Wedding Traditions From Around The United States
Ever wondered what traditions brides all over the U.S. are incorporating into their wedding days? Well, look no farther! We’ve compiled a short list of a few standard wedding traditions, and a few regional traditions that you might want to take a look at!
1. Burying the Bourbon.
This is a southern tradition. It is said to have started in either Virginia or Tennessee, but southern folklore says that if the couple buries a bottle of bourbon at the site where they are to marry, then it won’t rain on their wedding day. This is not a tradition for the faint of heart. There are a few stipulations that the couple must obey. First, the bottle must be buried exactly one month before the wedding date. Secondly, it must be buried upside down. Thirdly, the bottle must be full. Rumor has it that it will rain if you haven’t followed these directions to a T. But, if you’re having an outdoor wedding, it might be worth it. And, let’s be honest, it makes for a fun photo opportunity.
2. Writing on the bottoms of shoes.
This is actually a Greek custom that Americans have adapted to mean a few different things. There are a couple of ways to implement this into your big day. First, the original Greek custom says that the bridesmaids write their names on the bottom of the bride’s shoe. Whoever’s name does not rub off by the end of the night is the next one to get married. We’ve also seen it done where the bride writes individual notes to each of her bridesmaids on the bottoms of their shoes, and the one with the most ink left by the end of the night is the next to get married. Whichever way you choose to do this one, it’ll be a fun alternative (or addition) to the original bouquet toss at the reception. Plus, your bridesmaids may even get a little extra note from you – on their shoe.
3. Throwing rice.
This one has been going on for centuries. Seriously. In fact, you might have already looked up alternatives to rice for your guests to chuck at you as you exit your ceremony. And while some couples are opting for sprinkles and confetti, rice is actually a sign of prosperity. A grain of rice is considered a “life-giving” seed in many cultures, which is why many couples still choose to have their guests throw rice. Just to debunk any myth you’ve heard, rice does not hurt the birds. However, some venues have said no to rice-throwing because of the clean-up needed afterward. Be aware of that whether your guests will be throwing rice, confetti, or bird seed.
4. Smashing dishes on the ground.
This is a traditional Greek tradition. However, it was originally made up to symbolize mourning, as a way to deal with great loss. But, it has been adapted over the decades to symbolize happiness and celebration within the confines of the wedding tradition. It’s been seen as a display of wealth, because instead of washing the plates after the guests have eaten, they are thrown on the ground. Many experts also say that this tradition has actually become a foreigner’s stereotypical view of Greek culture because Greeks themselves do not practice this as much as Americans do.
5. Money dance.
Originating in Poland in the early 1900s in immigrant neighborhoods, this tradition doesn’t happen as often as you’d think in the U.S. Basically, male guests pay a certain amount of money to dance with the bride, and sometimes female guests will pay to dance with the groom. I’ve seen it done where the couple uses that money for the honeymoon. In Poland, it started as a way to give the couple a little extra to help with setting up their new home.
6. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
An oldie, but a goodie. This tradition originated in 1898 in England. Who knew?? In the newness that weddings bring through change, the “something old” represents continuity – that you would always have a piece of your former life with you. The “something new” offers optimism for your future as a new Mrs. “Something borrowed” originated as this idea that you borrow happiness, and “something blue” is a sign of purity, love and fidelity. In Britain, where this custom is most often practiced, there is a line that Americans have left out: “And a Sixpence in your shoe.” This is a wish for prosperity and good-fortune as you tie the knot. Maybe we should bring that back!
So there you have it: six traditions that may not have meant what you tho