Trends & Traditions With event planner extraordinaire, Elizabeth Brady Marasco



Today’s bride writes her own rules on how her special day will flow and creates her own wedding experience: it’s out with the idea of the bouquet and garter tosses and in with a bridal party dance mob and unexpected twists throughout the festivities. Some couples have opted to walk down the aisle together with dogs in tow, while some choose to have their bridal party dance down the aisle. Many have embraced the idea of having wedding guests sit mixed together instead of choosing the “groom’s side” or “bride’s side.” That being said, brides have the choice to include traditional wedding elements or create a completely personalized and unique experience.

Something Old…

The notion of the “something old” has taken on a life of its own in the wedding arena. Brides are adding nostalgic touches to their big day, such as incorporating family heirlooms like Grandma’s brooch into their bridal bouquet; in fact, some brides are foregoing traditional flower bouquets altogether and instead carry a bouquet made entirely from brooches.

Something New…

Some of the hottest trends for the 2014 Wedding year include a mix of country charm and luxurious bling. This season, some reception décor will feature a multitude of textures like burlap, tree bark and moss with lace and faux diamond accents. Brides seem to be gravitating toward a style that has an organic, natural feel, without giving up “sparkle.” Centerpieces designed with tree branches alongside fresh flowers and candles give an elegant, country-chic feel. Combine that look with burlap linen and you will have one happy modern bride! We are also seeing more and more couples exchanging vows outside the traditional church venue; these adventurous duos are gravitating to the outdoors: barns, gazebos, gardens and parks. These environments are lovely, but choosing them comes with a word of caution: any outdoor wedding should have a back-up plan!

One of the most heart-warming trends includes the idea of “paying it forward.” Some brides make a donation to their favorite charity instead of purchasing party favors for guests. In fact, local charities like Whaley Children’s Center and the Hurley Foundation print “thank you” cards to inform guests that a donation was made in their honor. What better way to showcase your momentous life occasion while helping someone else?


Origins of Wedding Traditions

The Veil

Some say that the veiling of the bride originates from the need to hide her from evil spirits. Others say that in the past, when most marriages were arranged by the bride’s family, she was veiled so that the groom could not see her and change his mind before he made his vows of lifelong loyalty. Worn during many religious ceremonies, the veil is a sign of humility and respect before God. In Victorian times, a veil’s weight, length and fabric quality indicated the bride’s social status. Royal brides had the longest veils.

The White Dress

When Queen Victoria wore a white gown adorned with orange blossoms for her marriage to her cousin Albert in 1840, it was an immediate fashion hit, inspiring women to wear white; the color quickly became a symbol of purity, innocence and chastity.

The Honeymoon

The term may have referred to the idea, as The Merriam-Webster dictionary reports, that “the first month of marriage is the sweetest.” Traveling during a honeymoon may have originated from the days when grooms abducted their brides from the neighbors. In 19th-century Britain tradition, upper-class couples would take a post-wedding “Bridal Tour” to visit relatives who were unable to attend the ceremony.


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