5 Wedding Traditions We Still Really Love
Trends come and go, but these traditions are here to stay. We always encourage couples to toss or reinvent any wedding traditions that don't work for them or to make up their own. That said, there are a few old-school customs we're still big fans of, and think you should be too. While you definitely don't need to have an even number of wedding attendants, do a first look or walk down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon in D Major, we recommend keeping these five tradition suggestions from expert wedding planner Lea Stafford in the mix.
1. STATEMENT BRIDAL BOUQUET
Gathering floral design inspiration is one of the most fun wedding tasks out there. It's hard to peel yourself away from scrolling through bouquet after bouquet packed with lush garden roses and peonies or eclectic bunches of pampas grass and protea. We're not here to judge if you find yourself peeking at dreamy wedding bouquet inspiration at lunch, while walking down the street and even as you're waiting for the elevator. In fact, we're here to say "go for it!" A statement bouquet is a great way to add that wow factor to your bridal style!
2. CHILDREN IN THE BRIDAL PARTY
Wondering what the scoop is on those cute little kids in the wedding party? Young children can play two main roles: ring bearer and page boys/girls. Pages help the bride with an extra-long train, while ring bearers bring the wedding rings (or fakes that look like the wedding rings) to the altar.
The ring bearer, traditionally a small boy aged four to eight, walks down the aisle just before the flower girl (if there is one), carrying a pillow with two rings tied to it. Since it's not the greatest idea to entrust gold rings to a rambunctious 6-year-old, the rings are usually fakes.
Are you the trusting sort? Well, if you trust the little tyke with your jewelry, at least have someone hand him the pillow replete with real rings just before he begins trekking down the aisle. If he gets hold of them too far in advance, it's more likely he'll lose them.
3. FIRST DANCE / SPECIAL DANCE
Of all the songs you'll hear on your wedding day, the first dance tune is one of the most important. Your processional song sets the tone for the ceremony and the reception playlist will keep guests on the dance floor, but your inaugural spin as newlyweds deserves to have a soundtrack that's meaningful and romantic. With so much significance surrounding the moment, you might wonder, "What should my first dance song be?" The best first dance songs are subjective to your relationship and your music preferences. You could go for a timeless classic, like "At Last" by Etta James, or something a little more modern, like "All of Me" by John Legend. But if you're stuck on finding the perfect tune, we have a fun hack to help you make a decision. Instead of turning to the music charts or your heavy rotation playlist on Spotify, let your birth year guide the selection.
4. HANDWRITTEN LETTERS
Handwriting vows or notes to your loved one is, by far, the best and most personal way to express your love and feelings. People love—seriously, love—receiving handwritten thank-you cards too as it shows you truly appreciate the time, money and energy put into getting a gift for you and being there on your day.
5. WEDDING CAKE
What's a party without cake? While wedding trends fluctuate year over year, wedding cake is one component that's here to stay. That's not to say reception desserts haven't evolved over time—now, plenty of couples put their personal spin on sweet treats, from alternative spreads to interactive experiences that revamp traditional catering. But of all the 2021 wedding trends, intentionality is an overarching theme that will influence what marriage celebrations look like in the next year. And while the coronavirus pandemic has substantially changed what gatherings are like now, some timeless wedding elements can't be replaced—like cake.
Planning: Lea Stafford Events | Photography: Mashaida Co | Venue: Private residence | Florals: Nancy Liu Chin Designs | Food & beverages: Red Door Catering | Bridal atiire: Unveiled San Francisco | Rentals: The Copper Rose Borrowed Blu & La Tavola | Stationery: Bourne Paper Co | Make up: Makeup by Panya | Hair: Good Body