Figuring out how your wedding is going to work means paying attention to all the details, both big and small. You’ll have to consider what your venue will be, where your reception will take place and what you’ll wear. Beyond that are all the little things, like silverware and seating. Everything is up to you, including what wedding traditions you take part in.
Wedding ceremonies have been happening for a long time, so there are tons of traditions to sift through. Read on for some of the most sentimental wedding traditions that may work for your wedding. Including one or two could change how you feel over the course of your big day.
1. Take a Parental Cue
There’s a way you can honor your parents with a very sweet wedding tradition. Find out where they were married and think about having your ceremony at the same venue, even if that means traveling to a far-flung destination. It’s a thoughtful and touching way to say you love and appreciate them. Be prepared with tissues when you tell them!
2. Plant a Pine Tree
Finding a pine sapling and having it at your wedding will work well if your wedding relies on foliage. The Dutch have a tradition where the married couple has a sapling at their reception. Guests write down their good wishes and tie them to different branches.
When you both find your first home, you can plant the sapling in memory of your wedding. The pine represents long life and well-being, so it’s symbolic to the start of a happy marriage. You can even do this tradition with a cutout of a tree.
3. Fill a Hope Chest
When you start your marriage, there’s hope shared by you and those who love you that it will be a long and happy relationship. The Amish place great importance on this through the giving of hope chests. Traditionally, a girl gets a hope chest when she’s young and fills it with special items from her family that will help her create her own home one day.
Now, hope chests are filled with things like kitchen supplies, bed linens, silverware and other little necessities that a new couple may not have. They’re meant to help start the newly married couple’s life on a positive note, with hope and love from the community.
4. Put Bumper Cans on Your Car
In the movies, when a married couple runs out of their wedding venue, they pile into a limo. Sometimes there are words written on the windows, streamers on the trunk or other ways to point out to passing cars that they were just married.
People still tie cans to their bumpers to keep the celebration going while they ride to their next destination. It’s an easily affordable wedding tradition that’s cute and can be made with the people you love. Have everyone bring a can over and decorate it with paint for a little bit of personalizing.
5. Hand fast at Your Ceremony
An Irish wedding tradition states that at the beginning of a wedding ceremony, the couple must have their hands loosely bound with ribbons or braided cords. It’s a visual way to literally tie the knot with your fiance in front of your friends and family. The knots are then undone at the end of the ceremony, so you both are released as a married couple.
6. Exchange Gold Wedding Rings
Rings are known for being symbols of eternity because they don’t stop or start in any clear place. Exchanging rings on your wedding day is a promise to love and cherish your significant other forever but using gold rings will take the symbolism to an even greater level. Gold represents exclusivity, because it’s not a material everyone has. It’s a way of promising yourself only to your spouse in a way they can look at every day.
7. Go Back to Where It Began
Is there a place you and your fiance love? It may be a location where you first said you loved each other, where you got engaged or anything else that stands out in your relationship. See if there’s a way you can get married there or work it into your reception, so you can honor what’s truly meaningful to your relationship.
8. Get Showered with Rice
Another way people show that they wish a lifetime of happiness to a married couple is by showering them with rice as they leave their wedding venue or reception. Rice has always meant prosperity, good fortune and even fertility, so it’s been showered on married couples for hundreds of years. Try it on your wedding day for an extra bit of good luck.
9. Have Something Blue
Before everyone began to attribute purity with the color white, it used to be blue. That’s why it’s in the popular saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Now it stands for love and fidelity as well, so have something blue on you to add a tiny wedding tradition.
10. Place Herbs in Your Bouquet
Plenty of brides use flowers for their wedding bouquet, but if you want to break the mold with a sweet wedding tradition, use herbs instead. You can look up what wedding herbs mean so you have the right intentions for your wedding traditions. Using things like rosemary for remembrance and thyme for strength will be something you can secretly hold dear as you walk down the aisle. Work some herbs into a regular flowery bouquet for a mix of both new and old wedding traditions.
Deciding which wedding traditions will be used in your ceremony can feel like a big deal, especially when there’s so many to choose from. After reading about these sentimental traditions, you may feel inspired to include something you hadn’t known about before. Whatever feels true to who you are and the love you share with your fiance will be the perfect wedding tradition addition.