Nowadays, marriages don't have to be as traditional as they were, say, 50 years ago... Today, we can be original. But we do like to honour some wedding traditions. We list the 10 best ones for you!
Photo (above): Organisation and Concept: Elegant Events - Photographer: Studio Loupe Fotografie
1. Ask her hand
In the old days, a man would first go to the father of the bride, to ask him for his daughter's hand. Nowadays, this is no longer an obligation. But do you want to ask for her hand anyway, out of respect or because you like it yourself? Then do it! Today, you can perfectly well ask both parents. We bet that afterwards you can tell a nice story to the happy bride-to-be. In most cases, the parents will react very enthusiastically (we can't guarantee 100% success) and will appreciate that you came to see them first...
2. Choosing a wedding dress
Choosing a wedding dress with your mum is an unforgettable moment in your mother-daughter relationship. Your mother knows you through and through and knows what you like
Photo by Philippe Swiggers Photography
Traditionally, the groom would pick up his bride from her parents' house on the morning of the wedding. Logical: the bride usually lived there before the wedding. Nowadays, couples usually live together for a while before getting into the marriage boat. Still, picking up the bride at her parents' house is a nice tradition to keep in honour. Pack your suitcase and sleep one more time as an unmarried woman with mum and dad.
4. A bridal bouquet for you
Traditionally, the man buys the bridal bouquet for the woman and brings it to her on the wedding day. This tradition is now being 'adjusted' a little: a 'little briefing' now usually precedes the order that the groom places with your florist. "Please like this colour" and "Please like these flowers". Or the bride simply orders the bouquet herself. As long as the groom is at the front door on the big day with your bouquet.
By the way: did you know that you wear your bridal bouquet in your right hand before the ceremony and on your left hand after the ceremony?
Photo by Anaïs Stoelen Photography for Alle Gebeure
5. Don't show it!
Rumour has it that the groom shouldn't see your wedding dress before your wedding day. Otherwise, you are calling off disaster on your marriage. Truth or not - this is a nice tradition to keep in honour. After all, there is nothing more beautiful or more touching than the infatuated look of the man who sees his bride-to-be appear for the first time in her wedding dress... Goosebumps!
6. The handover
In the past, couples did not always marry for love; often marriage was a business arrangement. It was a transaction between two families, whereby the father's giving away of the bride symbolised his satisfaction with the transfer. Today, fortunately, we do marry for love. Yet there is nothing more beautiful than father and daughter walking together towards the groom. The ritual shows love and affection. In this way, a father hands over the care of his little girl to her groom. Get out your handkerchief...
Photo by Yves Schepers Photography
7. From the far east
What a beautiful moment: the guests forming a guard of honour for the brand new couple and throwing rice. This is an Eastern tradition to wish the couple prosperity, fertility and wealth. Rice is used to express the hope that the couple will have many children. And it is also great fun! Nowadays, some churches and town halls no longer allow you to throw rice because it is not good for the birds. Instead, throw flower petals, confetti or balloons.
Photo by Maitha Lunde
8. Spread Your Wings
After the ceremony, you can release two white doves. When released, doves fly true to each other in the same direction. Just like you. A fine piece of symbolism, don't you think?
Please note: you may not release pigeons into a building, during a thunderstorm or under a roof. In some municipalities it is also forbidden to release white doves after the ceremony. Be sure to inquire beforehand whether it is allowed. Even symbolism is sometimes bound by rules...
9. Time for a speech
A father has few 'real' duties during a wedding. But traditionally, it is his moment de gloire during dinner: the speech. The first speech is normally reserved for the father of the bride and the second for the father of the groom.
10. The opening dance
The first dance at a wedding party - the opening dance - is traditionally danced by the bride and groom. According to Spotify, All of Me by John Legend is the number one opening dance song today. Whatever you choose, make sure it's a song that suits you as you'll be on the dance floor for about three minutes of fun. Enjoy this intimate moment, so that this magical feeling will stay with you all your lives...
Photo by Studiovision Photography