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The Interesting History of Wedding Traditions

No matter if it’s a local Wisconsin wedding or a wedding in middle-of-nowhere America, nuptials are full of traditions that have been around forever. From the bridal gown to the groomsmen, the basic pieces of modern weddings have a place deeply rooted in history. While many wedding traditions speak of love and commitment, some traditions have some very interesting origins. For instance:

  • The Bouquet

Those beautiful flowers carried by the bride and bridesmaids had a more metaphysical purpose in the early days. In Ancient Greece a bride would carry a bouquet of herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits that might want to curse her on her big day. Thankfully today the herbs and spices are used in the food and replaced by bunches of roses and lilies.

  • The White Dress

While a fancy white dress has become the standard for brides everywhere, in history brides usually wore distinct colors like red and blue to attract good fortune. The lacy white dress was introduced by Queen Victoria at her wedding. In the 1800’s, white was seen as a color representing wealth and privilege and Victoria chose a white dress. Soon the popularity of a white dress for the bride took over creating the tradition celebrated today.

  • The Bridesmaids and Best Man

More than just supportive friends, the purpose of these wedding helpers was a little more brutal. The bridesmaids, in ancient culture, dressed like the bride to confuse any evil spirits and individuals wishing the bride any harm. They also acted as a physical protection for the bride as she traveled to her groom’s village.
The best man’s original purpose was to literally capture the bride. In ancient cultures, to ensure that the marriage actually happened, the groom would choose his “best man” (as in most capable) to go and kidnap the bride from her family and bring her to him in order to circumvent any opposition. Thankfully, wedding traditions such as hand to hand combat and abduction has been replaced by  loving friends ready to help celebrate the big day.

  • The Wedding Ring

In ancient Jewish, Roman and Greek cultures the wedding ring was only worn by the bride. The ring was used as collateral to pay the father of the bride and mark the bride as taken property. Thankfully, the modern-day wearing of rings by both bride and groom show that they belong to each other as equals.
Whatever wedding traditions you choose for your big day, make it uniquely your own.

Beware the Wedding Stress

Let’s face it, becoming a bride is one part super exciting and three parts stress. The stress of planning a wedding can turn even a nice, calm woman into a moody, ball of nerves on the brink of break-down and tears. Sadly, many a Wisconsin wedding has been the undoing of perfectly good women who have been driven to extremes in the pursuit of the perfect wedding. Can this stress be stopped? Can a bride really plan a wedding and not break down due to the planning? The following are tips to help you, or the bride in your life, keep cool and minimize the stress:
• There will be bumps. You want your wedding to be perfect but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few hurdles along the way. Work together with your fiancé and family to handle those obstacles that might show up.

• Stick to that budget. Make a budget and set it in stone. Ice sculptures of swans over your allotted budget? Skip it and focus on making the other details of your wedding wonderful. Going over budget causes too much unwanted stress and can turn even the most level-headed bride into a puddle of tears.

• Don’t go it alone. Ask for help and accept the limitations of the people around you. You can’t do it all yourself; you will need help. Reach out to your trusted family and friends and let them help you. Keep communication open and constant to ensure everyone knows what is wanted and what needs to be done.

• Remember why you are doing this. You aren’t getting married for one day. You are starting out with your love on a life-long journey. The wedding isn’t the important thing; the marriage is. Focus on your love and what it means to you and why you are getting married. Keeping this perspective will allow you to see more clearly that you are setting up a successful marriage and not the wedding of the century.

If you do become a little stressed and feel your emotions getting the better of you, give your fiancé, close friends and family permission to step in and help you re-gain your balance. Sometimes we all need a little help to keep us from falling apart.

What to do for Your Bridesmaids

You are planning the perfect Wisconsin wedding, choosing a dress, picking out cake filling, looking forward to the day you and your sweetheart will say, “I do”. One traditional step in planning a wedding is to choose bridesmaids and groomsmen to complete a wedding party. When choosing your bridesmaids, there are some steps to follow to ensure that your day (and theirs) is special and memorable.

• How many of your friends will you have as bridesmaids? Large or small party, the choice is up to you. While a large party might be what you have hoped for, keeping your party smaller and focusing on your closest friends will make your day a little more special for all of you. It will feel like a special moment only you and your closest friends will share.
• When choosing outfits for your bridesmaids, ask for their input. The final decision will be yours, but you want to make sure all your bridesmaids have a general dress style that will flatter their shape. You might consider several dress styles in the same color to give a little variety. Consult with your party and see if you can find a solution that will work for your wedding.
• Will you be paying for everything or will they be required to foot some of the bill? Nothing will ruin a festive occasion faster than arguments about money. Be candid with everyone in your wedding party and lay out clear expectations about money to be spent. To lessen money fueled friction, be willing to pay for the bulk of the expenses for your bridesmaids (i.e.: the dresses, jewelry, lodging, etc.). You can work this into the wedding budget or consider having fewer bridesmaids if you will be covering their costs.
• The best thing you can do is say, “thank you.” Your friends will most likely be re-arranging their lives to help you plan and execute the perfect wedding. Take the time to personally thank each one of them for being there for you. A verbal thanks from you coupled with a heartfelt letter will let them know how much their friendship means to you.

Your wedding will be your day. Don’t forget to share it with your bridesmaids and make memories you can all cherish.

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