5 Traditions That Will Never Die (And Why!)

By now you've probably heard the phrase "it's tradition!" like a hundred times. While some wedding traditions are arguably on their way to being out of fashion (it seems like every year fewer brides make time for a garter toss), there's good reason why some of these tried-and-true wedding staples are still around: They're steeped in history. And while your version of the tradition might look different than the original, the sentiment and meaning is still the same.
by Simone Hill
  1. The Wedding Cake

    Rustic fresh flower wedding cake
    Jesse Leake Photography

    The sweetest part of the wedding day dates back to ancient Greece, when couples shared crushed sesame cakes to ensure fertility, and the concept evolved into the confection we know and love today. And while the wedding cake can have many different looks -- from a three-tier buttercream cake to a cupcake tower or even a stack of doughnuts -- the idea behind it is still intact. In other words, sharing something sweet together on your wedding day with each other and your guests is a symbol of your union, and that'll never go out of style.

    Fresh New Idea: "We're not cake fans (I even own a bakery), so we didn't really want cake. I'm making a small cutting cake so we can have that tradition, but then we're breaking all the rules. I have some friends who opened a self-serve frozen yogurt place in town a few years ago and last year they started doing mobile events. Everyone gets a six-ounce serving and can then pile on as many toppings (we get five) as they want! We can even choose up to eight flavors, and if we don't serve it all, no big deal -- they'll use it in the store!" - snowdaisy822

  2. The Bridal Shower


    Bridal showers are just as steeped in history as the details of the actual wedding day. This tradition began three centuries ago in Holland. If the father didn't approve of his daughter's fiance and refused to give her a proper dowry, the girl's friends would come to her rescue, showering her with gifts so that she would have a dowry and could marry the man of her choosing. Today, bridal showers are thrown by the bride's friends and family as a show of love and support for the bride and her transition into married life. Today's prewedding parties are leaving behind the formalities, which means couples are changing the traditional party format to fit their style and preferences.

    Fresh new idea: "When my daughter married, the shower was small enough to include members from both families. Her fiance arrived halfway into the shower just prior to gift opening. He sat beside her and they opened gifts together. I think his family enjoyed seeing him there." - mobkaz

  3. Not Seeing Each Other

    Bride and groom first look in the woods
    Bradley James Photography

    There are so many options -- from a classic white ball gown to an edgy and mod jumpsuit -- that will make a bride look stunning on her wedding day. But it's more about the anticipation of the couple seeing each other for the very first time on the day they've chosen to commit, than it is about just the dress. You've spent a lot of time choosing every detail of how'll you'll look, from your dress to the shoes and your makeup, and you want to make it a romantic moment where you soak it all in. Doing a first look makes for a great photo shoot and creates an intimate moment together before you meet up with family and friends. It doesn't matter if the big reveal happens on the ceremony aisle or the day before -- it's about the feeling you have in that moment, and for a lot of couples that's very emotional. Take a look at these first look photos if you don't believe us.

    Fresh new idea: "I went out and got a second dress, a tea-length dress, and am going to wear that for the first look. Yeah, it kind of defeats the purpose a little, but the plan is for him to think that's my wedding dress, then I'm going to change into my gown after the first look. I'm sooooo excited about it though! We get the special moment of a first look, but also the surprise when I come down the sandy aisle in my gown. He's constantly surprising me, so I'm ecstatic for this on our big day!" - kls33145

  4. Holding the Bouquet

    Succulent, anemone and orchid bridal bouquet
    Brooke Images

    Brides throughout history have carried or worn flowers on their wedding day (it's true!). In some cultures it was thought that carrying a bouquet of flowers would help ward off evil spirits, and in ancient Rome brides carried bunches of herbs to symbolize fidelity and fertility. Even if you're not into the meaning behind the flowers, carrying a bouquet is a no-brainer to add pretty fresh decor, color and scent to your wedding, not to mention they can be arranged to fit any wedding style! Fresh flowers aren't the only option available to couples: Paper and flower bouquets are a hot alternative to fresh blooms, and since they're nonperishable, it means you can keep your bouquet forever (and even pass it down to future brides!).

    Fresh new idea: "I'm debating between paper flowers, fabric flowers, pinwheels or a brooch. But so far, the front-runners are (recycled) paper flowers :)" - FrankensteinsGirl

  5. The Rings

    Bride, mom and grandma wedding rings
    Nikki Mills

    Circles have been a symbol associated with everlasting love since the time of ancient Egypt (it's believed the pharaohs of Egypt first used the circle, a shape with no beginning or end, as a symbol of eternity), but wearing a ring as a public pledge to honor the marriage contract didn't become customary until Roman times. The earliest rings were made of simple iron, but gold rings set with gems became fashionable by medieval days. The point isn't for couples to have the biggest, flashiest diamond ring; it's the physical symbol of commitment that won't go the way of the shoulder-padded wedding dress. For some couples, that doesn't mean a ring -- it could be any piece of jewelry or something different altogether -- but it's the idea of keeping part of your loved one close by at all times that's here to stay.

    Fresh new ideas: "My fiance and I are going to get wedding symbols tattooed on instead of wearing rings. He works in a place where he couldn't wear a ring and we both like tattoos, so it works for us. We are still going to exchange something during the ceremony." - lizreuter

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