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Updates to Old Wedding Traditions

Weddings are full of customs and traditions passed down from one generation to the next, yet they are also ever-changing. Times change, trends change, and preferences change over the years. So while the same basic elements are still included in most weddings, they are often done in a fresh new way. Check out these updates to old wedding traditions.

Old Tradition: Wearing your mother's bridal gown and her wedding jewelry.

New Tradition: Using parts of your mother's bridal gown and wedding jewelry in combination with new pieces to put your personal stamp on them. Ideas include taking lace from your mom's gown to stitch onto a new bridal gown or wearing the pearl necklace from her wedding jewelry set with a new pair of dramatic pearl chandelier earrings. It is a great way to blend the old and the new.

Old Tradition: Bridal portraits. These were portraits taken in the photographer's studio shortly before the wedding day with the bride in her gown, veil, wedding jewelry, and full bridal regalia. Poses were traditional, and the main purpose was to showcase the beauty of the bride and capture the details of her wedding gown.

New Tradition: Engagement photos. These pictures are taken of the bride and groom together, often well before the wedding day. The trend in engagement pictures is for a photojournalistic style which captures the couple in their natural setting, such as in the city streets where they live. The idea is to document the bride and groom's relationship, rather than the beauty of the bridal gown.

Old Tradition: The bride's father escorting her down the aisle to "give her away".

New Tradition: The bride walking halfway down the aisle by herself, where she is met by her groom. They then walk together to the altar to exchange their vows. The symbolism is drastically different than in the old custom, as the bride is not being handed over from father to husband, but rather the bride and groom walk together into their future as a married couple.

Old Tradition: The bride is preceded down the aisle by a group of identical bridesmaids. Her bridal party traditionally wore the same dress, carried the same bouquet, wore the same shoes, and maybe even had the same hairstyle.

New Tradition: The bride is preceded down the aisle by a group of bridesmaid who look like individuals. They may be wearing different dresses, they might carry unique bouquets, each is wearing her choice of shoes, and they might even be dressed in different colors. What they have in common is that each bridesmaid feels beautiful because she was allowed to retain her personal style, rather than being forced to fit a mold.

Some brides may wish to fill their weddings with updated traditions, while others choose the old-fashioned way of doing some things and the contemporary version of others. That is just fine, because another important trend in weddings these days is personalization. Each couple can plan their wedding in a way which fits their unique personalities, styles, and families.