Published on Jan 6, 2020

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The United States is a melting pot of cultures, nationalities, religions and all of these play a big part in the different wedding traditions we see today.

And just as different trends and fads come and go, some wedding traditions fall off and new ones are started. Sometimes different things start as trends and end up staying on through generations as traditional to a wedding ceremony.

Some Familiar Wedding Traditions

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An Engagement Party

Usually couples have an engagement party if the couples’ families don’t live near each other and have never met. This gives both sides of the family a chance to meet, along with friends of the bride and groom to get to know each other too.

Engagement parties can be really casual like a backyard barbecue or a casual dinner party. Couples usually won’t spend a lot of money on these parties; they’ll save the catering and music for the reception.

Bridal Shower

This is one of those timeless wedding traditions; a fun party usually hosted by the maid/matron of honor. The guests traditionally have been for the women – mothers of the bride and groom, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and the female members of the bridal party.

These are usually hosted at the maid of honor’s house, but could be at the bride’s house too if the mother of the bride is helping organize it. If the bride has a really big family and lots of friends, it’s pretty traditional for a banquet hall to be rented for an afternoon.

Food Can Be Do-It-Yourself, Donated Or Catered.

The wedding tradition for the bridal shower has evolved some though to where both the men and women are invited to a “wedding shower.” And in fact, a “wedding shower” could take the place of an engagement party. It’s still a good idea to keep this party inexpensive and casual.

Bachelorette or Hen Party And Bachelor Parties

Traditionally, this is the bride’s equivalent of a “stag party” for the groom-to-be and usually held the night before the wedding. It’s supposed to be the bride’s last night as an available bachelorette, and the groom’s last night as a single bachelor.

These parties might start out at someone’s house or apartment, and then move on to a dance club, bar or even a “strip bar.” So basically it’s a last night out on the town for the bride and her friends, and for the groom and his friends.

Sometimes the mothers of the bride and groom are invited to hang out with the girls for this night out and other times not. It’s optional. Same with the fathers of the bride and groom at the bachelor’s party.

The Bridal Party

There are a couple of wedding traditions for choosing who’s going to be in your wedding.

If the bride has a sister, she’ll traditionally be the maid or matron of honor. But if the bride has more than one sister, she may ask her best friend to be her maid of honor and have her sisters as bridesmaids.

The same goes for the groom. I have a cousin who has five brothers. So he asked his best friend to be his best man and his brothers were all in the wedding as groomsmen.

The number of attendants in the bridal party is up to the couple. In some states, the couple doesn’t need to have anyone stand for them at all if they don’t want to; for example if they’re going to elope or head to Vegas for a quick ceremony.

The White Wedding Gown

Old wedding traditions said that only a virgin could wear a white wedding gown. But today, brides can pick whatever color they want.

Even brides having second weddings or vow renewal ceremonies are wearing white wedding dresses, while some first-time brides are opting for antique white or pink wedding dresses.

Pretty Bridesmaids All In a Row

A lot has changed in the wedding traditions for the bridesmaids today too. Now brides are opting for their ladies to be in different colors or different styles, whatever they feel more comfortable wearing.

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