What’s in a wedding toast? All eyes are on you. This is not the time to make a farce of the moment and pull a“Bridesmaid’s” sing-a-thon, who-sung it better. To avoid common mistakes: don’t pick up your glass until the very end; don’t cover your face with your notes; and don’t bring up reams of paper. Here are some additional tips to delivering a heart felt and memorable speech.
Last thing before she exits, the bride tosses her bouquet to the single women in the room. (There is no garter toss at a “traditional” wedding.) The bride and groom change into their “traveling clothes,” return to the party, and exit through a shower of rice, rose petals, or bubbles. And that’s it! The only thing left is to write the thank-you notes.
While the mixing of cultures in America is a given, sometimes fuses these traditions can be tricky. But, they don’t have to be – let’s take a look at customs that you can incorporate into your big day that is both Asian Fusion and American.
In Japanese culture, there are many symbols and customs ingrained in their wedding traditions. While the Western custom of exchanging rings has become increasingly popular over the years, the ritual of “san-san-kudo”, the three by three exchanges are rich with meaning. It is performed by the bride and groom and both sets of parents; each person takes three sips of sake from each of three cups. The first three represent three couples, the bride and groom, and their parents. The second three represent three human flaws: hatred, passion, and ignorance. “Ku,” or nine is a lucky number in Japanese culture. And “do” means deliverance from the three flaws.
Aruba, Jamaica, Oooo I Wanna Take Ya
Are you looking to say “I Do” on a tropical island, sandy beach or private beach? Do you want a small, simple wedding? Do you want something different than the normal wedding affair? Whatever your reason, you have come to the right place. Toes in the water, tush in the sand, salty sea air whipping through your hair, these are just a few of the highlights of a beachy fun wedding. From Cape Cod to the white sandy beaches of the Virgin Islands, beaches come with some details that you need to consider when planning your love fest.
1) Pick an Off-Season Date
This may seem like a no-brainer, but pick a date in the off-season. Peak times may include Memorial Day through Labor Day. Off-peak is anything outside that window of time. The weather will still be stunning, but you’ll hear a lot more “yes” if you’re not trying to pull off a huge event in the middle of local business’ bread-and-butter season. Also, they’ll probably be more flexible in off-peak pricing than if you were trying to get married over 4th of July weekend or something.
Once you pick a date, you’ll need to decide if you’re going public beach or private beach. The reality of getting married on the beach is that beaches very rarely offer the same freedoms as private property. Also, some people have serious aversions to sand, and consider it a glorified form of dirt. But beach weddings are possible, and not all of them require you to throw a large chunk of cash at an all-inclusive beach resort place.
Also, keep in mind that you may have a lot of gawkers that watch your wedding on the sidelines. There is really no way to avoid this unless you have bouncers or something.
If you choose a public beach, literally memorize the city ordinances governing that beach. Some beaches require permits for bonfires, food services, etc. Also, know THERE IS NO WAY TO AVOID OPEN CONTAINER LAWS. This may depend on the state, country, etc that you are having your beach wedding at, but know this could be a costly mistake if not adhered to.
According to many travel and wedding magazines the following 10 spots are the best locations to get hitched on the beach, in no particular order:
You have the groom, you have the maid of honor and you’ve sorted out your family situation for the big day. What’s missing? It might be that slobbery, furry, sloppy kissing, cute bundle of joy we call your dog! Dog Wedding! Many brides feel their faithful pooches deserve the limelight on their wedding day. This is easily accomplished as long as you pre-plan and you evaluate your dog to make sure the wedding ceremony won’t stress him or her out too much. And, let’s face it, this will probably the most low-maintenance member of your bridal party or guest list!
So, first consider what type of dog you have on your hands. A lot of canines are perfectly happy following their families wherever but some may have come from shelters, led an abused life before you rescued. Ask yourself honestly if you think your dog could handle the stress of so many people in a tight space and emotions running high. Once you’ve determined Perfect Pooch is okay being spotlighted for your wedding, decide what part he’ll take in it. Will he walk down the aisle with the ring bearer, the flower girls, a bridesmaid? Does he need to be with you at the front of the ceremony or can he make a guest appearance at the reception? Don’t forget to confirm with whatever venue you choose that pets are allowed!
Second, if you’re thinking about dressing your dog up in a tux or accessorizing them, be sure to have it fitted properly. It’s nice to find that one person who’s not in your bridal party to be charge of the dog so he’ll get proper care and they can oversee that he doesn’t eat something he’s not supposed to. This person needs to know where to get fresh water for him and should be knowledgeable about dogs – if the dog is showing signs of being overly stressed or exhaustion. Even the most mild mannered dogs can be overwhelmed in a social situation he’s never been in.
We think it’s great to include your special pet in your wedding day, just be sure to consider your dog’s needs as well as your own! Dogs are becoming like children to many couples so it’s only natural you want to include them in an important, life altering decision. Pets at Weddings.
Tips For Interfaith Weddings
We’re a melting pot of different ethnicities, cultures, races, etc. and it only seems fitting to intertwine these traditions be included in your wedding day. Whether it’s a prayer or dance, these small details can enhance your guests experience and hold powerful meaning for the two of you.
While the obvious differences in an interfaith marriage should be discussed way before your wedding day (how to raise the children, what do Mom and Dad think), in the engagement period you need to go over any conflicts the two of you have.
- Have family members from each side read a blessing or prayer from their religious tradition.
- Provide translations of any rituals performed in other languages.
- Conduct a “unity” ritual from both faiths, such as the sharing of a cup of wine (Judaism), lighting a unity candle (Christianity), wearing crowns (Greek Orthodox) or hand fasting (Celtic).
- Illustrate each family’s support by having both sets of parents walk their children down the aisle.
- Determine who will officiate the wedding: Some interfaith couples opt for two clergy members, one from each person’s faith, to perform the ceremony. Others look for interfaith officiants who have performed interfaith weddings in the past.
- Step on toes: respect each family’s strong ties to their own religious traditions and tactfully and carefully explain how rituals from both heritages will be included.
- Forget your guests: describe the different religious rituals in your program and provide translations.
- Try to do too much: you can’t replicate the entire wedding ceremonies for each tradition; your guests will be bored and your wedding ceremony will lose some of its intensity. Careful editing of the ceremony elements is pertinent to a good ceremony.
Creating an interfaith wedding that is meaningful, memorable and perfectly you starts focusing on personalizing the ceremony to reflect the needs, beliefs, and values of you as a couple and your families.
Planning a Jewish Wedding
Mazel Tov! So you’re newly engaged? Well, welcome to the wonderful world of wedding planning. Whether you are a devout Jew or not, there are many customs and traditions that you try to incorporate into your big day to keep tradition alive. Some of these ideas include the following:
1. Choosing the Date
Sabbath falls on a Friday night, and devout or strict Jewish people view this as a big no-no. Jewish weddings are generally prohibited on Shabbat and festivals–including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot- and many other holidays. Because many of these dates fall during prime wedding season (spring-summer), it’s important to check an accurate Jewish calendar (such as www.hebcal.com) before you select a date.
2. Choosing a Ketubah
If you’ve already acquired a marriage license through your county/state, you understand this document represents your union as husband and wife in the legal sense. Well, in Jewish culture, you sign yet another license as well. Traditionally, a ketubah served as a kind of premarital contract, outlining a bride’s ongoing rights: food, clothing, and even sex should be provided during the course of the marriage. The ketubah also specified her rights in the case of her husband’s death or their divorce. Many contemporary couples choose to veer away from the traditional ketubah text and its implications and instead choose a text that expresses their hopes and commitments for their marriage.
via Gallery Judaica
3. Selecting a Huppah
If you have ever attended a Jewish ceremony, you’ve probably wondered what the large canopy covering the couple and officiant is. Well, that is a huppah. It creates a sacred space that is both open for all to see and private and intimate for the couple beneath it. It symbolizes their new home together.
via The Knot
4. Breaking the Wedding Glass
At the conclusion of the blessings, the groom breaks the glass with his right foot, as an additional remembrance of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Traditionally, this custom was also incorporated into the ceremony to remind everyone that even at the height of one’s personal joy, we must, nevertheless, remember the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The breaking of the glass symbolizes the breaking of our hearts in remembrance.
5. Traditional Jewish Wedding Dance Options
Two of the most traditional and well-known Jewish wedding dance numbers are the Hora and the Mezinke Tanz (Krenzl). These two dances are often done during a Jewish wedding reception.
During the Hora, the bride and groom are lifted above the shoulders of guests. Sitting upon chairs, they may wave handkerchiefs at each other or hold onto the ends of a single handkerchief. Be careful not to drop them! While hoisting the two in the air, a large circle of guests dances around them clockwise or counterclockwise
The Mezinke Tanz is a dance that arose out of the traditional Krenzl. Krenzl, which refers to a crown, occurred when the last daughter was married. This is a special dance for the mother as they adorn her with a crown of flowers.
You may have heard of “jumping the broom” and “typing the knot,” but in the African American community, these are more than just expressions. It is a tradition stemming back to the days of slavery when slaves were forbidden from marrying. They created this ritual to represent the beginning of their new life together. In modern ceremonies, couples jump over a broom, often decorated with adornments of flowers, herbs, ribbon, and tulle, after they’re pronounced married. Tying the knot is a symbol to represent unity. Cloth, twine, or other forms are used to bind them together literally.
Tradition, customs, and honoring your ancestors are very big in this community. There are countless ways to honor your ancestors during your wedding ceremony and reception. You may also choose to add ethnic touches including a Libation ceremony which is held to honor elders. During the ceremony a prayer is said and an elder presents water or liquor as an offering to God and the ancestral spirits for their blessing.
Food and drink is important at all weddings, but for African American ceremonies, these are integral parts of the day. During the ceremony, there is a tradition that involves tasting the four elements: lemon for sour, vinegar for bitter, cayenne pepper for hot, and honey for sweet. The four tastes represent the different times or moods of married life.
And, you can’t forget the beat of the drums! Music is very important to families, and when music is made…comes the dancing! You can walk down the aisle to their rich sounds or have them lead a bridal march after the ceremony. The sound of drums also has historical significance for African-Americans since drums were outlawed during slavery because they were seen as a coded means of communication between the slaves. Check with local music schools, African-American newspapers, and cultural centers to find drummers in your area.