50 Romantic Wedding Ceremony Ideas & Practices
Entwining Old Wedding Customs & Traditions For a Romantic Wedding
TIP: Wedding traditions have long-held great significance to the bride and the groom. Many recognize the need for tradition, value and strong beliefs. Many couples include the basic customs into their ceremonies, while others practice the full extent. Either way, you can't escape tradition. Depending on religion and beliefs, many traditions are the normal part of the ceremony and the celebration. The celebration is just as important in its significance. Many have specific origins and historical value, while some traditions are virtually practiced and shared without truly knowing where they originated from............take your time and read on.......these unique and romantic wedding ceremony shower reception and engagement ideas are worth a look!
Entwining Old Wedding Customs & Traditions For a Romantic Wedding
IDEA #1: Scottish Wedding Announcements in the medieval Church announced intended marriages through a process called the banns of marriage. Select or hire a well-suited man to announce the banns of marriage during the party. Include in the banns the wedding date and other vital information. For a humorous addition, include the required duties of the wife and husband.
IDEA #2: Flouncing was a special party held for an engaged couple to meet with friends of both families. This "flouncing" established a formal contract. If either changed his mind about the marriage, the other could lay claim to half of his, or her, property. Following a flouncing, the couple could no longer be seen with, or be found talking to, other suitors. In China, the betrothal was looked upon as a family obligation. If an engaged man died before the wedding, his intended bride was treated as his widow. Flounce the engaged couple by preparing a Contract that includes humorous and contractual duties of the couple; include property and other items.
IDEA #3: To make the engagement official, the couple can exchange betrothal rings in the presence of the family and guests. In Germany, to mark their betrothal, a couple give each other gold bands, worn on their left hands. Throughout their engagement, the couple are referred to as bride and bridegroom.
IDEA #4: The Danish Gate of Honor is a Gate of Honor erected in front of the bride's parents' house. It consists of a long garland of branches put up as an inverted-U to form an archway. The branches are made from pine, or oak. The Gate can be attached around the doorway or left freestanding somewhere across the path leading to the house. This Gate of Honor is also erected when a married couple celebrates their silver anniversary. Add a special touch at the engagement party using this custom.
IDEA #5: As a sign of a new family being created, part of the celebration can include planting a favorite tree, rose bush or other cherished bush or vine. In Norway, two small fir trees are set on either side of the door to the couple's house until they are blessed with a child.
IDEA #6: During Medieval times in Brittany the man proposed by leaving a hawthorn branch at the door of his beloved on the first of May. By leaving the branch at the door she accepted his proposal. She made known her refusal by replacing the hawthorn branch with a cauliflower. For a touch of humor, try this scenario in the presence of the guests, with the father of the bride giving her a choice between a decorated branch or cauliflower.
IDEA #7: In Hungary, the couple exchange betrothal rings. The groom also gives the bride a silk bag of coins. This custom gives notice of intent to the family. The bride gives the groom either three or seven handkerchiefs (believed to be a lucky number). Use the gold dollar coins for this exchange. The bride can use monogrammed handkerchiefs.
Engagement Party Planner
IDEA #8: In old China, the color of love and joy is red, which is the favorite color choice for the bride’s dress, candles, gift boxes, and the money envelopes that are presented to the bride and guests. Use “red” as the theme, complete with parasols!
IDEA #9: A few have witnessed the success of giving each guest a name tag indicating their relation to the bride, such as mother, future mother-in-law, maid of honor, bridesmaid, best friend, cousin, sister-in-law to-be, hostess, etc.
IDEA #10: In Croatia, married female relatives remove the bride’s veil and replace it with a kerchief and apron, symbols of her new married status. She is then serenaded by all the married women. Use as a game during the shower by dividing up into teams and dressing up one team member in “married woman attire” (apron, kerchief, oven mitt), providing each team with a roll of toilet paper. The bride chooses the best outfit. Include color swatches in shower invitations so guests know the colors the bride has chosen for her bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, etc.
IDEA #11: In Ireland, a lucky horseshoe is given to the bride and groom to keep in their home. Make horseshoe mementoes for the guests by decorating them and adding a poem and this custom to it
IDEA #12: In Finland, the bride-to-be was considered "snobbish" if she did not go door-to-door to receive her gifts in a pillowcase---the custom of Collecting. Accompanying her, an elderly married man, carrying an umbrella (for shelter), came along and was given a drink at each door. Today, an umbrella is used as a decoration symbolizing "protection". Give shower guests miniature umbrellas as party favors. Using a small, lacy, paper doily and pipe cleaners, fold the lace doily in half. Bring both sides together with a tip forming at the top. Cut pipe cleaners in half. Place the pipe cleaner inside the paper doily and secure with tape. Form the bottom of the pipe cleaner in the shape of a curved handle. Using clear address labels, type the bride and groom’s name, wedding date, shower date or other information. Place one label on each umbrella.
IDEA #13: The wedding veil was used to protect the bride from evil spirits. As a symbol of this tradition, create a simple veil made of tulle and have all the bows from the gifts pinned on the veil. The bows are to be used for the couple’s first Christmas together.
Bridal Luncheon or Tea
IDEA #14: Have a cake baked with the symbolic charms Another old English custom was to place a ring in the wedding cake. The guest who found the ring in their the piece of cake would be ensured happiness for the next year.
IDEA #15: Provide each guest with candy-coated almonds wrapped in tulle as a favor (Greek). Giving almonds at a wedding celebration are to symbolize the bitter and sweet of married life. The five almonds stand for Love, Happiness, Loyalty, Prosperity and virility.
IDEA #16: In Armenia, two while doves may be released to signify love and happiness. Use a decorated wicker birdcage with two silk white doves as a decorator piece for the theme of the Luncheon or Tea.
Wales: Here, and throughout the British Isles, the bride gives her attendants cuttings of myrtle (symbolizing love) for her bouquet. According to custom, if the plant roots and blossoms, they will marry soon
IDEA #17: Rosemary wreaths, handmade by the mother or grandmother of the bride is a century old tradition for brides in the countryside of Czechoslovakia. A variation of this today is seen as wreaths of baby’s breath and miniature roses, worn as often by the attendants as the bride herself.
IDEA #18: The symbolic color of happiness and prosperity for the Chinese is red. Include red foiled hearts or confetti (or a red rose petal) in the wedding invitation which will sprinkle out when your guests open the envelope.
IDEA #19: The custom in Finland was to go “collecting” and filling pillowcases with gifts. In using this custom, attend a bridal fair, having the bridesmaids or maid of honor can have the duty of collecting brochures, calling cards and information, filling up bags for the bride while she devotes her attention to looking at displays and asking questions
IDEA #20: In France, during the rein of Louis XVI, the bride gave her bridesmaids her fans, decorated with mythological paintings, as wedding presents. Give each bridesmaid a Victorian fan, decorated with symbolic paintings.
IDEA #21: The traditional wedding toasts can be offered in many ways. On your reply card, ask your guests to list a favorite song for the band/DJ to play in dedication to the new couple, and expressing best wishes or marriage advice.
IDEA #22: Imaginary trolls in Sweden, once thought to bring misfortune to the young couple, were kept away by the bride, as well as her bridesmaids, carrying bouquets of pungent herbs and stinking weeds. Today, those stinking herbs and weeds have been replaced by the lovely bouquets carried on the arms of brides throughout the world. Lightly spray each invitation envelope with perfume. As an option, place all envelopes in a plastic bag, filled with potpourri sachet packets which will enhance the fragrance of the invitation and envelope for the guests (and the postal workers).
IDEA #23: A lovely tradition has long been practiced in Belgium to make and embroider a handkerchief for the bride to carry during her wedding. The brides name would also be embroidered on it. Following the wedding, she would them frame the handkerchief and hang it on the wall until the next wedding in the family, at which time it was to be taken down and the new bride’s name embroidered on it as well. This was handed down from generation to generation. Add a special touch by embroidery the names and wedding dates of your ancestry. Bridal Handkerchief: This is a lucky sign for farmers. A bride’s wedding tears bring rain for their crops.
IDEA #24: Breaking of the bread symbolizing the union of two families. Instead of slicing into your beautiful wedding cake which stands so majestic on the table—have two! Construct a cake using Styrofoam, fully decorated with icing and frosting. Have the “real cake” baked in sheet cake style using your favorite filling, flavor and frosting. For creativity, construct the Styrofoam into a castle or other forms.
IDEA #25: The groom presents the bride with a small, decorated chest which contains money or symbolic representation of money, symbolizing his faithfulness to her and commitment to support her. Mexican The arras, a small chest of gold coins symbolizing wealth and strength, is blessed; groom may present 13 gold coins to the bride as a symbol of his commitment to support her
IDEA #26: “Love Tokens”. What a charming custom the Welsh and Pennsylvania Dutch couples had of giving one another hand crafted gifts, useful for their future home. Such things as cake molds, butter prints, carved spoon which were covered with symbols and announcements of their love for one another.
IDEA #27: Hold decorated candles as the Bride and Groom exchange vows as the Germans do. This beautiful old tradition could be included in a wedding of today, with the couple placing candles they have carried to the alter beside their unity candle. These candles could then be used to light the unity candle at the end of the ceremony. Also, these candles could light a special memorial candle in the event that a loved one has passed on and remembrance is desired during the ceremony.
IDEA #28: Swedish wives wear three wedding rings: for betrothal, for marriage, and for motherhood. The minister could include a scripture about fertility when a third ring is given to the bride during the ceremony.
IDEA #29: In Scandinavian customs, fiddlers and horns accompany the wedding procession to the church. Have trumpeters (or other musicians) lead the procession down the aisle.
IDEA #30: Have the flower girl go down the aisle handing out tiny rose buds or flowers to guests on at the ends of the pews. The familiar English tradition of a flower girl throwing rose petals as she passes down the aisle before the bride is a reminder of days gone by when the bride walked to the church with her maids in waiting. Leading the procession was always a young girl throwing flower petals along the lane, so the bride’s path through life would be happy and laden with flowers.
IDEA #31: Leading the procession: a small girl strewing blossoms along the road. With a bit of a twist, decorate a Red Flyer wagon for your small attendants to ride in down the aisle if they are uncomfortable about walking down the aisle. A junior bridesmaid (about age 10) could pull the wagon down to the alter and settle the children.
IDEA #32: Wonderful idea for an interesting unity candle—buy a three wick candle, have the parents of the groom light one wick while the parents of the bride are lighting another wick, then have the bride and groom light the remaining wick to unit the families represented. Children blended with the new family unit can also light a candle.
IDEA #33: The lasso, a figure-eight rope, symbolically ties the couple together and is binding (Mexican). Decorate a long garland or rope which is placed around the couple during the vows or during other parts of the ceremony.
IDEA #34: English weddings are held at noon with a sit-down luncheon afterwards. Mid-morning ceremonies provide a special event with a wedding breakfast afterwards. To continue the day’s events, a dance is sponsored in the evening
IDEA #35: Have everything white as the French do! Dresses, flowers, decorations, mother’s dresses, bridesmaids dresses, etc.
IDEA #36: Have Bagpipes playing outside the church after the bride and groom depart and as guests leave the church! Scottish grooms wear the kilt of his “Clan”, and bagpipe music is played at the entrance and recessional of the bridal party.
IDEA #37: One of the most simple, yet elegant of ceremonies, is the Moravian Wedding Ritual. The bridal couple together lights one large candle. The flame is passed along to each guest, who each has been given a hand-made candle. Each guest lights the candle of the one beside until the whole church is aglow with the warmth of love of family and friends. This is a wonderful way to include your family and friends. Include this custom during the lighting of the unity candle.
Sand Ceremony-Alternative to the unity candle, the Bride & Groom mix different colors of sand or 2 colors from their vial into a lovely glass dish or vase that create layers to symbolize their differences as one, to form unity and know that the waves of the sand are like marriage with its ups and downs.
Wedding Reception & Dance
#IDEA #38: In Switzerland, a pine tree, which symbolizes luck and fertility, is planted at the couple’s new home. Use small pine trees decorated as you wish and instruct guests to plant their tree as a special remembrance. These small evergreen trees are easy to decorate with ribbon, a poem and other items, and is good for the environment. This ideas can also be used when decorating guest tables at the reception.
IDEA #39: Today’s love tokens could include a song or poem written by the groom to his bride, or a hand embroidered handkerchief for the groom. Whatever your special craft, whether it be tole painting, crocheting, wood carving, or any number of other ideas, just remember, the idea behind the gift is to give something of yourself, created with loving thoughts to the one you love.
IDEA #40: Guests at many Mexican weddings gather around the couple in a heart-shaped ring at the reception, perhaps before the first dance. The wedding party may also take this responsibility.
IDEA #41: This tradition of the bride and groom cutting the first slice of cake is of Victorian origin. It was considered bad luck if the bride did not cut the first piece for her groom.
IDEA #42: English couples in the countryside traditionally walked to church with their wedding party. During the reception have the wedding party (and others) follow the couple around the reception hall with music in the background as a way of greeting the guests.
IDEA #43: In Korea, ducks are included in the wedding procession because ducks mate for life. It the reception is being held near a pool area, consider have swans swimming around.
IDEA #44: Following the ceremony in Switzerland, a junior bridesmaid would lead the procession to the reception by passing out colored handkerchiefs to the guests along the way. Each guest would then in turn give a coin to the bridesmaid for the starting up of the new home. Today, a junior bridesmaid could pass out colored pieces of cloth of multi-colors and patterns. The guests could search for the other matching piece(s) and dance with their partners.
IDEA #45: In Finland, brides once wore crowns of gold. Following the wedding and during the reception, the tradition known as the “Dance of the Crowns” took place. The bride would be blindfolded, while her unmarried maids would dance around her in a circle. She would remove her crown and place it on a maiden, and whoever she crowned was said to be the next to marry. This custom could be easily be reborn by the bride who wears a wreath rather than a veil, and she too could dance the “Dance of Crowns”. A special wreath or floral-decorated crown could be used for this special, added touch!
IDEA #46: Quaker tradition does not include clergy, so the wedding certificate is not only signed by the bride, groom , maid of honor and best man, but, all the guests who promise to help the newlyweds grow as a couple, and all sign as witnesses. Purchase a Victorian Marriage Certificate and have matted in a color tone which allows for guests to sign around the border. Designate a person to gather signatures with the instructions of having guest offer specific wishes, a compliment such as “you looked beautiful” or your best piece of marital advice. This treasure will last a lifetime, and easily handed down to the next generation. The wedding certificate is hung in a prominent place in the new household as a beautiful memento to treasure.
IDEA #47: Bells....If you are to be married in church and it is permitted by the denomination, the chime of wedding bells as the bridal party leaves is an old tradition in many parts of the British Isles. It was thought that the sound of bells had the power to ward off evil spirits, so it’s worth checking into! Alternatively, if your ceremony venue makes it impossible to have the peal of bells accompany your recessional, you might consider giving each guest a tiny bell which they can ring as the bridal party exits. This might also be a better choice than throwing confetti, birdseed or flower petals, which, in many places, isn’t allowed anymore. In addition to warding off evil spirits, there’s another old Irish superstition that the sound of a bell will eliminate any discord between a couple. As a result, a bell has become a traditional Irish wedding gift.
IDEA #48: In Italy, wedding guests have for centuries tossed confetti (sugared almonds) at the newlyweds to symbolize the sweet (sugar ) and bitter. Decorate each place at the reception with pretty little tulle bags called bomboniere, which are personalized with the couple’s names and wedding date
IDEA #49: "Wishing Well" Tradition
Growing in popularity with the Brides is the Wishing Well theme. Be careful in that this new theme might not be popular with your guests--as gifts are given in the spirit of the heart. In lieu of gifts (for the couple who have everything already), the bride and groom set up a wishing well to receive monetary gifts placed in envelopes. The money can be used to purchase larger home items or be used for the honeymoon. Check with the rental companies, crafts stores and hobby shops to rent a Wishing Well. These can be decorated with silk flowers and other items. Creative Wishing Wells can also be made/built by creative people! Be sure to add a lock for safety-sake. Add an embossed Victorian Folding fan on your Wishing Well! Favors
IDEA #50: "Wishing Well Tradition"
poem by Valerie Tillery
We are getting married and have our dowries combined.
Dishes, lace and linens in the cupboard,
the marriage certificate has been signed.
Be a part of our “Wishing Well” wishes for the gifts that we desire.
If not for you, it would be hard for us to acquire.
Our hopes are for the bigger things,
We plea for your help to see what that will bring.
Giving a monetary gift on our special day,
Will fill our hearts in a unique way.
So, drop a pretty card in our “Wishing Well”---
Any amount will do.
And as you drop the envelope, make a wish upon your heart to come true.
Fancy this “Wishing Well” tradition and make our dreams happen too!
How TO Educate your Guests about the Customs you use.....
Have master of ceremonies or DJ announce or refer to them during the process
Type on Wedding and/or Reception Program
Prepare a special handout for the tables, listing the customs you have chosen to use
Have the pastor refer to the custom during the ceremony
During the Rehearsal Dinner type custom(s) on the back of place cards
At the Shower, have the hostess refer to the customs being used
Include customs on a separate insert when mailing Wedding Invitation
Include on your seating chart at the Reception
Type on clear labels for attaching on items