Under Your Wedding Dress

What are you planning to wear under your wedding dress? A pretty matching two-piece, sexy Basque lingerie or maybe shapewear to hold you in? Consider your wedding dress style, body shape and remember to factor in comfort. Here are some pointers to help you make the best choice when it comes to choosing underwear to wear on your wedding day and how to avoid doing what I did when I accidentally flashed mine at all my guests in church…

When you’re wearing a bridal gown, whether a heavy duchess satin meringue with layers of underskirts or a slinkier number, it’s important to find the right underwear. So where do you start?

Here’s what to consider;

How to support and make the most of your bust whatever size you are

Where to find the right bra if your gown is strapless or backless

Whether to wear tights, stockings and suspenders or hold-ups

What style of knickers for comfort and/or style

How to flatten your tummy and shape your hips to create smoother lines under your gown

How to narrow your waist to create more of an hour-glass figure

Whether to wear a garter or not

Bra and knickers

A bra and knickers (or just the knickers) is likely to be the most comfortable option. It’s worth trying on several different types of bras with your wedding dress before you decide on one, considering how it feels as much as how well it supports and how pretty it looks.

The good news is there is an underwear solution for every gown, whatever the cut. You can find strapless, backless, multi-way, low-front and low-back bras, bras to support, maximise or minimise or push-up breasts to create cleavage. You don’t have to wear white either; with the right dress you could wear a pastel shade or even a darker shade of underwear, only to be revealed on your wedding night.

Strapless and backless bras

Strapless dresses are still very much in vogue and many are gorgeous and flattering but they do differ greatly in their construction. Some are made with inner support for your bust while others will need a good strapless bra to be worn underneath.

Backless or low-backed gowns can be worn without a bra for the few of us who are brave enough but a clever multi-way bra is, for most of us, a much better option.

Knickers or G-string

The knickers you choose have to be comfy. Don’t be tempted to try something different on your wedding day such as the delicate derriere dental floss fashion’ of the G-string, just to impress the man you have already impressed

If you’re used to G-strings then fine but if not, trust us, this is not the day to try one out for the first time.

Basques and corsets

A sexy alternative to the separates is a one-piece Basque or corset. Some will support your bust and pull in your waist and tummy but not all so it is worth trying these on with your gown, ideally before buying. Most come with suspenders attached, just add knickers and stockings. You could look stunning in the right corset or Basque.

Shapewear

If you want a flatter tummy, slimmer hips and/or a lifted bottom then consider shapewear. It can make a real difference and doesn’t have to look like a Bridget Jones wet suit. Shapewear is not all beige, some is now silky, lacy and sexy as well as shaping.

Garters, stockings, tights and hold-ups

You don’t have to wear anything on your legs but nylons can make your shoes more comfortable. There are pros and cons as tights can be hot (and arguably unsexy at the end of the night) while sexier stockings can be fiddly with suspenders and hold-ups can feel tight and don’t always hold up all day.

If you don’t mind suspenders then stockings are a good option and one your groom will enjoy helping you take off at the end of the night. Wear a garter if you want to – when will you ever get to wear one again?

Why brides wear a garter

Are garters a thing of the past? A recent poll had a mixed reaction. It seems some of you love them, while others think they should be consigned to the dustbins of history.

So how do you wear them and what should they look like? Garters are often ivory and blue silk, satin or lace – ivory to match your dress and the pale blue to be your ‘something blue.’ They come in old fashioned lacy Edwardian or racy contemporary styles in all colours and widths, with ribbons or crystals or, if you’re superstitious, a lucky 6pence in a matching bag stitched to the garter. You can even get edible candy garters for the naughty child in you! Garters should be worn mid-thigh and were originally designed to hold up silk stockings by tying a length of silk or cotton around the top, before the invention of elastic, or nylon, or tights for that matter!

Garters for every size of thigh

For slim or sexy thighs they provide an ideal photo opportunity for the wedding album. And for sexy plus-size brides there are plus-size garters out there to fit every thigh. About a Bride offers plus-size bridal garters in dress sizes from 18-54. Yes 54! So there’s no excuse if you want to wear one!

Embroidered keepsake garters

Sweet Nothings Lingerie and Silk Garters both offer a bespoke service where you can have a garter made in your chosen style, colour and fabrics. A biker bride could have a leather garter made, another bride may prefer to have a personalized garter embroidered with her new married name and the date of her wedding to have as a keepsake long after the wedding.

Tossing the garter

These days many brides have two garters, one to treasure as a keepsake of the wedding, the other for her new husband to (ahem) ‘toss’ to the male guests at the reception. Traditional folklore has it that the groom removes the bride’s garter and throws it to his single friends after the wedding in much the same way that his new wife throws the wedding bouquet, but this strikes a startling image of a hapless male struggling to get the darn thing off. No, once slipped onto a sexy thigh, we think it’s better left there for your new husband to peel off later, much, much later.

All About Accessories

From the bride’s bouquet to the groom’s boutonnière, the couple can enjoy wonderful embellishments on their wedding day. A lot of couples strive to have matching designs or colours across their accessories too, which makes for a wonderful harmonized look. So here are some of our favourite traditional wedding jewellery and accessories for him and her.

Headwear

Traditionally, the bride tends to have far more choice concerning headwear. Wedding veils seem to be the norm, for they come in a range of lengths and styles depending on fashion and culture. Similar to the veil is a decorative net or art deco style bonnet, which also come in an array of designs. But many brides also opt for headpieces such as tiaras, headbands, hair clips and combs. For the groom, there does not tend to be any jewellery headwear pieces available, so the groom and his groomsmen typically wear hats.

Head-wear for the bride and groom, including veils, tiaras, hats, and headpieces.

It’s safe to say that the style of headwear depends on your desired theme. In truth, the bride could wear a hat if she wished, but the wearing of hats and fascinators are usually left to the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom, and other female wedding guests.

Face and Neck

For the face and neck, the groom is well-known in western culture to wear a classic necktie or bowtie, and no other jewellery. Ties, coming in all manner of colours and materials, will fit any wedding. In other cultures there is also the option of wearing a cravat.

Often the bride completes her look with a pretty set of earrings and a necklace and in some cultures facial jewellery like nose piercings are common too. Like with headwear, the chosen wedding theme (and personal taste) goes a long way in helping the bride decide on the style—some pieces of jewellery are rather discreet, and others are far more overt. Some brides even wear a garland around their neck.

Torso

On the torso, grooms can wear pocket squares and handkerchiefs. Depending on personal choice, these can be purely decorative or intended for use. Pocket squares and handkerchiefs are available in a variety of colours, designs and patterns and are an ideal way to inject personality and personalisation into grooms wear.

For more of a traditional look, the bride may opt for a brooch. Brooches come in all shapes and sizes, and can fit any theme or colour scheme. They can be used for anything, be it accessorising a jacket, the wedding dress, or the bouquet. Also, some couples dress in bright, rich fabrics covered in gems and sequins, which makes for a truly striking wedding look.

Arms, Wrists, and Hands

On his wrists, the groom traditionally wears cufflinks, and such a small and simple accessory works wonders to add style and decoration. Available in a range of styles and materials, from plain silver or gold to intricate engraved, bejewelled or rhinestone studded options. The groom might also wear a wristwatch as a finishing touch, but the more traditional wedding watch option for a groom is a classic pocket watch.

Wrist wedding accessories for the bride and groom, including bracelets, corsages, cufflinks, and watches.

The bride often wears a bracelet, and these too come in numerous styles. You may want a simple band, or a chain with pretty dangling charms. A growing trend is to wear a corsage as well.

The most important wedding accessory of them all: wedding rings!

But the most important accessories for the bride and the groom are the wedding rings! The giving of rings is a traditional part of the wedding ceremony! No doubt a lot of thought and consideration has gone into choosing your engagement rings and your wedding rings from deciding on the optimum metals, gems, engravings, etc. Steeped in tradition, the practice of giving rings can be traced back centuries.

Tips for Wedding Shoes

Every girl loves a new pair of shoes, especially if it’s the pair she will be wearing on the day of her wedding! Whilst the dress is usually the most exciting part of your bridal look, we believe your shoes are just as important. We take a look at 8 wedding shoe tips to ensure your shoes are comfortable and perfectly complement your wedding dress and personal style!

1. Quality

It is understandable that many brides opt for cheap wedding shoes especially if they are trying to stick to a budget. They usually feel it’s a waste to spend money on something that won’t really be seen under a long dress and that you will only wear once. However, you are going to be on your feet all day so we highly recommend investing in a good quality, comfortable pair of shoes, which won’t ruin your day with sore feet. It really isn’t worth it! Good quality shoes don’t have to break the bank. Inquire at your local bridal shops about sales or ex samples or check out sites such as eBay, Preloved and Gumtree for a second hand pair.

2. Heel Height

This really depends on what you’re used to. Some brides wouldn’t leave the house without their favourite 4 inch heels, whereas others are happier sticking to a heel height of just a couple of inches. Whatever your preference don’t be tempted to go much higher than what you normally wear and what you’re used to. You want to glide down that aisle with elegance and grace, not hobble awkwardly and trip!

3. Shoe Size

There’s always that dilemma if you are in between sizes. Do you go up or down a size? We’d always recommend going up. Your feet will swell as the day goes on, which means they will begin to pinch if you opted for the smaller shoe. Shoes that are slightly too big can easily be amended with insoles and heel grips and can be removed later in the day when your feet swell to fit.

4. Wear Them In

You’ve probably done it before. Gone on a night out with a fabulous new pair of shoes, but within a matter of hours if not minutes, they are rubbing your feet. Even if your wedding shoes felt comfortable when you tried them on in the shop, we recommend breaking them in before your big day. Wear them around the house, to help soften them up and practice that all important walk!

If your wedding shoes are particularly slippy it may also be worth gently sanding the soles with sand paper to add a bit of grip. Think of all those first dance ‘You’ve Been Framed’ video’s you’ve seen…

5. Shoe Accessories

Make sure you have these must have shoe accessories for your wedding day!

Heel grips – if your feet keep slipping out the back

Gel insoles – to reduce the pain you get on the balls of your feet from standing up or dancing, for a long period of time.

Shoe protector spray – to protect your shoes from water marks and stains.

Clean heels – to stop you sinking in the grass!

6. Try on With Your Dress

There are a couple of reasons to try on your wedding shoes with your dress. Firstly you want to ensure that the colour and style suit the style of your bridal gown. If you have already been wedding dress shopping you will have come to realise that wedding dresses don’t just come in ivory or white. There’s diamond white, pale ivory, alabaster, blush, light gold…the list goes on! If you are matching your shoe colour to your dress you want to check that one of them isn’t significantly paler or darker than the other, as one of them may end up looking dirty. Obviously carrying your dress around with you whilst you shoe shop isn’t exactly convenient, so try and get hold of a swatch of the fabric that matches your dress. Either ask the bridal shop where you purchased your dress, to send you one or see if there is something small from the dress you can take such as a sash or removable strap.

Secondly it is important that you try your shoes on with your dress to check if the hem needs altering. Ideally you want the hem to sit just off the ground to ensure you don’t trip. Bare in mind that when you are walking down the aisle, you are going to have a bouquet in one hand and the person that is giving you away in the other. You won’t have hands free to hold up the front of your dress too.

On the other hand you don’t want your dress swinging around your ankles because your heels are too high. If you are concerned that the length of your dress might be too short with your heels there are a couple of things you can do. If you haven’t purchased your dress yet or you ordered it quite recently, ask your shop if there is the choice to order it in a longer length. If this isn’t possible, did you try the dress on with a hoop petticoat? If so this slightly shortens the length, so try it without. Your final option will have to be to rethink the height of your heels.

7. A Second Pair

If you just can’t resist those sky scraping heels, get you’re self a second pair of lower, more comfortable shoes for the evening. From pretty pumps, to flip flops and customised Converse, there are styles to suit everyone. Bare in mind however, that if you choose to lower your heel for the evening and you are wearing a full length dress, it will drag on the floor, so be careful not to trip!

We also love the idea of filling a box full of flip-flops for your guest to slip into in the evening, so that they are free to dance the night away in comfort!

If there is a chance of rain or snow it is worth having a second pair of shoes to get you from A to B so that you don’t ruin your smart bridal shoes. Cue the wedding wellies!!

8. A Pair to Wear Again

If you are resenting having to purchase a pair of shoes you’ll only wear once, just buy a pair that you will get use out of even after your wedding day. Just because your wedding dress is ivory, doesn’t mean your shoes have to be! Pick a pair in a colour or pattern that you’ll wear again and that matches your wedding theme and colour scheme. This is the opportunity to have some real fun and show off your personality. They also make great photos and talking point between guests!

Alternatively, choose a pair that can be dyed in your favourite colour after your big day so that they can be worn over and over again to make the most of your purchase.

5 intimate weddings

Modest guest lists lend themselves to unusual and exceptional wedding venues. Be inspired by our top 5 venues for small and chic weddings in the UK.

1. Temple of Apollo, Stourhead, Wiltshire

Who for: Romantic couples who want a beautiful, classic and intimate ceremony. The garden temple will seat 30 guests to witness your wedding

What: A tranquil paradise. Situated in one of the finest landscape gardens in the world, the stone built Temple of Apollo, built in 1765, is truly stunning. Looks familiar? You may well have seen it in the proposal seen in remake of Pride and Prejudice. If it’s good enough for Keira Knightley Matthew MacFadyen…

Why: It’s timelessly beautiful and will provide a magnificent backdrop for your wedding photographs.

2. Millbrook Estate, High Bickington, Devon

Who for: Nature lovers who want to be married hidden away, in a breath taking valley. Millbrook specialises in weddings for up to 20 guests, they also do ‘Runaway Weddings’ for less than four guests…

Why: Stunning and very private, Millbrook is set within a valley location of 32 acres of beautiful countryside with lakes, wild flower meadows and mature woodland. Marry in the extremely intimate secret garden conservatory or in the summerhouse, which has enormous folding doors to let the outside in, and a huge fireplace for roaring log fires in the winter months. The venue even offers private dinning for true romantics.

3. Forter Castle, Perthshire, Scotland

Who for: The Bride and Groom who want a venue fit for a King and Queen. The castle can accommodate 16 for a sit down meal or up to 24 for a buffet and sleeps up to 12.

What: This16th century fortified tower is like something from a fairy-tale – it’s been lovingly restored from a ruin to retain its original character and charm, but with opulent modern-day comforts and even boasts its very own chapel. The surrounding highlands are unspoilt and sure to impress.

Why: It’s dramatic and intimate at the same time.

4. Nash Point Lighthouse, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales

Who for: Quirky couples looking for a unique place to tie the knot. The spectacular Lighthouse can hold 25 guests, over two floors.

What: One of the few operational lighthouses where you can get married, beautiful Nash Point Lighthouse is situated on one of the cleanest, sandy coastlines in South Wales and noted for its variety and birdlife. You’ll be treated to a spectacular view while you say ‘I do’ – a great choice for those with an affinity with the sea.

Why: It’s a deliciously different option and a real statement about who you are as a couple.

5. Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe, Devon

Who for: Couples who want to a beautiful, informal ceremony at the beach. Tunnels Beaches encourage weddings for up to 60-70 people, with the option of more even guests.

What: A network of hand carved tunnels lead you to a tidal Victorian bathing pool and stunning sheltered beaches, where this chic, contemporary venue lies. Get married in the Thatched Gazebo overlooking the sea, with a sublime view of the rugged coastline and the sound of the sea.

Why: It’s a stunning yet understated choice and the scenery will look fantastic in your photos.

Engagement ring dislikes

You’re head over heels in love, you just had the most perfect proposal, there’s just one thing…you hate the engagement ring your partner chose for you.

Choosing an engagement ring is tough, and it’s very common for the choice not to be exactly to the bride-to-be’s liking: but if you don’t like your engagement ring, you don’t necessarily have to exchange it for another – or put up with a ring that you’re not in love with.

We asked three of the UK’s top jewellers what to do if you hate your engagement ring;

Brides tend not to like their engagement ring for three main reasons: the width and profile of the band isn’t right, the diamond or other precious stone is low set, or the whole ring is not what they imagined. Thankfully, many things can be done about these problems.

If you don’t like the width and profile of your band, you could set your stone into a new ring mount: budget-wise, this isn’t too much of a hit as the main cost is usually the diamond or stone. Another option is to re-shank the ring, cutting the bottom part of the ring off and adding a new bottom (from flat to court shape, for example) so the ring has a softer edge.

To solve the problem of a low set diamond, you have two options. The first is choosing a new ring mount and re-setting the stone higher, so you can see the stone better. The other – possibly cheaper – option is to replace the collet, which is the basket that holds the stone at the top of the ring. It may be possible to attach the new collet higher on the ring.

For couples dealing with these problems, always go to a jeweller with technical experience in this area. They can run you through all the options and the most cost effective way of changing your engagement ring.

If you want to avoid choosing a ring that doesn’t meet your partner’s expectations, the best thing to do is buy a loose diamond or precious stone and propose with that: your bride-to-be gets to choose or make the engagement ring she always wanted, but you still have something amazing to propose with. Alternatively, do some research and either ask questions sneakily to your other half, or get a close family member to help you choose. They should have a good idea of the style your partner will love and then it’s not so much of a blind choice.”

Many people are presented with an engagement ring that is not to their taste: often this is a ring that isn’t what you had hoped for, or an inherited piece. The temptation is to sell it, but this is usually the worst thing to do: second-hand jewellers base their buying prices on scrap metal values, even when the jewellery is brand new or in perfectly good condition. Often they will not even add value to the price if there are gemstones in the ring. With jewellery remodelling, you will have to pay for the commission – but the finished piece is then worth the same, if not more, than the original piece.

A typical scenario might be for a fiancé to propose with a yellow gold diamond engagement ring that cost £2,000 – and the bride-to-be doesn’t like it. If she sells it to a second-hand hand jeweller she might get £495 and although she buys a new ring that she prefers the style of, a ring for £495 is way smaller and has lower quality diamonds. She has effectively downgraded her jewellery.

If she came to us with the original ring, we could remove the diamonds from the first ring and reset them into a new design. She could also change the ring from yellow gold to white and use the gold setting as part payment. Such a remodelling process would cost £495 and, by using the original diamond, the ring retains its commercial and sentimental value.”

The reasons brides-to-be dislike their engagement ring include incorrect size (they would have liked a bigger or smaller diamond), the centre diamond is the wrong shape or they wanted a clear/coloured diamond. Some brides feel there’s not enough sparkle, or they would have liked a multi-stone diamond ring or shoulder set diamonds. Others would have preferred rose gold/ yellow gold/platinum. Some brides-to-be want a ‘wedfit’ set (an engagement ring shaped so the wedding ring will eventually sit neatly next to it and look like one ring).

In the first instance, take the ring back to the retailer to see if it can be exchanged or made to meet your requirements. Alternatively, speak to a reputable jeweller who is a member of the BJA (British Jewellers Association); they will give you impartial advice on the different options available.

We can try to change the stone size up or down and, if a coloured diamond is required, we can remove the existing diamond and replace it with the customer’s choice. If the centre diamond is the wrong shape, we would either remodel or make a new shank to fit the correct stone. We also offer a shape to fit service on any diamond engagement ring, making a diamond/plain wedding band to sit neatly next to it without gaps.

If you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring, try to identity the four Cs with your partner before you buy, finding out what cut, colour, clarity and carat she prefers. Based on this information, shop around to see who can give you the best deal.

It’s important to buy a diamond ring handcrafted in the UK; if it’s above 0.30ct, make sure it has a diamond certificate and is British Hallmarked. The difference in the quality and the diamond setting will ensure the diamonds never fall out (unless you accidently damage the ring) so it lasts a lifetime. If you have the budget, purchase a platinum diamond engagement ring, rather than 9ct or 18ct white gold, to avoid the unnecessary costs of rhodium plating the white gold periodically.”

Wedding Beauty

Skincare, Health and Fitness

Certain beauty treatments such as facials, are the most obvious thing a bride feels that she needs but to be honest with you, if you aren’t having regular facials already then there is really no need to start now.  The same thing goes for any other treatments or products promising to tone, tighten or take years off you!  

The best thing you can do for your skin is to keep yourself healthy.  Making a conscious effort to drink more water, eat more vegetables and increase your protein intake will give you far better and quicker results than any “wonder” treatment or product.  Green and herbal teas are great for keeping you hydrated and for flushing out toxins and they are a lot more interesting than water.

Nails

As for manicures and pedicures, while it is lovely to visit the salon and be pampered while they do it for you, this can become extremely costly. Fear not however! These are super simple to do at home and in all honesty I actually prefer doing these myself at home. I don’t have to sit impatiently waiting for my nails to dry in a strange place, I can watch TV or read a book in the comfort of my home while any polish sets.  

Hair and Makeup 

Firstly, make sure it is just a basic trim and not a complete restyle that they need you to model for! There should be no need to worry as you’ll usually find a senior stylist present at all times to ensure there aren’t any mistakes.  As for conditioning your hair, again, it’s nice to get wrapped up in all the beautifying but you don’t need to rush out and buy the latest keratin treatment! There are lots of home remedies you can make to nourish your hair or even just applying coconut oil can help bring any ratty locks back to their ultimate shine!

 

When it comes to wedding makeup for the day, if you don’t have the budget for a makeup artist then putting some hours in on YouTube tutorials to teach yourself can really help.  It’s like learning any new skill, it’ll take time so be patient. I would make sure you find a YouTube artist that you find easy to follow and stick with following their videos only instead of confusing yourself hopping from one to another. If you’re in need of some new makeup anyway, then getting yourself down to a makeup counter for a ‘“free” makeover which is redeemable off products purchased after then this could be a great learning tool for you too.

 

If you really don’t have a budget for wedding hair or makeup artist then don’t scrimp on costs or forego a hair or makeup trial unless you are absolutely sure that they will do a great job for you on your wedding day. Tension will be running higher than normal on your wedding morning and time will be precious so you do not want any nasty surprises or added stress of trying to rectify a bad hair or makeup situation! You could be better off just doing it yourself if you’ve practised enough – that way you will know exactly what you are doing and what to expect.

 

Back up plans

As far as big life events go, marriage is often touted as one of the most stressful.  When planning a wedding it take a lot of time and patience. It’s a once in a lifetime thing so it’s only natural to feel some weight on your shoulders during this time.

 

Whether it’s during the arduous planning stages or the task of keeping up appearances on the day, there’s a lot to think about. When it comes to initially booking your wedding entertainment or live band it can seem a little overwhelming with so much choice and information to take in.

 

In a stressful time you need helpful and stress free people – which is exactly what the entertainment experts at Red Masque can recommend. With all the other stresses that go hand in hand when planning a wedding, why worry about your entertainment when someone else can take the pressure off you?

 

Hire a wedding organiser.

Wedding planning is an easy process is. Not only that, you’ll feel safe in the knowledge that you have booked a professional and an experienced act that you can trust. This is huge in controlling your stress levels on your wedding day! An act or band of this calibre are well versed in performing at weddings just like yours and are prepared for any eventuality.

 

Guest Babysitting

Consider the general mood and atmosphere on your day and how you can manipulate this at key times. Bored guests get fidgety and frustrated easily. This happens most often during the drinks reception which is a common lull. Why not get your entertainment to ‘babysit’ your guests whilst you’re away taking photos? Doing this means you don’t have to worry about your guests well-being in your absence. Acts like magicians and caricaturists are perfect for this and are sociable enough to be able to keep everyone happy!

 

African Wedding

There is something special about African weddings with celebrations from jumping the broom to tasting four elements. To make it memorable and happy, here are some traditions that you can include in your wedding to personalize it so that it pleases everyone with unique experiences.

Jumping the Broom

This tradition reaches all the way back to slavery times. Today, this game consists of the bride and the groom jumping over a beautifully decorated handmade broom to publicly signify their commitment to one another. The newlyweds can hang the broom in their home as a reminder of their wedding day and commitment to one another.

Libation Ceremony

As a way to honour the elders in your families and to honour your ancestors, this ceremony has lots of meaning. To perform the Libation ceremony, use holy water or alcohol to pour on the ground in east, west, north and south respectively. Someone should be designated to learn and recite the prayers to say during the ceremony.

Kola Nuts

The Kola nut is given to the couple during an African wedding. With the nut symbolizing the happy couple and extended family, it means the couple is willing to help heal together as one. The Kola nut should be shared between the newlyweds and their parents.

Tying the Knot

With this ceremony, the bride and groom are tied around the wrists with a cloth or grass that has been braided for the ceremony. The braided grass symbolizes the unity of marriage. The ceremony is conducted while the wrists are tied.

Crossing Sticks

Use two tall wood sticks that represent life force among the trees and the couple will cross the sticks to represent the unity of their love and start their marriage on the right foot.

Knocking the Door

In this ceremony, the groom will knock on the door of his future in-laws and bring them gifts and requests permission to marry. This ceremony brings the families closer together.

Purple and Gold

Choosing these colours for your wedding colours not only adds fabulous and modern feeling, but it is also an African American wedding tradition because they represent royalty in many African cultures.

Feeding the Family

After the four elements tasting, it’s time to sit down and share a meal with the family. Joining the families is important in the African wedding ceremonies.

Ditching the Diamond

Because many diamonds have been mined in Africa, some brides choose to use a different stone as a symbol of their marriage instead. Ditching the diamond is becoming more popular today.

Kente Cloth

All brides want to have the Kente cloth as part of their wedding. This bright fabric is gold, green, and red in color and is made in Ghana. The groom’s vest can be made from this material or you may see it in the bridesmaid dresses.

 

Classic Traditions

Trends come and go. But, if you want your wedding to be more timeless than trendy, consider incorporating some of classic traditions that have been in hiding for years.

We think it’s time to bring these sweet rituals back!

  1. Tying The Knot

It turns out there is deep symbolism behind the phrase “tying the knot.” It refers to an old Irish and Scottish ritual called hand-fasting. The officiant ties the couple’s hands together with a brightly coloured ribbon or cord. The rope symbolises that the couple is bound together with an eternal bond. Hand-fasting is popular in European weddings—Prince William and Kate Middleton even incorporated it into their royal wedding ceremony.

  1. Wedding Bells

The church bells ringing at the beginning and/or end of a wedding ceremony was once thought to ward off any evil or negative spirits. As many wedding ceremonies have moved out of the church and fewer churches seem to have bells, this tradition has fallen by the wayside. But, don’t give up on this one yet. The original Celtic tradition involved a smaller bell that was rung at the end of the ceremony. The bell was then brought to the couples’ new home and whenever tensions arose (as often they do with newlyweds) the bell was to be rung to restore the marriage commitment and break off the negativity of the argument.

  1. Sixpence In Your Shoe

Most of us are familiar with the rhyme “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” But, not as many are aware of the last line, “and a sixpence in her shoe.”  The sixpence was given by a father to the bride to symbolise all the blessings he had for her. By giving her the sixpence, he was symbolically wishing her great health, wealth and happiness that could be passed down with the coin from generation to generation. So sweet!

  1. Decorating The Car

The ritual of decorating the bride and groom’s wedding car with flowers on the bonnet and ribbons streaming from the side mirrors or ariel began in Germany. The newly married couple would lead a procession to their reception, and guests would beep their horns all the way there to get the party started!

  1. Money Dances

This is a custom that comes in several different forms depending on the culture of the bride and groom. In Poland, the bride will dance with different guests as they take turns pinning money to her. It is sometimes called the apron dance as brides would wear aprons in order to save their gowns from holes. At an Italian wedding, you may see the bride carrying a silk bag and when guests come to dance with her they put money into the bag. The Phillipines, Mexico and several other countries also have their own version of the money dance.

  1. Love Letters

In traditional Icelandic wedding ceremonies, the future bride and groom would write love letters to each other the night before the wedding. They would use the letters to express their feelings about the upcoming day, as well as their hopes and dreams for their future together, or to recount the story of how they fell in love. Oftentimes, parents of the bride and groom or the officiant of the ceremony would also write a letter to the couple. The letters would then be sealed in a box to be opened on the couple’s first anniversary. What a beautiful and meaningful tradition.