Nine Wedding Traditions You Must Know in America

Did you know there are over 5,000 weddings daily in the US alone? The New York Times has suggested that 2022 will be one of the busiest years for the wedding industry, with an estimated 2.5 million weddings set to take place. 

With more people turning towards custom-made wedding traditions, let’s look at the quintessential wedding traditions.

American Wedding Traditions Their Origin

  • The white wedding dress

The white wedding dress was originally a sign of wealth and class. During the 18th and 19th centuries, people had to wash clothes with their hands painstakingly. So, having an immaculate white dress was something only the rich could afford. Before Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840, the common people wore red wedding dresses. 

  • The wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen)

As it turns out, bridesmaids and groomsmen were originally told to dress similar to the bride and groom, respectively, to confuse evil spirits or past jilted lovers. In the Roman Empire, if the bride-to-be had to travel to a different region, similarly dressed women would keep her safe from kidnappers and robbers. 

  • The wedding veil comes from the custom of arranged marriages

The point of the veil was to hide the bride’s face until the priest pronounced them man and wife. In ancient Rome, the veils were red to ward off evil spirits.

  • Wearing your ring on the “ring finger”

Early physicians used to believe that there was a direct vein connecting the ring finger to the heart, which was why we started to wear our rings on that finger. Later, people began to wear infinity rings to symbolize their undying love.

  • Bridal showers

It is believed that when the bride’s family was too poor to provide the dowry for her wedding, or her family disapproved of her marriage, the entire town gathered to pitch in and give gifts to compensate for the lack of the dowry.

  • “Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue”

The original Victorian rhyme which as such – “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe”. Each item was considered to bring luck to the bride for her marriage.

  • Giving away the bride

Giving away the bride is a tradition that has evolved and it is seen as a symbol of love and unity. It is the moment when the bride’s father gives the bride’s hand to the groom. As sexist as this sounds, traditionally, an unmarried woman was considered to be her father’s property. So, in giving her away, the bride becomes her husband’s property. 

  • The first dance

The tradition of the first dance, as we know it today, started during the 1920s. The newly married couple, as the guests of honor at a dance, open the dancing. And then the bride’s father dances with the bride while the groom may also dance with the bride’s mother. Next, the bride’s mother and father dance together.

  • Jumping the broom

Originally, the Romani people of Wales and England would jump over brooms or branches as an officiating ceremony. During the 1840s and 1850s, black enslaved people in the southern USA used it to officiate their weddings as they were not legally allowed to marry.

A Complete Checklist For Wedding Planning in the USA

Now that the customs are out of the way, what are the essentials for an American wedding?

  • Set a wedding budget

Although a touchy subject, the budget is the most important thing in a wedding because this will affect everything else. It sets a benchmark for how much you will be spending on specific things. 

  • Find your wedding vision and inspiration

Talk to your significant other about the vision you both have for your wedding. Do their wishes align with yours? If not, can you come to a compromise that incorporates elements from both your visions? Start looking at Instagram wedding posts, Pinterest walls, and wedding magazines to come to a more coherent and cohesive aesthetic.

  • Consider a wedding planner or coordinator

Hiring a specialist to take care of the gritty details of your tailor-made wedding takes away more than half of your stress and worries. Ask your friends and family for wedding planner recommendations, and look at their reviews and ratings online before hiring them.

  • Set your date and book a venue

Not only will it save the date and the venue early on, save you time, but it’ll also save you additional expenses. It also helps if you have a backup in case the original venue does not work out for some reason.

  • Hire priority wedding vendors

While it may seem like a good idea to start doing everything at once, you’ll get overwhelmed. This is where you have to prioritize. For example, completing a rental order before you’ve hired a caterer would be difficult because you wouldn’t be clear on their needs and what the caterer already provides.

  • Plan your wedding guest list and send out invites

Sit down with your partner, go through the list of people you want to invite, discuss per head costs, and send out invites ASAP so people can start saving the dates.

  • Insure your wedding

Accidents don’t come with a forewarning, so you must be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Opting for a wedding insurance policy protects you against financial loss should the wedding have to be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.

  • Purchase your engagement ring and wedding rings

All beautiful love stories start with a ring. One-of-a-kind statement rings are not only unique but also hallmarks of your love. Your fiancé will be over the moon because of the extra little thought and effort you put into customizing your wedding and engagement rings

How Much Does a Wedding Cost in the USA?

According to statistics, couples spend $28,000 to $34,000 on their wedding ceremonies. During the COVID-19 pandemic and because of the CDC-mandated rules, weddings had to be downsized. The number of guests also had to be reduced drastically, with many couples opting for simple court weddings. 

Consequently, after the lockdowns were lifted, more and more people began to embrace the idea of smaller, more intimate ceremonies. According to a survey by Zola, 28% of couples are budgeting between $10,000 and $20,000 for their big day—making that the most common budgetary range in 2022.

Marriage is more than a wedding ceremony. It is a joining of two hearts and souls; one can never put a price tag on such a thing.

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