National Wedding Traditions: American Wedding

American Wedding Traditions American wedding in the end of nineteenth century differed essentially from the modern one. First of all, there were no bridal shops and magazines, so there was no such wide choice as nowadays. The wedding gown was either tailor-made at dressmaker, or was ordered in Europe (for richer brides). The wedding cake was prepared at home and the wedding bouquet consisted of garden flowers. Of course, despite the lack of possibilities ladies took their chance to make the weddings of their daughters memorable and splurging. Mother, grandmother or other closest female relative were in charge of the wedding ceremony and wedding party conduct – this corresponds to the modern notion of the “wedding organizer”. Unlike today, hundred years ago Americans considered it rather bad taste to present the couple with really needed things and preferred to give vases and tableware as a keepsake. Fortunately, this tradition fell into oblivion and now the couple even creates the list of the most preferred presents. The dowry of the bride in the twentieth century included the embroidered bed linen and underwear – this tradition can also be found among many other national wedding traditions. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays were regarded as the wedding days, and observance of this tradition was very important for Americans. Wedding invitations were sent a week before the wedding, so some of the guests failed to come in time for the ceremony. The church wedding ceremony was conducted in a local church, and the celebration was at the bride’s parents’ home. Only few people were present – the newly married, their closest relatives and friends. So, a hundred year ago, the weddings were conducted modestly and quietly – unlike most of today’s weddings.

Modern American Wedding

The modern American wedding tradition has become very popular and well-known all over the world due to the Dream Factory. The Hollywood movies promote family values in their majority; and wedding is one of them. American wedding is a beautiful ceremony raising the memories of fairy tales with the happy end. The bride always wears the white gown with the obligatory veil and the groom wears the black suit – this seems to be the only tradition which is strictly followed in American wedding. Other customs include the necessity for the bride to have “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” – this promises happiness for the bride in her marriage. Other important traditions are the bridal shower, stag party, the cake, church ceremony, kissing the bride and the honeymoon.

Invitation cards are sent to the guests in advance. The cards are elegant and signed with the hand in order to demonstrate the importance of the future ceremony, and its personal character. Wedding presents are delivered to the family of the bride on the eve of the wedding. Good form requires that the gifts were not opened at once, but rather after the wedding ceremony.

Variants of wedding invitation cards:

– Invitation Station – design studio;

– Invitation Card – Montreal Canada – traditional and very beautiful invitation cards;
– True Bride – helpful wedding directory;

American church wedding is very solemn ceremony, which involves many guests. Colors in the church are chosen to match the couple’s dresses, flowers and other wedding settings. The priest is the central figure after the bride and the groom. He conducts the ceremony and makes it solemn, formal and memorable. The American democratic style is seen even in wedding ceremony: the priest asks the couple whether they agree to marry and the invitees – if there are some objections. Then the priest suggests a bride and a groom to exchange the wedding rings which are the symbol of their love and unity. After that, they are pronounced the husband and the wife, and the groom kisses the bride. When the newlyweds leave the church they get under the shower of rice or wheat, which symbolizes fertility. The further script may differ: first script – the newlyweds leave for their honeymoon to some romantic place, and the guests go to the wedding party; or second script – all go to celebrate, and the honeymoon starts after the wedding party ends. Whatever the continuation is, the wedding ceremony and further reception party are very interesting, joyful and admirable parts of the wedding.

Reception Party

Traditionally, the wedding party included the triad of speeches: the Father’s of the Bride, the Groom’s and the Best man’s. Nowadays there is a trend to expand this triad, including the Bride’s, the bridesmaid’s speeches and others.

Speeches for various occasions and for different people are available in our sample wedding speeches section.

The tradition of Bridal Shower is not always followed, at least not so strictly as the stag party. It originated from the end of the nineteenth century, and was aimed to strengthen the friendship of the future married woman with the female friends of her youth. Traditionally, friends brought small presents to give as a keepsake; they were put into the umbrella and, when the latter was opened above the head of the bride, she “showered” in this shower of gifts.

Marco Douglas