, and pass this message on to others who will be speaking if you think they need a reminder.

It is common for brides to speak at their receptions these days, or for couples to do a joint speech. This can be a less threatening way to thank your guests and let everyone know how happy you are together.

Order of Service (the traditional way):

  1. Processional: the bride walks down the aisle. Traditionally, the bridesmaids enter the church or ceremony area first, followed by the bride with the person who is giving her away.
  2. Welcome: the priest or celebrant welcomes family and friends.
  3. Giving away: Traditionally, the father gives his daughter away, but another member of the family or a close friend can do this or the couple can give themselves to each other.
  4. Introduction: the priest or celebrant speaks about what marriage means to the couple. This will have been discussed in meetings before the wedding.
  5. Hymns: usually only included in a church service. Alternatively, you might like to include a meaningful or uplifting song.
  6. Reading: from the Bible, a book of verses or a favourite poem. This is a great way to involve a friend or family member who isn’t in the bridal party.
  7. Monitum: the celebrant has to read the words from section 46 of The Marriage Act, to explain the legal nature of marriage. This is a legal requirement.
  8. Prayer: optional; common in traditional church ceremonies.
  9. Declaration of intention to marry: any objections to the marriage are publicly called for.
  10. Exchange of vows: write your own or repeat standard vows.
  11. Exchange of rings: otherwise known as the ring ceremony, where you give the rings to each other. You might choose to give gifts instead of or as well as rings.
  12. Pronouncement: declaration of marriage – the priest or celebrant pronounces you ‘husband and wife’.
  13. Signing of the marriage register: The couple and two witnesses must sign the marriage register, certificate of marriage and marriage certificate.
  14. Congratulations or blessing: to be given by the celebrant or priest.
  15. Recessional: the couple leave the ceremony, followed by the bridal party. This is usually done to music – often a song that is significant to the couple.

By: Liz Re

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Find out more about weddings on www.bride.com.au

Wedding Traditions with the Bridal Bouquet

The bride’s bridal bouquet is one of the most common wedding traditions. When a bride orders her wedding bouquet, it might not seem that any “activities” will come from it other than as a thing for the bride to hold.

But the bridal bouquet can be the source of many interesting activities and meaningful gestures. During there ceremony there are all kinds of possibilities. Certainly you can go traditional and have a flower for both the mother of the bride and mother of the groom. The moms, in particular, love this activity and guests usually appreciate it as well. But what if you turned that traditional gesture on its head and supplied flowers for both the mothers and the fathers?

If the bride supplies flowers to both the men and women, there are a couple of ways to do this. What if dad’s flower was enclosed in a verse that he will then get up and read at the ceremony? What if it was a flower to recognize the members of the family who have passed, and it gives dad an opportunity to recognize those family members?

If the bride chooses not to have a unity candle, but wants some gesture like it, she can have her bridal bouquet designed by having several small bouquets put together. At an appropriate time during the ceremony, the bridal bouquet is “broken up” and various people might receive a share, such as the mothers and fathers of the bride and groom.

Now, if the bride wants to hang onto her bridal bouquet during the wedding ceremony, but is willing to have some fun with it at the reception, there are a few options there as well. How about a dance involving the bridal bouquet?

This is silly, but fun. The bridal bouquet is on display somewhere near the dance floor and guests must guess a flower that’s in the bouquet before they can enter the dance floor. The first few guests might not have a problem as some flowers are obvious, like roses and tulips, but others might give people pause. Of course, this won’t work if the bridal bouquet is all roses or some other single and obvious flower but for a traditional mixed bouquet, it can work well.

For a naughty touch, the bride can hide her garter in the bridal bouquet and actually put it on her leg before the groom takes it off. Or she can have a couple of breakaway bouquets that are wrapped in garter belts, so hers doesn’t get thrown, but instead the tiny bouquets with garter belts attached are thrown.

When it comes time for the bride to throw her bouquet, there are several options. Some brides choose not to keep their bouquet and simply pluck one flower out of it before chucking the whole thing during the bridal bouquet toss. This is an alternative to having a special bouquet set aside for throwing, and there are others as well.

Are there are a lot of single women coming to the wedding? Maybe one thrown bouquet won’t be enough. Many brides these days are opting for something a little more fun. There are a few options, really. One popular option is to have the florist create several small bouquets and then bundle them to look like one bouquet. They are tied lightly with a ribbon. When it comes time for the bouquet toss, the bride unties the ribbon, and throws the “bouquet” which is actually several little bouquets. Several women will catch the bouquet, rather than just one.

Wedding Traditions to Consider

There are thousands of wedding traditions and they vary greatly around the world. In this article we will focus our attention on some the main wedding traditions associated with American weddings that you will want to think about for your wedding. So much goes into planning the perfect wedding, and not just financially. Huge amounts of time can be spent preparing everything for the big day to ensure that everything goes perfectly. It is important not to forget those age old wedding traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation, and are still practised in most modern wedding ceremonies. Here are some of the most well known traditions to be aware of:

Wedding rings.
The bride and groom give each other wedding rings to signify wedding couple’s commitment to each other. After marriage, and for the rest of wedded life, both partners are meant to wear their rings at all times until “death do us part”. The best man traditionally has the job of keeping track of both rings, and producing them at the wedding ceremony. In the USA and UK, the rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, although other countries traditionally use the right hand instead. In classical times it was believed that the ‘vena amoris’ or ‘vein of love’ ran from the ring finger straight to the heart. This also has the added social benefit of displaying your status to members of the opposite sex.

Ceremonial kiss.
After the bride and groom have been pronounced man and wife, the traditional way to bond the marriage and conclude the wedding ceremony is to kiss each other in front of all their family and friends. This particular part of the wedding traditions started as a way of sealing the couple’s lifelong commitment to each other. In some countries, the kiss has other symbolic meanings as well, so your personal traditions can be your guide as to if you kiss and, if you do, for how long. These days, it is more done as a way of showing how much you care for each other, and has become the signal to everyone that the ceremony has finished.

Giving the bride away.
The wedding tradition of having the bride given away by an older male relative, usually her father, is one that is found in most weddings. The father “gives” away the bride, as it is now seen as the groom’s responsibility to take care of her and her needs, financially and emotionally. Today, it is popular for both parents to have a part in “giving away” the bride. If the bride has a stepfather, he may also give her away.

Wedding music.
There are various wedding traditions when it comes to the choice of music for the big occasion. “The Bridal Chorus” by Richard Wagner, commonly known as “Here Comes the Bride,” is used for the bride’s walk down the aisle towards the waiting groom. Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” is often used as a recessional, after the ceremony has finished. Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is one of the most popular pieces of music played at a wedding, because of its message of unity and happiness.

Throwing rice.
Showering a newly wed couple with rice is an ancient custom. This tradition started because of people’s belief that this life giving seed will endow the couple with great fertility, and enable them to have lots of children. In modern times, the rice is often replaced with confetti, birdseed, bubbles or dried flowers due to the dangers uncooked rice has to birds. This is one of the most fun wedding traditions, as it enables everyone to cover the bride and groom as they leave the church.

Wedding cake.
The wedding cake has grown from being a food for everyone to share after the wedding, to being more of a symbolic gesture. The cakes have also grown in size, and now have a sophisticated amount of detail on them. One of the first things you will do as a married woman is to cut the cake with your husband. According to Hudson Valley Weddings, this is traditionally done together, with the groom’s hand being on top of the bride’s to show his willingness and commitment to take care of her. After the first cut, the bride and groom can then playfully feed each other with a slice. After the reception, and the festivities have died down, the bride and groom should take the top layer of cake home, and freeze it until their first anniversary. It is believed by some that a cake that is good enough to eat after a year is a guarantee of a long marriage.

Throwing the bouquet.
One of the wedding traditions shrouded in superstition is when the bride throws her bouquet to the crowd. This is usually done before leaving on her honeymoon, and involves the bride assembling all of the unmarried bridesmaids and friends before tossing the bouquet towards them. The lady who manages to catch the bouquet is expected to be the next one to marry. This can lead to some sheepish smiles from unwilling boyfriends looking on in the crowd!

Similar to the bouquet throwing, the groom also traditionally tosses the wedding garter, and at some receptions, the man who catches the garter is supposed to playfully put it on the girl who catches the bouquet and then dance with her. ( more on bride’s bouquet )
Toasting the happy couple.
At the wedding reception, it’s tradition to offer toasts to the newly married couple, wishing them a long and happy marriage. This will usually involve a person being asked to make a speech, in which he or she can make jokes, or play it completely straight, before raising a glass to the bride and groom. The best man is often expected to give the first speech of the occasion, thus breaking the ice. Getting the mix of humor and sentiment perfectly balanced is a tough job.

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

This is a popular rhyme, which dates back to the Victorian era and is still used for good luck for a successful marriage even to this day. Each part of the saying means something specific to the bride and groom and the change of life marriage will bring. ‘Something old’ represents the bride’s old life, and her ties to her family. ‘Something new’ is meant to signify the couple’s new life together, and the joys it may bring. ‘Something borrowed’ is meant as a good luck charm from a happily married woman, so that the new bride may enjoy the same happy marriage. ‘Something blue’ represents fidelity and the hopes that the marriage will last a long time. All of these wedding traditions are actually carried or worn by the bride during her wedding.

Weddings are a time of happiness that have endured the ages, which is why we still celebrate them somewhat traditionally today. At your wedding, you don’t have to follow all of these traditions—you can always start your own traditions to pass on to your children! All that matters is that you and your new husband enjoy this special day together.