me, rachel

Traditions are wonderful things. They give us something to look forward to, and help us know what to expect. They give us guidelines as to how to behave in specific situations. But traditions are just that: guidelines.

Don't get me wrong...I love traditions! Every year I look forward to doing the same things for Christmas. I love traditions for holidays, Sunday afternoons, and Saturday mornings. But my favorites are the traditions we make ourselves. As such, I am not largely tied to traditions that are there just because "it's always been that way." Especially for my wedding.

I'm excited about traditions like wearing white, the veil, even "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue!" But there are other traditions that I don't know how I feel about them.

For example, the various traditions surrounding the ever-present wedding cake. These include the cutting (and the subsequent smashing) of the cake, the freezing of the top layer (because newlyweds like freezer-burned cake?), and the staleness that is necessitated by how long it takes to frost the intricate buggers. I don't even like cake, and have never once had a wedding cake that tasted good. I have heard they do exist, and I'll believe you. But I have yet to experience it. We will have a cake at our wedding, but neither of us are devoted to cake, so it will be a small one, big enough to serve to those for whom it is not a wedding without cake.

Another wedding tradition I am on the fence about is the garter toss. I thought it was a fun compliment for the bouquet toss, until I found out where this tradition originated. Apparently, in Medieval Europe after the wedding ceremony all of the guests would attend the consummation of the marriage so as to watch and ensure the bride was a virgin. The garter toss came in when they became so eager to help the new couple along in this process that they removed her underclothes for her! I am very glad I'm getting married in 2010!

Anyway, there is one tradition that I have been dealing with rather thickly this past week, and that is the tradition of not letting the groom see the bride before the wedding. This tradition dates back to arranged marriages, where the groom was kept from seeing the bride, for if she was unattractive and he found out before the ceremony, he could back out.

Now days, many brides don't allow their grooms to see them before the ceremony the day of because it builds anticipation. This often extends to the dress beforehand, as well. While I very much respect this tradition, I don't know that it is practical for me. You see, for me, the most important opinion about my dress is that of my fiance, and if he can't see what I'm looking at, how will I know that I've picked one he will like?

While Dave has reassured me over and over that he will like anything I choose, and that I will be gorgeous no matter what, I still covet his opinion. So, I have no problem sharing with him the pictures of my shopping trips. This way, he can point out what he likes, and doesn't like.

Also, I am planning on listening to Dave's opinions, but not telling him which dress I settle on in the end. This much, at least, I will do my best to keep a surprise.

So it's not that I don't respect traditions. I do! And I'm ready to embrace many of them. But I'm most eager to make a wedding that is truly "us," and in the future to create traditions that we love. This is far more important to me than Medieval superstitions!
4 Responses
  1. René Says:

    I went to a wedding recently in which the bride and groom had a small cake to do the fun cake smashing and whatnot then had a bunch of different flavors of cheesecake to actually feed everyone with! It worked out really well because there was something for everyone! Im sure however you embrace your wedding desserts it wll be wonderful!

    René Burks


  2. rachel Says:

    Yeah, we're thinking about doing a desert bar or something of that sort, because we love dessert! I think it will work out to be so much fun!


  3. Tim hadn't seen my dress before we were married (that was fine with him. His only request was that it be white, since we both felt it was a) important and b) we waited). In fact, he and I didn't see or even SPEAK to each other after the rehearsal dinner (friends from out of town and bridal last minute projects kept us apart). The first time we had spoken to each other since the rehearsal (16 hours!) was speaking our wedding vows. It was horribly, wonderfully romantic.

    I can attest that not all frozen cake is bad! If it is well wrapped, kept flat, etc, it can be thawed to be quite good, though while I did keep the top of my wedding cake, I don't know if I'll ever end up eating it (it is too pretty!).

    If you're not in love with the cake idea, go for a single sheetcake for guests (or even a small round, depending on wedding invitees)--you could even go the cupcake route!
    My roommate had a styrofoam "big" cake, and a small round for her and her husband (it was about 4 inches around, maybe 3-4inches high). It was quite nice.

    We strayed from some of the typical traditions too (no unity candle/sand ceremony) and had a very simple service with Matthew 7 vs 24-27 as our central idea. Oh, I can't wait to hear about what you guys are planning!


  4. David Says:

    Well my dear Fiancee keep the traditions as you see fit, and remember the origin of the tradition definitely doesn't necessarily mean it means the same thing today especially since most people have no clue what the origins are of these traditions. May I just say I love you and... Since you mentioned that I reassure you, I thought I'd put it in writing. I think you're gorgeous in anything you're wearing, and I know that you'll be fabulous in any dress you pick ;) Definitely however keep the dress white, since we waited and you definitely deserve it ;)


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