The concept of marriage dates back to the beginning of the human race. Since our people have been walking the Earth there has been the idea of two humans joining together to form a couple.
The world of marriage went through quite a change however in the nineteenth century with the introduction of organised religion and the birth of the word ‘wedding’. This derives from the Anglo Saxon word ‘wed’ - a secure agreement between the family of the groom and the family of the bride.
Despite the word stemming from a rather savage purchase of the bride agreement, today it has become to (hopefully) have a happier meaning to most people.
Present day British weddings are full of tradition and one should include as many of these age-old practices into their day as they like. If suited well to the couple and the day wedding traditions can be good fun and a key part to the ceremony.
If the bride is lucky enough to have her dad still in her life, there can be nothing lovelier than the two walking down the aisle together and that great look/handshake that happens between father and groom.
If the groom has a best friend or family member who he’d like to include in the day for one reason or the other, the best man role was made for him - as long as he can hold off the drink until his speech!
If the wedding is in an elegant location or a very traditional setting, or the couple simply just like that style of cake, a classic 3-tired fruit cake with white icing would fit-in nicely. (We all know most guests will, at this point, feel the need to announce to anyone near them that they ‘never actually liked fruit cake', ‘only at Christmas time’ just to continue to merrily stuff it into their slightly numb mouths anyway.)
BUT having traditions for the sake of having traditions if they don’t add anything to the day, or even worse, they detract from the day is MADNESS.
Love Made Me Weddings is here to shake up the day a little so you can eradicate any of those customs that people tend to blindly go through without enjoying - say good bye to bored guests, say goodbye to feeling uncomfortable, say goodbye to unnecessary tradition! Here are a few ideas…:
THE ORDER OF THE DAY
One of the most important traditions to think through carefully before following senselessly is the order of the days proceedings. Anyone who has been to a British wedding will know all too well the ceremony - canapé and chitchat - photos - speeches - dinner - cake cutting - first dance -dodgy DJ/live band blueprint.
With any usual wedding group this order of events leaves countless opportunities for guest boredom and doesn't allow the day to be as good as it can be.
This risk of a tiresome day is easily avoided with a little creativity.
If you find the gravity of the ceremony isn’t your thing, why not start the day with dinner, have the bar stocked-up, start the dancing and then at midnight get up on that stage and say your vows at 00:00. Your guests will listen in; nicely fed and feeling good. You’ll get cheers like nothing else at ‘I Do’ and you’ll be able to have two days of anniversary celebrations every year!
Alternatively, why not make the ceremony aisle down the middle of two imperial dinner tables. Straight away after the marriage is complete, the speeches and dinner can begin. This would leave more time for merriment or for a lovely relaxed dinner with friends, family and good conversation.
If you’ve often found yourself falling asleep during the speeches, it’s a common practice now to split them up between courses rather than all at the beginning of dinner. If you’d like to change it up even more, why not have the speeches whilst doing something else. This could mean all getting on a boat along the Thames and the orators standing on top deck with microphone in hand and wind in their hair. Or, you could make a rooftop home cinema with a sheet, projector and lots of candlelight - the speeches can play out, pre-recorded in film format (also good for nervous speech-makers) and you can sit back and watch the show.
The ideas can continue - just don’t let yourself be confined by the conventional without good reason.
The free wedding food must come into most guests’ top 3 highlights of the day. If you hold a party, people are going to talk about the food - better make it good!
Sitting down for a classic British 3-course meal is all very well but it’s just going to merge into memories of past balls, other weddings, Christmas parties and, God forbid, work conferences in UV lit halls with never-ending small talk.
Why not inspire conversation amongst your guests about their past holidays and travels by serving your favourite foreign food - sushi and sake to start in memory of your trip to Tokyo, big rustic sharing paellas abundant with elegant seafood because you love Spain, cheese fondue at midnight like you drunkenly would share in the evenings on your ski season (-oh darling!-) when you first met … etc. etc.
Going foreign is just one idea - more food inspiration to come in a future Blog post.
If you are willing to diverge from the usual John Lewis set of teak bookends, cheese grater & bread bin, leave the gift registry alone AND have friends and family who are kind enough to be giving you gifts, there is a lot of scope for creativity here.
A nice idea if to ask each guest to bring something that you like and would benefit from having a collection of in your future life together. For example, ask each attendee to bring a bottle of wine.. On the day you could provide tags for them to write a message on their bottle to you. Fifty guests/couples at the wedding … you now have a great collection of around 50 bottles of wine to take home! Drink one every anniversary, every date night or whenever you want (no judgements at Love Made Me Weddings).
You could also follow the same idea with spirits, albums/vinyl discs, books, garden plants or pieces of artwork- what a cultured couple you’ll look!
Alternatively, perhaps you’re a couple who love to exercise or being outdoors. You could ask for credits at your favourite fancy gym classes - spinning, F45, yoga... Or, ask them to choose and pay online for activities pre-selected by you - your aunty might buy you a beach yoga session, your best friend - a couple’s paddle boarding lesson along the Thames, your cousin - an introductory golf lesson at the driving range.
A final idea which is well-practiced at modern day weddings is to have guests donate towards a Honeymoon fund or to a chosen charity - both of these are thoughtful ideas.
There are so many other ways to change to day to fit around you - it’s important to start from scratch and develop an event that is suited to you. It need not be overly complicated if you are looking for a simple day but the thinking behind it still needs to start from a place free from constraints and needless traditions.
It can seem overwhelming - wishing to have a great event tailored to you but being unsure where to start and unsure how to run it on the day. This is where a wedding planner will be your shining light, your guardian angel, your one and only. Let Love Made Me Weddings talk through your ideas, give you inspiration IF needed and pull off the day stress-free.
Please get in touch to have a free of charge initial consultation and get those creative juices flowing x