February 11, 2008

Silly Superstitions and Traditions


So I’ve spent hours this morning poking around on Flickr, particularly through the favorites stream of Lagomorph. I just couldn’t help myself. It’s really fun to come up with a picture of someone just through the images that they favorite and Lagomorph’s was amazingly expressive. For instance, she obviously has a thing for small woodland creatures like birds and deer and especially rabbits. She is crazy about crafts and all of the drool-worthy craftrooms out there that are filled to the brim with baskets, drawers, mason jars, tubs, spools, etc. Likewise, she’s totally into the shabby chic style with Victorian details like lace, cameos, and other dainty things. She likes clean, bright, classy decor along the lines of Pottery Barn and some Ikea. There’s also a sprinkle of pin-up fun in there too.

So after looking through the majority of her favorites, many of which are now mine, I actually ventured to her profile to see what she had to say about herself. Turns out she’s a pretty awesome blogger who is planning a wedding for her and her partner. If you’re into wedding details like I am, you might want to check out her blog, TwoBrides. (It has some good resources for same-sex couples looking to get hitched.)

From her blog, I found this, a list of wedding traditions that are on their way out (originally posted on PlanningForever.com):

Number One: Bouquet/garter toss (no surprise). More couples are ditching this long time tradition for many reasons. For some they know their guest list and the fact that there are more married people attending the reception than singles. For others, they just know how lame this goes. Who catches the bouquet 9 times out of 10? A six year old girl. Whoopeeee! And the dudes? Well AFTER you take 10 minutes of embarrassing them to get them on the dance floor, they stand their like statues with their hands folded, refusing to even get near the tossed garter. After it lands on the floor, who gets it? The 3 year old boy that just rushed in from the side lines.
This tradition is OOUUT!

Number Two: Formal guests books. Yawn. Some of those guests books ask for everything but the guest’s social security number. It takes forever to fill out and backs up the guests out the front door when trying to enter the ceremony site. You’ll never look at this thing again. Instead, look for newer traditions such as; photo books, signed photo mats, small pieces of paper that guests can give advice and then make a scrap book.
This tradition is OOUUT!

Number Three: NOT seeing each other before the wedding. Most important day of your life for the both of you, and you spend HALF that day trying to not see each other. Huh? I love the weddings that my clients start the pictures before the wedding, the vibe is just so cool and much better (but that is for another post). See each other. Do yourself and your guests a favor.
This tradition is OOUUT!

Number Four (finally): Champagne Toasts. I’ve put beer, wine, 7-up, juice, diet coke, punch, and water in the champagne flutes for my clients. Not everyone likes champagne, so don’t waste the money. And certainly, if you are on a budget, cut this out for all the guests. During the toasts they will hold it up to their lips, barely touch it and then set it down. Let them toast with whatever is in front of them. Save your bucks.
This tradition is OOUUT!

I have to agree with this list. There are definite times when one of these items is done well or have good reason, but I see this less and less. I ask every bride I meet with if she plans on doing the bouquet/garter toss and it’s about 90% no. Likewise, seeing each other before the ceremony is now a really popular choice and, as a photographer, I couldn’t agree more! Here are some of the reasons why you should consider breaking this ancient superstition:

1) It is an ancient superstition. Here is the reasoning that I found:

Until relatively recently, brides were considered the property of their father. Their futures and husbands were arranged without their consent. The marriage of an unattractive woman was often arranged with a prospective groom from another town without either of them having ever seen their prospective spouse. In more than one instance, when the groom saw his future wife, usually dressed in white, for the first time on the day of the wedding, he changed his mind and left the bride at the altar. To prevent this from happening, it became “bad luck” for the groom to see the bride on the day of the wedding prior to the ceremony.

2) The first time you see each other on your wedding day should be romantic and special. You’re going to want to speak to each other. He’s going to want to tell her how stunning she looks in her dress. You’re going to want to be close to one another because you won’t have the opportunity for the rest of the day. The alternative is waiting until the bridewalks down the aisle – the couple has to be mute and hold their feelings in check because they’re in front of an audience.

3) The photographs that come out of this meeting are so emotional. Or, you could choose for this to be just between the two of you – a few minutes of sanity and sweetness before the big events and guests.

4) Getting the formals finished before the ceremony has so many benefits:

  • your hair and makeup will be fresh (if you think you might cry during your ceremony, you really might want to consider formals before the ceremony)
  • your flowers will be fresh
  • you can actually experience your own cocktail hour after the ceremony because you won’t be spending that hour taking the formals
  • you won’t have to hear “the guests are waiting!”
  • you can have the time to be more creative with your wedding party pictures
  • you can have the time to be more creative with your couple pictures

5) This superstition is right up there with superstitions like

  • it is bad luck to make your own wedding dress
  • it is bad luck to wear your full wedding outfit before the wedding day
  • it is bad luck to look at yourself in the mirror too many times on your wedding day
  • it is bad luck to receive knives as wedding gifts (you can counteract this by giving the donor a coin to turn this into a transaction)
  • it is bad luck to wear pearls
  • it is bad luck to try on the wedding ring before the wedding
  • it is bad luck to write your married name before the wedding day
  • it is bad luck to marry in May

If you happen to be very superstitious or have family and friends that would disown you if you didn’t follow these traditions, I can completely understand. After all, it is your wedding day. As a wedding photographer, I’ll go along with whatever decisions you make and there will be beautiful pictures to show for it.

Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday best of all,
Thursday for losses,
Friday for crosses,
Saturday for no luck at all

Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind & true,
When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know.
Marry in April when you can, Joy for Maiden & for Man.
Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily bred.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see
Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.

edit: Here’s another blog post on this same topic from Sparkliatti.

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