Wedding Traditions for the Modern Bride

JULY 2015


We love all of the accouterments of the modern wedding, the way that things have evolved from stoic ceremonies to all-day celebrations, complete with unique touches that speak to and highlight the couples’ personal styles. However, we also love a good tradition. There’s something about them that grounds us amidst the modernity and adds a touch of nostalgia—and often a good deal of fun—to your big day. Below, we’ve highlighted a couple of our favorite wedding-day traditions that you can easily incorporate into your own wedding!

Something Old, Something New :: The old adage, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is probably one of the most popular wedding traditions out there. In going with the saying, the bride wears something that fits each category. Some of our favorite ways to bring this tradition to life? For your something blue, we love the idea of blue shoes—especially Tiffany blue. It’s a fun pop of color and makes for great photos! We especially love this when the bride is wearing a tea or knee-length dress, so the shoes can make a bold statement. Something borrowed or old? Your grandmother’s pearl necklace or your sister’s veil are both meaningful options. Some women even opt to wear their mother’s wedding dress, and just alter it with some modern updates! And something new? For many, it’s your wedding dress. But we also love all of the new styles of headpieces out there that step away from the traditional veil. Think: flower crown with peonies or garden roses, or something more subtle like greenery or baby’s breath. (Making flower crowns would be a fun bridal shower activity too—we personally love them!) And we can’t get enough of bejeweled headbands and hair combs from the likes ofa&be bridal shop. (As Minnesota Bride Magazine Best of2015 finalists for Best Accessories, they know what they’re talking about when it comes to topping off your look!) With this tradition, the options and variations are endless!

For the Boys :: I think it’s safe to say that the gentlemen’s favorite wedding tradition, besides the much-anticipated kiss at the alter, is the garter. We’ve been to weddings where the DJ or reception host makes a big production of the retrieving of the garter—it’s a fun way to get some crowd interaction and get the couple back front-and-center in the middle of the reception, when everyone is mingling. However, this is one tradition that super shy couples may want to forego. ; ) Another special tradition for the groom, and one that is not seen as often anymore, is the groom’s cake. Traditionally, the bride will have a separate cake made in honor of the groom in a way that highlights his personality. It is usually intricate and highly detailed and elaborate. For brides who like to take charge and do most of the wedding planning, this is a sweet way to pause on your special day, show your groom that you’ve been thinking about him and not just the production of the wedding itself—showing how much you love him, how well you know him, and how excited you are to be his wife.

All the Single Ladies :: While the bouquet toss is the tried and true tradition to for the single ladies at your wedding, we have one that is a little less expected and adds a more interactive element to the surprise. It’s the cake pull! When your cake is being prepared, the baker will hide a ring under the bottom layer of your cake, with a ribbon attached to it. Other ribbons will then be placed around the cake as decoys. Then, all of your single friends will gather around the cake, grab a ribbon, and pull—and whoever pulls out the ring is said to be the next to get married! (If you don’t want to mess with your wedding cake, this would also be a fun game for a bridal shower—you could even add traditional charms, so each friend walks away with a “prediction” of their future. You can read more about this tradition HERE!)

Cheers to the Happy Couple :: We love a good champagne toast at a wedding. But what we love even more? A toast steeped in tradition! Enter: Bury the Bourbon. According to tradition, couples who are having an outdoor wedding or reception should bury a bottle of bourbon upside down at the site of your venue to make sure there’s no rain on your big day. Then, after the reception, dig it up, gather your wedding party together, and drink it up! Cheers, indeed!

Do you have any traditions you’re incorporating on your wedding day? Any that we didn’t list? We’d love to hear.