Something Old, Something New: Embracing Wedding Kitsch

What kistch are you keeping?

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

If you look closely at the APW sidebar, you’ll see a bunch of ads for the APW book that say things like, “It’s okay if you don’t throw the bouquet,” and, “Your mom doesn’t need that aisle runner.” When I got married reassurances like these were my lifeblood, because the idea of any of that kitschy nonsense working its way into my wedding was terrifying, on a visceral level (which probably had more to do with a lot of deeply ingrained fears about tradition and becoming a wife than with the bouquet toss itself). And while it’s still very reassuring to hear that you don’t need an aisle runner when the WIC saying you definitely do and you’re just trying to figure out how you can afford to feed anyone at the damn wedding, do you want to know the dirty secret of being a married lady working for a wedding website? Now that I’m almost four years out from the day, I have a deep and abiding love for the kitsch.

That’s right. I love tulle and bouquet tosses and everything else that made me scrunch up my nose when someone brought it up during my own wedding planning. Maybe it’s because the further out from my wedding I get, the more I realize that there are a lot of performative aspects to weddings, that weddings themselves are a form of kistch, and if that’s true, then maybe it’s okay if not every part of the day has a deeper meaning. Maybe it’s okay if you just do things because you get a kick out of how silly they are. In fact, Hipster Maddie thinks that the bigger the indie wedding movement gets, the more important it is for us to embrace the kitschy parts of wedding tradition that gave rise to the movement to begin with, if only in the name of not taking things quite so seriously.

So today we want to know: what wedding kitsch are you embracing? Are you going for the old something borrowed, something blue quartet? (It turns out Meg and I both did.) Tossing the bouquet? Are you excited? Wary because you’re only doing it to make your mom happy? Are you reclaiming any wedding kitsch in a way that you’re particularly excited about? (Like, hint, the APW staff is obsessed with this generally badass reclaiming of the garter toss.) Let us know. Married folks, tell us what wedding kitsch you embraced or rejected. Would you do it any differently now? I, for one, agreed to wear a sixpence in my shoe on my wedding day (a tradition in Michael’s family. They have a real sixpence!), but at the last minute realized it was going to fall out of my strappy sandal. So you know what I did? I put that sucker in my zebra-striped pasty and danced the night away.

But before we get into the open thread, we also wanted to use this post as an opportunity to introduce our newest How-To series starting this week, appropriately themed: Kitschy Wedding Crafts. Inspired by the commentary on our Grocery Store Cake post and the comments on this open thread, as well as a desire to show the wedding industry that you don’t need to be a professional artist to make sexy wedding decor, we spent three days crafting tutorials from items found mostly at The Dollar Store and Party City. Get ready for a heavy dose of glitter and tissue paper, folks. I think this might be our best How-To series yet.

Photo by APW Sponsor Allison Andres

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

Staff Picks

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  • K

    My best friend borrowed my something-old: handmade rose-petal beads wrapped around our bouquets. It still makes me happy to think about it! I wear the beads on a necklace on our wedding anniversary.

    • C

      I am the best friend! It makes me really happy to think about it, too! I wanted to do the old, new, borrowed, blue thing because my ring has sapphires (and because I loved the Little House on the Prairie books growing up and Laura did it when she got married). It was so nice of K to let me use something from her family and her wedding!

  • SJ

    We’re doing all of it:

    1. Something Old: Vintage pearls my sweetheart gave me
    2. Something New: Mah dress (new to me anyways….hurrah for sharing in someone else’s happiness!)
    3. Something Borrowed: a bracelet from his Mom.
    4. Something blue: My garter–TARDIS blue baby!

    I’m tossing the bouquet and he’s going to do the garter toss. Because if I tried to do these things after the wedding I’m that crazy lady who threw bunches of flowers at people and let her husband under her skirt in public… again.

    • meg

      “Because if I tried to do these things after the wedding I’m that crazy lady who threw bunches of flowers at people and let her husband under her skirt in public… again.”

      I just snarfed my water.

      • SJ


    • Sara

      I love the mental image of someone just standing in a public place and yelling “All single ladies please gather for the bouquet toss” and then tossing flowers at a group of girls.

      Also: Tardis Blue? NICE.

    • LMN

      Wow… I really didn’t plan on doing a bouquet/garter toss but you made me see it in a whole new light. Mind you, now I kind of want to be that crazy lady who throws flowers at people in public too…

      Also, TARDIS blue garter FTW! I’m thinking of getting a charm to attach to my bouquet or garter because even though it may be the one of the cheesiest damn lines in the whole series, it takes all the thought/coordination out of the the whole old/new/borrowed/blue deal.

  • Teresa

    I did something old (my wedding band was my great grandmother’s), something new (dress, shoes, etc), something borrowed (ankle bracelet from my mom) and something blue (the sapphires in my engagement ring and wedding band). I was super stressed out over the something borrowed, and just kind of took the ankle bracelet from my mom as a last resort, but our photographer took some cute pictures of our shoes and you can see the ankle bracelet in some of them and I really love that it is my mom’s.

    We also did the big cutting of the cake, with feeding each other cake (but no smooshing in the face…I just can’t.). We have these crazy big smiles on our faces in all of the pictures and I LOVED our cake topper so much that I really looked forward to that part in the day. Also, the song we picked to cut the cake to (I Will by the Beatles) has come to be even more sentimental than our wedding song.

  • Anonymous

    My husband insisted on the “cake cutting” even though we didn’t have cake. I thought it was dumb and yet another thing we had to do in front of everyone which was my least favorite part about the wedding. It ended up being pretty fun and the pictures from it were some of my favorite. Thinking back, that’s about the only traditional type thingy we did…

    • Louise

      My mother-in-law insisted on us cutting the “cake” and, as she made 17 pies for our wedding, she earned the right to make that demand. The pictures are pretty cute, and it wasn’t terrible, even though I do not like being the center of attention. The pies and her happiness in the moment were well worth the 3 minutes of performance.

  • Trinity

    I’m so excited for this week’s How-To posts! Since we’re having our open-house reception party at a VFW, I’m considering really embracing the kitsch by hanging these pink wedding bells:

    My friends set me up to properly observe the something-old-new-borrowed-blue tradition. (I’m really proud of my Tardis-blue peep-toe pumps.) And my fiance’s mother gave me her mother’s gorgeous antique brooche-locket.

    • Anonymous

      Dude, you should so do this. We had old school paper decorations and my wedding looked like a classy Catholic school dance which was just what I wanted. It really fit our vintage (read old) location, an run down Italian Social Club. I had not bells, but globes and then the circular fan thingys. Since I was going for all metallics, I found metallic versions of these and then got plain white ones to fill out the space. While I’d wanted them to be grouped and chunked like the modern weddings do, my kind of crappy coordinators put them all up just like they were decorating for a wedding in 1969. It was awesome actually. I can’t recommend it enough and people got a huge kick out of it – thinking we had intentionally decorated in an old fashioned way.

      • Carolyn

        I want to see this wedding!!

    • Sarah NCtoPA

      I’m going to go nerdy here–a true Doctor Who wedding will include Matt Smith showing up at your reception (ala Amy Pond). A Torchwood wedding means waking up the day of your wedding, after the hen do, hugely pregnant (ala Gwen). My Anglophile husband was mildly disappointed neither happened.

      We kept the receiving line, brothers escort the mothers and dad escort me in traditional parts of the wedding. They meant a lot to our families.

      • Sarah NCtoPA

        When my partner and I read through your book, Meg, he also selected “traditional” and “non-traditonal” for wedding traits we’d like to have.

  • We decided to mix up the garter toss a bit. I had been to a wedding not long before ours where the Best Woman removed and tossed the garter. My husband was also having a Best Woman, and I liked her a lot, so we decided to give it a go. We didn’t explain it beforehand to our guests (what could we say? We saw it and stole it. There wasn’t any deeper meaning). I think it confused some people, and in retrospect my husband wishes he had done it himself. Maybe we’ll do a vow renewal someday and he can do it then.

  • We axed the bouquet & garter tosses (cause, no thanks).

    But kept the Old/New/Borrowed/Blue, mainly because my mom showed up that morning with a Borrowed and Blue for me, and I already happened to be wearing and Old and New for the wedding.

  • Ali S

    Maddie, my future in-laws have an actual sixpence too!! Its a tradition in their family, so I’m intending on wearing it in my shoe – but in the pasty sounds pretty badass too!

    I’m doing that whole rhyme:
    Old- my mom’s veil
    New- my dress
    Borrowed- a necklace of my grandmothers
    Blue- garter or shoes, I can’t decide!!!
    And a sixpence for my shoe, of course.

    Fiance and I are pretty traditional, and I love the kitsch. So I’m pretty sure we’re doing a whole slew of ridiculousness. Minus the aisle runner. And no chair covers, I’m firmly anti-chair covers.

    • meg

      I also had a real sixpence in my shoe. HAVE actually, since I still wear those shoes all the time, and I never took it out.

      • Carolyn

        Two of my best friends and I have used the same sixpence and are saving it for the next of our friends. It was incredibly meaningful to me since even though we weren’t necessarily all each others’ bridesmaids it still forced us (in a good way) to spend a few minutes together before each ceremony just being best friends.

      • MDBethann

        Didn’t do the sixpence in my shoe. I probably have one somewhere, but didn’t even think about it (bad Anglophile!). Definitely something to remember some day if my sis gets married.

        What’s the full rhyme again? I sadly don’t remember it all.

    • Another sixpence-haver. Three cheers for knowing the entirety of the rhyme. “…And a silver/lucky sixpence in her shoe.”

      So far, I have it to loan out to friend for their weddings. (Three times now, I think?) And it will be in my shoe next year.

  • We didn’t do the bouquet toss or garter toss. We did, however, embrace cutting the cake and feeding it to each other (no smashing and we each grabbed a full slice of our cutting cake after we shared our tiny slice). I aldo did the old/new/borrowed/blue:

    1: Old: earrings my great-grandmother gave me for my 16th birthday – six months before she passed away. They are among my most treasured possessions.
    2: New: My red hair flower my mom made for me
    3: Borrowed: Pearls from my grandmother that my hair stylist wove into my hair.
    4: Blue: My mom embroidered our wedding date in blue on some silk and I stitched it into the hem of the liner of my gown the night before the wedding with my maid of honor helping.

    I can’t help but smile when I see them all together in pictures from our photographer and guests, either.

    • Jennie

      Similarly, we did the cake cutting, they resulted in some of my favorite pictures of the night!

      And because I’m enjoying reading others, I also did the old/new thing:

      Old: Dress that I got consignment
      New: Earings
      Borrowed: My best friend/maid of honor’s bustier that she wore at her wedding
      Blue: my shoes!

      • I love the pictures from our cake-cutting!

        I want to know more about the consignment dress :-)

    • Carolyn

      My mom is sooo embarrassed that we fed each other cake using forks. Still. Two years later.

      So, just, that is a thing moms worry about apparently.

  • Don’t Hassle the Haf

    The only way that I would have agreed to a bouquet toss was if the DJ played “Move B****” by Ludacris but unfortunately the Hubby vetoed it (some nonsense about old people and children being around). I guess I didn’t want to call out all of my single girlfriends (aka all of the bridal party). I did have blue shoes though :) but other than that we didn’t really have any traditions mostly because I didn’t want to worry about how to make them cute

    • had to clap my hand over my mouth to keep me from laughing audibly in the office. that ludacris song would have been hilarious.

    • Anonymous

      Personally the bouquet toss has always been my least favorite event at a wedding. If I could tell you the number of times I’ve been rudely (and roughly) shoved onto a floor to catch a bouquet when I wasn’t interested in getting married…

      I always found the tradition offensive and hurtful. Maybe other chicks dig it, but I’ve never met one to be honest.

      • Amanda

        At my stepsister’s wedding, I happened to be the only single woman over the age of about fourteen and she still forced me up there with all the girls. I had also come to the wedding by myself because I was in a not so great and soon to be ending relationship. It was humiliating, but I felt I couldn’t say anything because the bride was making me do it. As far as I know, she doesn’t hate me, but it sure seemed like it right then. Not cool.

        • I think, even if the bride does the bouquet toss (legit choice for her), that forcing/cajoling guests to participate is in bad taste. We often discuss here that having a wedding is an act of hospitality for your guests, and making them uncomfortable by mandating participation in a party game (even if its one YOU really enjoy), is just as inhospitable as not feeding people on time.

          It strikes me as so odd how often guests are “made” to participate one way or another, in something they dislike. In any other situation, it’d be pretty obvious that it’s more fun when everyone involved is comfortable. (i.e. people who want to play can do so, and people who don’t want to play don’t have to.)

        • Anonymous

          My lovely sister, clawed my arm and made me bleed trying to force me out to catch the bouquet at her wedding. A wedding I attended with my partner of 10 years. It had been made clear to my family many years before we would not ever be marrying as it wasn’t for us.

          I’ve yet to see this tradition done with a spirit of inclusiveness, generosity or any other positive emotion behind it. I get the point of this piece as Maddie stated is to embrace the kitsch and not worry about the feelings behind it, but the bouquet toss is all about “Who wants to get married?!” I don’t get it. And no guy ever wants to catch the garter. I’ve only ever seen guys with their hands in their pockets looking miserable out there.

          • Laura C

            At the one bouquet toss I ever participated in (because I felt I had to), I stood with my hands behind my back as the bouquet bounced off my hip and hit the floor.

          • Corrie

            Um, at all the weddings I’ve been to that involved bouquet and garter tosses, NO ONE has wanted to catch either. In fact, at two of them, I had to run and grab the bouquet off the floor before the bride turned around because everyone else was standing there staring at it like it was diseased. I wanted no part of it, but would’ve felt bad if the bride saw all of us standing there staring at her flowers on the floor.

            At the other weddings, I’ve managed to sufficiently hide myself when “All the Single Ladies” comes on accompanied by the call to the floor to be put on display, because even though I’m not engaged, I’ve been with my boyfriend over 9.5 years, and definitely do not consider myself a single lady.

          • I was just at a wedding with one of my best friends, and when it was time for the garter toss, he said “Be right back. I’m about to WIN this thing!” And, sure enough, he came back a few minutes later victorious. My husband and I couldn’t figure out why he cared so much, except that he’s naturally a really driven, high achieving, competitive person. My other theory is that he’s been to enough weddings to know how awkward the garter toss can be and didn’t want to bride to feel bad, so he was extra enthusiastic about it.

          • meg

            He cared because he is awesome ;) I’ve never met a bouquet toss I wasn’t about to win. In fact, I wonder if I can get in on the garter situation. I feel like I can, that’s totally a married woman loophole….

          • Rachel Anni

            I’ve seen a wedding in which the bride and groom made a bouquet out of scratch-off lotto tickets and attached a bunch to a garter, and threw them into a crowd of all the ladies (single or not) and all the men, respectively. Totally generous, inclusive, and ingenious. :)

        • Remy

          I’ve seen the same thing happen, and it sucks, so I avoided the shoving and the shaming by making the bouquet thing inclusive — anyone of any age, gender, or relationship status was invited to participate, and we did a blindfolded ring-around-the-rosy/musical-chairs setup. A male friend of ours was the one I handed it to, and he immediately got down on a knee and presented the bouquet to his wife.

          • Nicely done! Also, your flower crown is GORGEOUS

        • meg

          It’s basically my favorite part of all weddings ever. Just as a counter narrative here. I’ve been blindingly competitive about it since I was seven, and I have no words for how much I love it. (I’ve also been on the floor with plenty of women who loved it as much as me).

          I’ve caught… two. One at 14, one at 27. Which is actually not so bad, given how few weddings I go to.

          I now hope to end up at weddings where no one knows I’m married, so no one will call me out for catching another.

          <3 <3 <3 <3 THAT kind of feminist.

          • Caroline

            Oh yeah, I would always fight to catch it, and my mom would get mad at me telling me I was too young for it.

          • k

            I personally am not the hugest fan of the bouquet toss, but one of my favourite memories of my never-married great aunt who died in 2003 at the age of 105 was of her out there with all the other single girls at my cousin’s wedding when she was in her 80s saying with a grin, “It’s never too late, you know.”

          • MDBethann

            Eeep! Sorry Meg for accidentally reporting this comment. And I’m not even on a smartphone! I was trying to hit “exactly” because I always got really competitive about bouquet tosses too.

            It seems to be dying out though. At my wedding last year, the ladies all sort of hung back, and my flower girl niece ended up catching it (with the help of my sister’s best friend). My nephew decided he wanted to be in on the action too, so he was out on the floor with all the girls. That was cute.

            We did NOT do a garter toss. My DH doesn’t like being the center of attention. I was okay with that, but wore a garter anyway :-)

        • alyssa

          Oh man, another lover of the bouquet toss here. I had been fighting my whole life to catch the bouquet and always got so mad as a child when it was obviously tossed to the maid of honor. I got my moment in the sun, finally, at 22. If I hadn’t caught it before getting married, I would have been SO SAD. I still feel like running up to catch the bouquet.
          Hey, every day is a new commitment! I should catch it again!

      • Lena

        Maybe I’m a freak, but I love the bouquet toss. I’ve caught the bouquet twice and the scrambling and fighting is fun to me, but you know once again I might just be an aggresive freak who likes to win.

        • Remy

          I liked it, too, and having only been to a few weddings before my own, the opportunities were slim. But I did catch it once! And texted my then-long-distance-girlfriend, who was not yet my fiancee but eventually decided it would be a good idea. ;)

      • KC

        I have known girls who looove the bouquet toss (attention! flowers!), but I also have friends who are not enthused, and I also have friends who really hate it. (at a wedding after mine, one friend actually bolted [semi-subtly] out of the reception and then took a walk around the block during the time scheduled for bouquet tossing so she couldn’t be nabbed for it)

        I think it’s a know-your-crowd thing, and also don’t force people in (and if you know people might be forced in by older friends/relatives who are asking them when *they’re* getting married, maybe skip it).

      • I plan on doing a survey of the single women attending. If enough of them are interested I will, but if they aren’t into it I won’t. I don’t have my heart set either way.

      • Mirandom

        My rational brain HATES the bouquet toss, for all sorts of feministy reasons. But, you get one or ten gin & lemonades in me and suddenly my competitive edge takes over and I’ll elbow complete strangers to catch me some flowers. This may or may not have actually happened a few months ago at a friend’s wedding.

        I was all set on not having a bouquet toss at my hypothetical future wedding, but now I’ll have one only if I can play Ludacris.

    • Copper

      I said I would not toss a bouquet, but if manfriend built me a trebuchet, I would gladly launch it. I have yet to see signs of my trebuchet being constructed…

      Also vetoed that awful “put a ring on it” song. The combination of that + bouquet toss has been one of the most offensive wedding elements ever conceived of as far as I’m concerned.

      • Stephanie

        On board for the trebuchet plan! I wasn’t going to toss my bouquet, but I’ve always wanted a trebuchet. This may be my chance to get one…

        • K.A.

          My “bouquet” is a pomander. I hope those who participate in the toss have some kind of sports background because that thing is really going to fly!

      • SamA

        Our venue had a little pond outside… which my (then) husband-to-be *really* really* wanted to use to launch my bouquet Viking-style out into the centre, and then fire a flaming arrow at it!
        Sadly, we did not.

    • jashshea

      SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Best idea ever. Someone needs to do this and report back.

    • jane

      At my cousin’s wedding in 2012, my uncle firmly grabbed my hand and led me to the floor for the bouquet toss. Pretty embarrassing, as I was 32 and had not had a boyfriend in about eight years. She tossed, and reflexively I caught the flowers, much to my chagrin.

      And then, two months later, I met my fiance at a party! We’re getting married in two and a half weeks. My family points to this as proof that the bouquet toss is magical.

      But none of my friends are single, so no bouquet toss for my wedding.

    • Melise

      We played Move B****! The clean version, which is even more hilarious than the original. Unfortunately the DJ was dumb and told us 2 seconds before that he was going to play single ladies first because that’s what people recognized. I said whatever because I obviously had other things on my mind (like being married!) but then there was this awkward moment when all the girls were there waiting and I wouldn’t throw it because it wasn’t the right song.

    • Margaret Thatcher

      That’s now officially our bouquet toss song. Thank you for that. :D

    • Anonymous

      I’m also a little bothered by all the comments regarding appreciating it…for the competitive aspect.

      Um…why would there be a competitive part of a wedding? How is that honoring the bride and groom and their commitment?

      If you want to be competitive, join a softball team. But I honestly just can’t understand why any caring bride would expose ALL her female guests to this ritual? What are you going to do, have the dj announce, “The bouquet toss for those ladies or gents who would like to participate. For anyone who cares not to participate, that’s fine and also all other guests don’t shame or embarrass them for not wanting to participate”

      Its ingrained and not in a good way for people to be asshats about the bouquet toss at weddings. I make sure to leave the reception whenever the bouquet toss is coming. Because I’ve been abused and physically harmed too many times in my life over this crap. It sounds like I’m far from the only one. If there is a tradition to seriously consider doing away with, its this mess.

      • Lena

        “I’m also a little bothered by all the comments regarding appreciating it…for the competitive aspect.

        Um…why would there be a competitive part of a wedding? How is that honoring the bride and groom and their commitment? ”

        Short simple answer? It is not honoring the bride and groom.

        My take on why its still okay to enjoy it: because not everything at every wedding has to be about honoring the couple (you are free to do whatever you want at yours). I would say it falls more on the big party side rather than the super intimate marriage side of the wedding. People have cornhole and horseshoes at their receptions so why not a bouquet toss? Glad you want to do away with it, but some of us really enjoy it so maybe try not to be dismissive of the people who enjoy it?

  • jashshea

    Did most of the somethings: grandmother’s ring was blue/old; Shoes & dress were new; Earrings were borrowed. Didn’t do the halfpenny which is good b/c I was barefoot 85% of the day.

    No bouquet/garter toss or cake cutting. I didn’t want any activities that reduced dancing time (cake cutting is a song-waster for me :)).

    • jashshea

      Oh, and I touchdown spiked my bouquet at the end of the night. The mothers were NOT PLEASED.

      • Kate


    • Lindsay

      we did the cake-cutting as soon as we were announced into the reception….everyone was standing and clapping and watching us anyway AND we didn’t take up any dancing time later. worked out pretty great…and we had some awesome pics from that moment since we were happy and fresh from drinks and laughing during cocktail hour (which is where we visited w/everyone instead of doing a receiving line…i HATE those things, so. awkward.)

  • Polly

    We did the “Something Old, Something New…” but looking back on it, it was more about celebrating the people around me, since basically each item was from someone else. My something blue was my favorite: a pin my grandmother gave my mother on her wedding day, and she gave to me on mine. It was so special. My something old was my late grandmother’s wedding band, and I borrowed a beautiful pair of earrings from my grandmother-in-law. Lots of celebration of grandmothers/mothers!

  • TeaforTwo

    I thought the old/new/borrowed/blue tradition was silly and didn’t imagine I would bother, but it”s really growing on me through my engagement. I’ve been really touched by the women in my fiance’s family (who have incredible style) who have pulled me aside to offer me the run of their jewellery boxes for my something borrowed. It’s just one more way that I’ve been touched by the generosity and love that weddings bring out in people.

    As to the rest of it – of course I’m already wearing something new, my late mother’s wedding ring (that will be my wedding ring) is the best something old I can imagine, and…I haven’t figured out something blue yet. But I like the kitschy tradition, because lots of friends and salespeople have pointed out shoes, undergarments, etc. as a good “something blue, and it’s starting to feel like another small way of being in touch with decades of brides who came before me.

  • Laura C

    “Maybe it’s because the further out from my wedding I get, the more I realize that there are a lot of performative aspects to weddings, that weddings themselves are a form of kistch, and if that’s true, then maybe it’s okay if not every part of the day has a deeper meaning.”

    This is all true, and probably a big part of why I really, really don’t want any of the overtly kitschy things: the basic fact of having a wedding is way too performative and kitschy to begin with for my taste. Not because I fear being married, but because the whole wedding thing is just profoundly not me, and taking a day that’s filled with crap that’s not me but where I have to be the center of attention and then adding on, like, ironic twists on all the most sexist pieces of symbolism kind of makes me want to punch someone. I’m totally in favor of appropriating symbols of oppression and using them to our own ends, etc, etc, etc, but with wedding stuff I Am Not There Yet. And probably never will be, because there is so much about wedding culture that I find deeply upsetting.

    And then I worry that this makes me not fun. I mean, even separate from the very real possibility that all the performance and center-of-attentionness will make me cranky and mean on my wedding day (as I was the day of my PhD defense, for instance).

    • The “you’re not fun!” rhetoric drives me up a wall. I can totally understand your frustration there. I was often the “not fun” one growing up, and while I’ve since turned into a social butterfly, I still have a hard time “letting things slide” when they seriously affront my tastes or sensibilities.

      Assuming you aren’t a complete grinch 100% of the time, you ARE fun. There is no one way to have fun. Is someone not fun if they get sick on roller coasters? If they can’t stand baseball? If they refuse to ice-skate because they hate being cold? If they’re sober? If they’re a morning person? Just because someone doesn’t enjoy X activity, doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. Remember that. Your wedding day isn’t the end-all, be-all of fun-ness. Enjoy the parts of it you can, and have a blast with your marriage instead. Rock on, girlfriend.

      • Laura C

        I agree completely, and usually it doesn’t bug me. Partly I’m just a little crabby today so the not-fun hits close to home, and partly, the thing about the wedding is I feel like I’m saying no all the time. If it’s not that we’re not cutting the cake, it’s that we’re not spending extra for fancy tablecloths or chairs — even though we could afford to without going into debt or anything like that, I just think the amount we’re spending on this thing is already appalling enough that I don’t care if the tablecloths are crappy cotton-poly blend, they don’t cost extra and that’s good enough for me. And when you say no all the time, it’s hard not to feel like a negative, unfun person.

        Temporary answer: I just put on the song we just this week decided on for the recessional, and it’s making me happy.

        • MDBethann

          There will be food, drinks, and plates on the tablecloths. No one will notice the material from which they are made.

          As for chairs, as long as they aren’t too low to the ground (or too high), or incredibly hard & uncomfortable, people won’t care if they are “fancy” or not. As a host, you want your guests to be comfortable, and they can be comfortable in chairs that are functional (pretty doesn’t necessarily equal comfy or functional).

    • Maddie

      Man, this is such a double edged sword. I feel like the wedding industry puts so much pressure on you to do certain things, and then there’s an equal amount of pressure not to give into it for the (appropriately listed) reasons above. First things first, you’re not not fun. You can do away with just about any of the stuff we’re talking about and still have a fun wedding.

      Now, with that said, a few notes from someone who spends a lot of time at weddings:

      1. If you are worried about feeling like the center of attention, my biggest suggestion is to spend the early parts of the day alone or with your partner. The hours leading up to the ceremony are often the most stressful and are when you can feel like a zillion people have all eyes on you. Once the ceremony starts and people have something to pay attention to (i.e. your vows, cocktails, dinner, dancing, etc.) the pressure comes WAY off. So if you can keep things pretty calm and solitary up until that stuff starts, it goes a long way to keeping you from feeling like one of those child pageant stars who can’t breathe for all the people in their face.

      2. It’s obviously really important to hold onto your values during wedding planning, but I also have realized through spending a lot of time at weddings that what feels really big during planning can often pass in a second on the day of. So as much as you can balance maintaining your values without stressing yourself out over every small detail, try to. So much of that stuff is like choosing your first day of school outfit. You fret and worry and over-analyze and then the day comes and you remember that it’s about being with your friends and starting something new and the outfit takes a back seat.

      Not that any of this is easy. It’s a delicate balance. But the good news is that the reality of the day is often very different from the way it’s painted, and usually for the better.

      • Laura C

        It’s one of those things where intellectually, and usually emotionally, I know I can do away with all that stuff and still be fun. But when I’m already feeling grumpy and then I start thinking about what I’m not doing, there are mind games that happen. Basically my faith that on the day of, I’ll be able to let go of my hostility to the process stuff and enjoy the reality of it is the reason I’m going along with the whole thing. And mostly I feel ok about it!

        The not fussing too much over any one detail thing I learned when my fiance officiated some friends’ wedding and I heard him rehearse their ceremony about 25 times. They’d clearly labored over it trying to come up with something really them and meaningful, but by about the 10th time I heard it, one of the lines sounded like it had been written by a really earnest couples therapist as ground rules for a therapy session. Then in the wedding itself, I realized that if I hadn’t heard it all those times, I would never have noticed it one way or another. So we’re not going to try too hard to make the vows themselves individual, because either it’ll sound overthought or no one will notice anyway.

        • KC

          I think that with a lot of wedding things (cake, flowers, vows, music, etc.), something has to be bad to a really remarkable degree or good to a really remarkable degree to be memorable (unless it’s extremely unique in some other way, like a dalek wedding dress or whatever). Which is, I guess, probably both depressing and freeing?

    • SamA

      if it helps, AT ALL.. we had a pretty traditional wedding, which was over lunch (so not really a ‘big FUN party’ atmosphere) but, we skipped a lot of the kitsch – no garter toss, no bouquet toss, and we only cut the cake so that hubby could use the family sword to do it… 2 years later, people still remark on how fun the day was. AND… more importantly, we had fun. Together.

      It will be fun, because it will be yours. Promise.

      • Marie

        FAMILY SWORD?!

        That would be my fiance’s dream come true. Unfortunately I don’t think there is a sword in his family…

  • Kat R

    I’m doing the traditional “somethings”:

    Old – My engagement ring, which belonged fiancé’s Grandma
    New – Dress
    Borrowed – My grandmother’s bracelet, which now belongs to my mother
    Blue – Looking for a bustier (so far without a whole lot of luck)

    We nixed the garter entirely, and instead of a bouquet toss I’m inviting all of the ladies (married and unmarried) to do a women-only dance to Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” :-)

    • jashshea

      Love the dance, love the song, love it all! Great idea.

  • Kelly

    These are all fantastic! We opted for a tower of donuts with our favorite (boston kreme) on top…then a Lego bride/groom cake topper on top of those. We fed each other the boston kreme and of course got it all over our faces. :) Those photos are hilarious…Still don’t miss not having a cake.

    No bouquet/garter toss, which in retrospect was the best idea ever because there was literally no time. I wouldn’t have taken time away from any other aspect of our reception to do those two things for all the world.

    We did a joint mother/son & father/daughter dance after our first dance.

    Something old – my mom’s veil (refashioned DIY); carried my grandma’s hankerchief
    Something new – my dress; college girlfriends surprised me with a fake school tattoo (you know, those ones people use for ‘game day spirit’)…placed on my rear for the hubby :)
    Something borrowed – my BFF’s large Cubic Zirconia stud earrings
    Something blue – broach with artificial blue gems from my grandma attached to bouquet

  • Beth

    I didn’t make it a point to do the something borrow, etc, but it turned out I had everything anyway. Something borrowed was my veil and also the pearl necklace I wore (also my something old), which my grandma had given to my mom on her wedding day, something new was my dress/shoes, something blue was a ring my husband bought me when we’d been dating for a few months that he got on a trip to Turkey.

    We didn’t plan to do any other traditional stuff but somehow ended up having a “grand entrance” when we came in for dinner after doing portraits, and we cut/fed each other cake, which my husband really didn’t want to do, but we got talked into it by our friends at our table (we had cake as center pieces at each table). I have an ah-mazing picture from one of them of me feeding him cake and him rolling his eyes, which cracks me up.

    No bouquet toss/garter toss, NO congo line or macarena – the only other sort of traditional thing we did was a first dance and a father daughter dance, which I did mostly to make my dad happy.

  • Lindsey d.

    We are embracing a few traditions and eschewing others…

    Signing a Ketubah (Jewish marriage contract)
    Something Old – I’m wearing the dress my grandmother and mother both wore(!)
    Something New – my shoes
    Something Borrowed – my mother’s earrings
    Something Blue — still have to figure this out since my mom nixed the fab earrings I had picked out
    Sixpence in my shoe – borrowed from my sister-in-law
    Programs – Old school, but necessary to explain our secular Jewish Catholic ceremony
    He won’t see my dress until the morning of, during the first look, followed by the Ketubah signing
    Traditional vows
    First dance, Bride/dad dance, Groom/mom dance
    Feeding each other cake

    However, no bouquet toss and no garter toss. Of the 100 guests, only about 8 will be single women; three under 18 and the rest over 30. I’m not doing to that my single friends. And my fiance is just not interested in the garter toss.

    And before, we are doing an engagement party and a bridal shower, although the shower is mostly to make my mom happy. We are doing old school registries, because, frankly, people are going to give us stuff and we’d prefer it to be things we want/need.

  • Something old: The vintage broach I stuck in my hair
    Something new: Pretty much everything else
    Something borrowed: The same broach
    Something blue: my shoes! Which really only lasted about 2 hours into the day.

    We had a lot of the wedding traditions despite the whole lesbian big. My parents walked me down the aisle, her dad & stepdad down for her. We did a cake cutting and double bouquet toss (lesbians!) and asked everyone to come out on the floor and catch, regardless of marital status because it was for “good luck.” I really love those pictures, too.

  • MirandaVanZ

    We are doing the something old/new/borrowed/blue but not the garter and bouquet toss because after the first dance I think I will be pretty done being on display for about a year.

    Something old: I’m tying the lace ribbon my mom had tied around her bouquet to my bouquet
    Something new: Wedding dress
    Something borrowed: a broach of a bee my mom has, which I’m pinning to my bouquet
    Something blue: My blue topaz cocktail ring my grandmother gave me. She received it in the 50s so it could be something old too but I like the idea of having them separate.

    Oh and we are having 8 – 10 regular sized cakes so I’m making 8 – 10 cake toppers, most of which will probably be pretty kitschy.

  • Judy

    I did the something old/blue as follows:
    Old- My Mother’s Veil
    New- The Dress
    Borrowed- A rhinestone bracelet from my job (I work in a theatre costume shop)
    Blue- underwear!

    As for the rest my husband and I decided not to do anything we weren’t really feeling. Part of it was that my husband was raised LDS and he had never heard of some of what I thought of as “traditional” wedding things.

  • Kate

    I’m pretty attached to the idea of toasts, though I would love some tips for how to ensure the less predictable family members do not tell off-color jokes or publicly command us to go make babies. I’m not a fan of performing the bouquet or garter toss (more power to you if that’s your thing), though my guy was bewildered to learn that you do not have to have these things at a wedding.

    • Amber P

      We had a Mistress of Ceremonies that helped with this. We had asked specific people to say a few words (my Dude of Honor, my step sister, mom, mother in law, and a family friend) during the toast. Our MC called each person up in an order we put together. At the end we opened it up for anyone else that wanted to make a toast, but no one did. It went really smoothly and let people have a say in whether or not they were comfortable speaking in front of a large crowd. We had some toasts at our rehearsal dinner as well in which both of our dad’s spoke. I know my dad doesn’t really like to speak in front of large crowds, so I gave him the option of the smaller rehearsal dinner or the bigger wedding. All in all people behaved and didn’t make off color remarks. My mom had a pretty great Freudian slip. She was talking about how my husband has helped me to grow and mature and thanked him for making me a woman. Total double entendre. While my face turned every shade of red imaginable, it was hilarious! I hope this helps!!

    • Laura C

      We’re going to have an MC who makes sure that absolutely no one who is not supposed to give a toast does so — we’ve been to too many weddings where people kept jumping up and talking and the toasts went on forever and you could really tell the difference between the ones that were prepared in advance and the ones that were extemporaneous. Also the best man is the one person we’re a little concerned will decide to give a romantic comedy-style humiliating toast, so his will be vetted by some of the other groomsmen.

  • Jacky

    Not doing all the “somethings” because basically everything I’m wearing will be “new”… although I might wear some of my late mom’s jewelry as a tribute to her.

    Not doing the bouquet toss because I have a horrible fear of nobody actually attempting to catch it, leaving it to land on the floor with a sad little “whump” noise. It’s totally stupid, but I KNOW I would worry about that and don’t want to intentionally create moments of stress at my wedding. Garter toss is out too because neither of us feels strongly about including it. Besides, I’ve never heard of anyone doing a garter toss without a bouquet toss.

    We ARE doing a cake cutting, complete with squishing it in each other’s faces, because my sister-in-law is putting a lot of work into making us a big fancy cake and her effort deserves a little moment in the spotlight.

    • Corrie

      I’ve watched your horrible fear come to life multiple times (see my comment above)!

      • Jacky

        “Um, at all the weddings I’ve been to that involved bouquet and garter tosses, NO ONE has wanted to catch either. In fact, at two of them, I had to run and grab the bouquet off the floor before the bride turned around because everyone else was standing there staring at it like it was diseased. I wanted no part of it, but would’ve felt bad if the bride saw all of us standing there staring at her flowers on the floor.”

        Ohhhh jeez that is kind of hilarious. Aside from not wanting to toss a bouquet myself, I never find myself wanting to participate in catching anyone else’s. I’ve managed to either get out of it or stay at the very back of the crowd every time.

        • I did that same thing. Everyone else hid behind me as though it were a grenade, and there was this bunch of red roses on the floor in front of me (and petals everywhere).

  • Amber P

    I had something old, something borrowed, and something blue. I wore this AMAZING ring that had belonged to my great great aunt, then my grandmother, and now me. It’s gorgeous! I then borrowed a really sweet watch from my step sister that used to belong to my step mom. And my now mother in law lent me diamond earrings that belonged to her grandmother…? Great grandmother…? Oh gosh, can’t remember now… But, I loved that I got to wear jewelry that represented all the women in my life and each side of the family. And then, my something blue was the sapphire (my birth stone) on the necklace and earrings I wore and have had forever but never had the right occasion to wear. We opted out of the garter and bouquet toss. I’m sorry, but my bouquet was way too expensive to throw around!! I did, however, really want a garter. So I made one. And wore it. And it was awesome. We looked and looked and never found a cake topper that we liked, so fresh flowers did the trick. We had a first dance, but no parent/child dances. So, pretty much kept what resonated with us and said no thanks to the rest.

  • AmandaS

    My wedding is in 59 days. We’re planning on bouquet toss, garter toss, and pie cutting. We also have bells for the tables to ring obnoxiously for a kiss.

    So far I have,
    something old- a cameo necklace my aunt purchased for herself in the 70’s. It’s really kitschy looking but it fits in with my theme and color palette.
    something new-dress, shoes, underpinnings, lots of new things
    something borrowed- I don’t know yet! I thought some of my grandmother’s jewelry. But I don’t know what
    something blue- light blue underwear.
    I actually have a penny and a 5 pence piece from England. I thought I’d put one in each shoe. Or tape them to the bottom if they seem like they’ll slide out.

  • Shari

    My daughter was married a year ago. She did the old (pearls from a great aunt and earring from her grandma), new (2 dresses, 2 pairs of shoes), borrowed (her 2 MOHs provided things from their weddings – ribbon from a bouquet, and earrings pinned to her petticoat), blue (one tiny blue flower in her hair, and blue hydrangeas in her bouquet) and a friend from the UK sent us a six pence which we taped to her shoe. Personally I was relieved they nixed the “tossings.” Is it just me, or is anyone else bothered when the little cousins stand up there too? Since when do 5-12 year olds think they’re eligible to be the next married, and parents – you’re not cute when you encourage your kids to go up there. She did take on a DIY project of making large tissue paper poms. She was happy to have made something but they didn’t add (nor take away from) the beautiful garden setting. They decided not to have a first look and they also had no get-away / send off … They rode the bus back to town with the guests. It was a beautiful mostly traditional wedding and a fun relaxed party. As for me, the MOB, I wish we could do it again… I loved my dress and want to find another occasion to wear it. And any happy occasion that blends families, and mends families, can’t happen often enough.

  • I’m not sure if I’m going to do the full Something Borrowed, but I do think I’ll wear something old: my grandmother’s opal necklace and earrings. She passed away 3 months ago, and opal is both her birthstone and mine.

    I was really not planning on doing the bouquet toss (that’s always been my least favorite part of weddings) but I recently saw a picture of a wedding where there were a bunch of little girls on the front lines of a bouquet toss group. It reminded me that the last time I genuinely wanted to catch the bouquet was a wedding I attended at age 12, and really makes me want to do a kids-only bouquet toss. Just have the DJ announce “All the kids are invited to come down front for the bouquet toss” or something. It can be gender-neutral; little boys can catch bouquets too (and probably don’t know that they’re not “supposed” to)! Has anyone done anything like this or seen it before? What do you think?

    • Catherine McK

      I think that is an adorable idea! Much better than singling out the the single ladies and a fun way to involve the kiddos.

    • Ok, just read the comment right above mine and feel like I need to clarify: I’m not saying that 5-12 year olds should want to be the next person married, I’m saying they want to catch the bouquet because they don’t know what it “traditionally” symbolizes and because catching a bunch of flowers is fun!

      (Though that sounds like a great plot for a Lifetime original movie: a five-year-old catches the bouquet and NO ONE else at the wedding is allowed to get married through the magic of bouquet-catching for 20 years until that five-year-old is old enough to get married.)

    • Meaghan

      I absolutely hated the idea of the bouquet toss because like most of us, I’ve had bad/annoying experiences at other weddings. So we used my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets (7 total) as table decorations but once the party got going, we ended up giving the bouquets away to the young girls at the wedding.

      Beyond using them as decorations, we hadn’t planned to do anything with the bouquets but one of my friends had two daughters that were 5 and 3 and they were very into princesses. Well because I was in a pretty dress with a man all dressed up, they thought I was a princess too and they wanted to dance all night with us. While taking a break from all the dancing, I noticed the girls looking at the flowers so I walked over and handed them each a bouquet and they were so excited. There were a few other young girls at our wedding so we walked around and gave them the bouquets and it was a million times better than if we had forced our single lady friends to a dance floor for something they didn’t want to do.

      • Oooh, that’s a great compromise— just give the bouquets to little kids organically some time during the reception. I’ll keep that in mind!

    • MK

      I think that sounds like a GREAT and FUN idea for the kids but… it might seem weird to the grown-ups who come with lots of presupposed ideas of what the bouquet toss means.

  • Amanda

    I must confess: while there are many things we don’t like about the WIC, I do so love tradition. We’ve eaten nearly the same meal every Thanksgiving since I can remember. We were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve: a new pair of jammies. My mother always buys us one new Christmas tree ornament a year. We were always encouraged to choose our favorite homemade birthday meal and flavor of birthday cake. I could go on, but I think you all get the picture. For me, tradition is warm and cozy and special. So, yes. I’m doing all of it. Something old: a piece of my grandma’s gown wrapped around my bouquet. Something new: TBD. Something borrowed: my sister’s pearl and diamond earrings that she wore at her wedding. Something blue: TBD…maybe my shoes.

    • We open new pajamas on Christmas Eve, too! I love that tradition so much!

      • Jennifer

        We do that too! It was a huge deal when I brought my fiance home for Christmas and my mom had bought a pair of pjs for him too!

    • Angie

      We were only allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve as well, and it was a new pair of jammies! And my mom always bought us a Christmas ornament each year, generally either with the year or our names or both written on them. So your post made me happy and brought back some lovely happy memories – thanks!

    • Lisa

      I honestly read this post thinking it must have been written by one of my sisters because we had all these traditions in our house too!

    • Amanda

      Your replies made me so happy, too! My fiance’s family is not so traditional, so it’s a been bit of a challenge to “sell” some of the traditional touches to his family, especially his mom.

  • We had such a non-traditional wedding that to me the old/new/borrowed/blue and the rest was kind of important for it to feel wedding-y to me.
    I managed to roll old/borrowed and blue into one: my mother’s simple and beautiful sapphire necklace
    My new was my dress/shoes/bodice/earrings etc.
    My husband thought the garter toss was icky, so we nixed it, but I really liked the idea of a bouquet toss, so we did one. I forgot my own strength and *HURLED* the thing way over the heads of the girls who got up, narrowly missing the crossbeam of the hall, and straight into the hands of my cousin who had just announced the date of her wedding. She wasn’t even standing with the group, my mother had made her get up. It was priceless.
    We did the cake cutting and feeding it to each other, but my husband was adamant about not squishing it, so we didn’t. The photo of us kissing afterwards is one of my favorites though.
    We did a father/daughter dance, which turned out to be EPIC, because my dad just took charge and everyone thought we’d planned it that way. Husband doesn’t dance, so no mother-son dance. Basically we picked and chose what we liked, based more on “I like this/It feels right” rather than “you need to do this.” It worked well!

  • Remy

    Old: My white canvas shoes with eyelet overlay that I’d had since high school
    New: My super-awesome and HUGE fluffy petticoat
    Borrowed: A pair of earrings from one of my bridesmaids
    Blue: The hearts my wife stitched into the outer petticoat (

    It was one of the few traditions that didn’t offend someone (like ourselves) or have the potential for major drama. I fretted a little about the Something Borrowed, because I’m not close to my mother or my mother-in-law (actually, the night before the wedding was only the second time we’d met and the first time she’d deigned to acknowledge my presence), and only one of my grandparents was present. The underlying theme of this wedding was We’re Doing This Ourselves, so when I asked my long-married friend if I could borrow a pair of earrings I liked, it was big.

  • alyssa

    Old: My grandmother’s costume jewelry – which was totally gorgeous and from the 50’s!
    New: SHOES!
    Borrowed: My little sister’s bible – I carried it down the aisle.
    –> The whole plan was to use the one my mother and grandmother had carried, but due to a small disaster, the bible was left in her house in Oregon. I sobbed uncontrollably on my dad’s shoulder for a couple hours before I realized I had two choices 1) Get married without it 2) Call off the wedding. My sister, who was 15 at the time, rushed to her room to find her mini bible. It was the exact blush color of my shoes, and the front page read this inscription: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” <– If that's not a sign, I don't know what is! Bottom Line: the tradition was important to me so that I could feel connected to my family and to my history. However, the symbolism was still alive in the bible I carried that day, and both my sisters said they would like to carry it in their own wedding, so a new tradition was born.
    Blue: a little bit of blue on my garter. Which was NOT tossed because I am such a daddy's girl and the thought of my new husband removing it around him was… cringeworthy. To me! I will say, though, that it was a riot to have my guy friends scramble for the bouquet!
    So: Do what makes you happy. Do what makes you feel connected. Don't do what makes you feel ooky. And if you feel like the one thing that means everything is lost, reevaluate: Is that really the one thing? Or is the one thing the new marriage to come?

    • “the front page read this inscription: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ”


  • Stalking Sarah

    Old: Paternal Grandmother’s pearls
    New: Dress
    Borrowed: Maternal Grandmother’s watch
    Blue: Toenail polish! (My mother was HORRIFIED. I pointed out that 0.02% of people would notice.

    Other traditional things we kept (but put our own spin on):
    -walking up the aisle with our parents (but only did it part way, and then walked the rest together)
    -bridal parties (but they were co-ed)
    -white dresses (but there were two of them, because it was a giant lesbian wedding)
    -bouquet toss (but it was lottery tickets, and married people and men could participate)
    -parent dances (but it was just one dance, and we did it with all four parents)
    -first dance (but we were goof balls and it was up beat)

    • MK

      How did that lottery ticket bouquet thing work?

    • Lea

      This! This is exactly how we will be coming down the aisle! Our parents lead each of us to meet at the end of the aisle, then we walk the rest together. Symbolic of how far our families got us, and then us entering into this marriage together as equals. It feels just right.

  • I did all the quartet of Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue – and three of those were in one item! I come from a large family and back when my very first cousin got married in 1994, a lovely aunt of mine gave her a handkerchief with her original initials and her wedding date embroidered in blue. Since then, the handkerchief has been passed from bride-to-bride with new initials added every time someone of the “Arnold family blood” gets married. It’s an old hanky – it was our Grandmother’s – it’s technically borrowed since it gets passed around and the stitching is blue.

    I also had a borrowed purse and new underwear.

    My husband and I also displayed our parents and grandparents wedding photos at the reception and we hope this catches on amongst those yet to be married. It was a wonderful way to honor where we came from and now they are hanging on our wall.

    • Jennifer

      I would love to display family wedding photos, but how do you do that if some of the couples are divorced? My parents are still married so they would love it, and my two living grandparents would love to see their wedding photos displayed, as they each lost their spouses of 45+ and 50+ years recently. But my fiance’s parents AND grandparents are all divorced, and none of the divorces were amicable. (One grandfather even has a restraining order against the grandmother. Yeesh.)

      So basically, is it ok to display my family’s pictures but not his? That seems unfair and unbalanced. While I would love to honor my family and their marriages, I don’t konw if it can be done in a way that wouldn’t seem hurtful to my fiance’s family.

      • Another Kate

        Hey there. I loved the idea of a table of family wedding photos as well, because I love photos and have a long history of happy marriages in my family, but in my husbands family…not so much. They’re literally. all. divorced (don’t get me started on the panic this has caused me on a few occasions…). So I didn’t do it, which I was bummed about, but ultimately there was no way to showcase my family’s photos without it being obvious that none of his family’s were included. I still wish it could have been different, but oh well.

        One small thing I did was on the table w/ the Italian cookies (another tradition), we displayed a photo of my grandmother w/ her cookies on her wedding day, and my mother with her cookies. Unfortunately, in the hubbub of the day, we actually didn’t get a photo of me with my cookies, and I still feel terrible about it. Sigh.

      • We went on case-by-case basis. My maternal grandmother is divorced (has been since my mother was 4). Her ex-husband, my grandfather, was not invited to the wedding so we did not display their wedding photo. We planned on displaying her wedding photo from her second marriage, but could not find one so, oh well!? She did not mind in the slightest and no one even noticed (or, if they did they had the manners not to say anything).

        His maternal grandmother is a widow and has been for many, many years. Not only could we not find a photo, but my mother-in-law has terrible memories of her dad and did not want it displayed. Furthermore, her family is very small and again, none of the guests were the wiser. We didn’t label any of the pictures, just displayed them in frames. So those guests who knew who they were appreciated the photos and those who didn’t probably just thought “oh neat, old wedding pics.”

        All that too say: ask around? If his parents and grandparents are all divorced, ask each individual whether or not they mind. Or, if only his grandparents are contentious, maybe just display parent wedding photos from both sides and not grandparents. It’s not about the fact that they’re lasting, life-long marriages per say. It’s about honoring where the two of you came from and the marriage you were, well, spawned from.

  • Jennifer

    We’re going pretty traditional. I’ll definitely have the something borrowed something blue (to be determined) though the something old is a bracelet my mother made for me out of a necklace my father gave her when I was little. She had two made – one she gave to my sister on her wedding day, and the other will be mine!

    I’m even planning on having an aisle runner; not because I feel like I have to, but because I think an aisle runner will be all the decoration the beautiful church we’re marrying in needs. Plus I may end up going barefoot, so I don’t want to walk on the cold stone floor! (I’m a super klutz and am terrified of wiping out while walking down the aisle).

    I really don’t want to do the bouquet or garter tosses, though. I always hated them, that is until I caught the bouquet at my sister’s wedding last year and met my now-fiance less than two weeks later! So maybe I’ll do it after all… :)

  • We actually did a lot of traditions:

    Something old/new/borrowed/blue
    (My mom’s engagement ring/ my wedding dress/ my mother in law’s pearls/my blue shoes)

    Cake Cutting
    (Although we totally vetoed doing another cake cutting at the receptions our families threw us after the wedding, because for some reason we felt like doing that would confirm a few people’s attitudes that our small restaurant wedding wasn’t “real.”)

    Bouquet toss
    At the end of the night, my friends and I were walking out of a karaoke bar to head home, and they pointed out we hadn’t done the toss. Just for fun I danced and tossed it their way on the street. Someone caught it, cheered, and gave it back to me so I could take it home and frame it.

    Walking down the aisle with our parents (but no one gave me away. The officiant just had the 6 of us hug each other once we were all at the front of the room.)

  • I actually didn’t think about the Old/New/Borrowed/Blue, but fortunately my mom and two of her friends arranged that nicely–a purse made of extra material from my dress (new) with one of my grandmother’s pins (borrowed), an embroidered handkerchief (old–clean, though, don’t worry it wasn’t gross), and a compact (blue) tucked inside. It wasn’t something I was planning on doing, but I thought it was really sweet that they had planned it all so thoughtfully.

    My favorite “kitschy” tradition was having a cookie table. Apparently it’s a Pittsburgh tradition, and my husband’s family is from there. When I heard about it I think my response was, “YES COOKIES CAN WE HAVE THAT NOW?”

    • Carolyn

      That is totally a Pittsburgh thing- a delicious Pittsburgh thing ;)

    • Hannah B

      We’re doing a cookie table! It is a Pittsburgh thing, and I know we’re not supposed to do things because other people say so, but apparently the cookie table is one of those things that is going to materialize even if you don’t plan for it. So, now we’re doing a bunch of sweets and cookies and my friend is making a small cake . I just feel like lots of people (at least at Pittsburgh weddings) leave the cake on the table and head for the cookies anyway, so why fight it? Plus, free cookies! Plus now I have a Pinterest board full of delicious cookie recipes that I can make forever and ever.

  • Amy

    Just yesterday I got my garter in the mail (have you discovered ETSY wedding stuff, love it) and it hit me that I’m not doing the Old, New, Borrowed, Blue thing… I didn’t even attempt to nor did it cross my mind. So there goes that.

    As far as the tossing of the bouquet/garter, my very nontraditional fiancee who has questioned literally every single detail that is done in the name of “tradition” was ALL about the garter toss. Not surprising considering it’s a legitimate excuse to dive under my skirt in public. Hence, we’re doing that.

    Our wedding (24 days away!) doesn’t have a lot of kitschy in it. But not necessarily because I dislike it, and more so because I just didn’t think of it. Plus my wonderful fiancee (and APW) helped reassure me that I did not need to have chair covers in every room and a hand-decorated aisle runner. Or centerpieces larger than my person. Or a string-quartet for the ceremony.

  • moonitfractal

    I smashed cake in my husband’s face against my family’s suggestions. He got me back, in the end.

    • Lena

      You know I’ve been reading along going of course I would never smash cake in my groom’s face nor will he smash it in my face, I would be mortified *clutches at pearls*, until I got to your comment. Then I really thought about it and realized I totally would. We are the couple that if there is a can of whipped cream someone is getting a handful to the face, just as if there is ice it is going down pants. So thank you for actually making me think about this and realize it wouldnt be very much like us if we didn’t at least be playful with the cake

  • Another Kate

    It’s funny how some traditions seem super important to some people, while others think they’re kitschy/unnecessary. For instance, I didn’t and never would have done a bouquet/garter toss, but OF COURSE we cut the cake, and OF COURSE I did something old/new/borrowed/blue. I mean, it’s a wedding, after all. It’s great to see so many different perspectives.

    New–dress, veil, undies, etc
    Old–pearls that my husband had given me several years before, my late great aunt’s ring that my mother had just passed down to me
    Borrowed–sparkly hair thingies my cousin wore at her wedding the year before and a pair of my aunts earrings
    Blue–my fabulous fabulous sparkly blue shoes

    I really really really want one of my friends to borrow my veil someday, because I loved it, but it’s looking doubtful.

  • I am not doing the Somethings Old, New, Borrowed, or Blue though I would imagine that we have all those things covered by total chance, so there’s that (and it required no brain power- huzzah).

    We aren’t doing a bouquet or garter toss because many of my single ladies, now in their late-20s and early to mid-30s are a bit Bitter Betty about being single and the last thing they want is to be lined up like a herd of goats. Since there aren’t any kids at our wedding, it really takes out the cute/fun factor. We are doing a dollar dance, because I thought it was a great way to get at least a few seconds with people to chat.

    The other super traditional thing that i was at first feeling pretty Hell No about was lighting a unity candle. Then my manfriend found these: So obviously there is a unity candle now, to be lit by a pair of these. The moment is prooooobably going to include sounds effects. Excellent.

    • ART

      Is a unity candle really considered traditional? I am somewhat baffled by that and the sand ceremony thing, never heard of either until I started looking at wedding blogs this year. I had to laugh when I saw a pin on pinterest that said something like “modernize your sand ceremony – do a paint mixing ceremony instead!” has it been around long enough to “modernize”?

  • ally

    Our day of coordinator suggested the couples dance instead of bouquet toss (which I was against). You get all of the couples on the dance floor and start whittling them down by how long they’ve been together. The couple that has been together the longest then gets the bouquet. We’re pretty sure his parents will be the winners and since they only had boys and she hasn’t been able to do much of the girly stuff I think she’ll be psyched to get the bouquet (which I’m making myself!).

    I’m also psyched about the cake cutting (I live for cake), will be doing old/new/etc – all items from my mom and her late mom, and the mother/son, father/daughter dance – mostly for his mom!

    (also – first comment after months of lurking!!)

    • Jennifer

      I love the idea of whittling down to to the longest married couple. My friend did that at her wedding, but it was a destination wedding with only 30 guests so it would be a totally different feel than my 150 guest wedding. I’m actually not sure who has been married the longest out of our friends and family, but I can’t wait to find out!

  • moe

    Old: I carried my mom’s old sequined evening bag at the reception

    New: My dress!

    Borrowed: corset bra from a coworker (You have NOT bonded with a colleague until they’ve seen you stuff your boobs into bustier cups)

    Blue: my undies

    I totally wanted an old vintage wedding cake topper, much like the one pictured above. I loved them! I looked around and found one on Etsy. I named the couple Bill and Edith. They stood on my desk at work for months and I posted their pics to Instagram because she had this great grumpy expression on her face.

    Then right before the wedding I found a fantastic cake topper at a church rummage sale for $5. It was from the owner’s 1964 wedding and the couple was still married. I’ve kept it and may frame it in a shadow box because I love the kitsch so damn much.

    • Remy

      That reminded me of the time a coworker received her wedding dress at work (where someone could sign for it), then recruited me to help with the corset lacing as she tried it on in a conference room!

  • Emmers

    Ahhhhhhhhh, APW! So excited about your upcoming kitschy how-tos. You guys do the best how tos!

    As for the old/new/borrowed/blue thing:
    old: some kind of jewelry from my grandma
    new: my dress
    borrowed: No idea!
    blue: lacey thong undies from VS from a free panty coupon :). Definitely wondering how to classily pull off getting in my dress if others are helping me (like you see in all those wedding pics). But the dress definitely requires a thong, so thong it shall be!

  • Bryna

    I got my craft on and embroidered a cushion for the rings to be carried in on. It’s TOTALLY over the top and kitsch and I LOVE IT.

    My 5 year old son (who is the ring bearer, or ring bear, depending on who you’re talking to) is taking the role very seriously. When I showed him said cushion he investigated it very carefully (in the manner of a pawn shop owner) and answered my un-asked question:

    “Yes…. yes…. it’s good mum. Yep, that’ll do. It will do.”

    I’ve got my old, new, seeing what I borrow from my sister, trying to find some baby-blue shoes….

  • Liz

    While we’re on the subject of traditions…What are your anniversary traditions? Our first anniversary is quickly approaching and I’d love to start a yearly tradition. I am just having trouble coming up with something more creative than writing each other letters. I’d love to hear your awesome creative ideas.

    • My husband and I have a tradition of going away for the weekend for our anniversary. It usually involves a beer fest of some sort. We started this when we were dating long-distance and plan to continue next year for our one-year wedding anniversary. He proposed on our 3 year dating anniversary trip, and then we had our honeymoon trip a year later.
      We also go somewhere or do something fun together for my birthday/Valentine’s day because they’re days apart.

  • Emmy

    We did the something old, something new. My old was a charm bracelet my parents got for my 10th birthday that has charms for all major life events; borrowed was my mom’s wedding ring; blue was my undies! We tried to avoid some other kitsch. We cut and served the cake and had planned on not feeding each other, but our guests demanded it. Likewise with kissing on command. And his brother stood and gave a toast. Honestly, it was all wonderful. It’s important to be flexible in your planning and just kind of embrace the day!

  • ART

    woohoo – I know I will love the kitschy craft series! I don’t think I want to do a garter toss (or wear a garter) and I think we will be reusing the bouquets as the flowers for the head table because I’m being lazy/cheap about flowers. I love cake toppers though – we are planning to have 4 or 5 different regular round cakes from a bakery, so I’m wondering if it would be totally gauche or AWESOME to put a different silly cake topper on each. I think while still being pretty, fancy, and fairly traditional with everything, we’re trying to approach it all with a sort of tongue-in-cheek attitude to try to avoid the perfection freak out that we’ve seen friends go through. So kitschy kind of works in our favor!

    I am really not sure what to do for my old/borrowed/blue (new is a frakkin fancy pair of earrings I bought from the same jeweler that made my engagement ring – I have never spent that much on all my previous earrings COMBINED!) but I’m sure those things will turn up along the way. Thinking of borrowing a family member’s chip for my shoe as I’ve seen another bride do on APW somewhere.

  • Jen G

    We defintely planned to do the cake cuttng because…CAKE! No smashing, we were super excited about our bakery. It’s a monthly weekend date for us to go to our bakery now and try a different flavor of something.

    I hadn’t planned on the something borrowed, etc. but one of my friends at work asked me about ti and got excited when I couldn’t think of a “borrowed” of the top of my head and was thrilled to be involved. She brought in a few bracelets and rings and things for me to look at, and I ended up wearing an old red bracelet (matched red sash on my dress) that had been in her family for a few generations. It had this funny winged foot charm on it, which I said was to keep me from falling in my heels :) My old was the stone in my engagement ring from my mother-in-law, new was the dress purchased by my parents, and the blue was my garter.

    Re: the garter/bouquet tossing. I hate them personally. I have been to a couple of weddings where close friends basically humiliated me publicly dragging me out to do the bouqet toss. To this day they thought it was “fun,” and I HATED it. I’m all for reclaiming things you like – but make sure you’re not forcing other people to participate. Nobody should ever get called out by name. If you don’t voluntarily join the shoving crowd, you shouldn’t be forced to do so. I get that some people like it, have at it. But don’t make me do it. The whole APW vibe is to not make someone wear an awful dress or force you and your partner into participating in traditions you hate, so I would just humbly beg that you not do it to your guests either.

  • My “something old” was my Nana’s pearls, that my grandfather had given her when she graduated college, just before they were married. My grandmother passed away a few months before we were married, so this was an especially moving token.

    My Nana was very Catholic, and was particularly devout to the Virgin Mary, so just before leaving the hotel my mother and I decided to hold hands and say a “Hail Mary” together, as a quiet way to remember her. It went something like this:

    Hail Mary, full of grace,
    The Lord is with thee
    Blessed art thou–

    SHIT! I forgot the pearls!

    And we ran back through the hotel lobby, up to the room, to find them. It was completely hilarious, and I still think my Nana chose that moment to remind me about the necklace.

  • GA

    To my own surprise, I found myself almost mindlessly going with the “Something old, something blue…” When I was explaining to someone that my shoes were my “something blue” that was when I realized what I was doing. And I thought, well, what about the rest of it? I already had it covered, turns out.

    Something old: my art deco hair comb from the 30s, and the matching shoe clips.
    Something new: …pretty much everything else, haha.
    Something borrowed: the pearl earrings that belonged to my grandmother (who sadly died shortly before I was born) and were worn by my mother and both her sisters for their weddings.

    I’ve never been one for tradition, but when I realized I was following one, I started waking up to all of the other traditions I’d been subconsciously incorporating into my wedding, and I was surprised by how happy it made me. So I guess I have been one for tradition, under this hardened shell of practiced cynicism. ;)

  • Angie

    I photographed a wedding for two middle-aged women who had been a relationship for 20 years, 15 of which they spent completely in the closet, referring to each other as roommates. Their wedding day- the day that they officially chose to be out not just in their community but to the whole world, with rings and the same last names and the word “wives”- was emotional to say the least.

    They had mixed feelings about the bouquet, because for their closeted years, they were often forced out on the dance floor to catch the bouquet since they publicly represented themselves as single ladies. They never wanted the bouquet in those instances, so at their wedding, they reclaimed the bouquet toss in the most badass, cleverest way.

    First of all, anyone at all was invited to try to catch it. Second of all, they taped lottery tickets and gift cards for things like gas, iTunes and Starbucks that they knew most people at their wedding would want. It was kind of an inside joke, since most of their guests, honestly, were also middle-aged women in same-sex partnerships (it was a quiet, Monday afternoon affair) who had also dreaded the bouquet toss for all of *their* closeted years in the 1980s. The brides figured all their middle-ages, lesbian friends would actually WANT to catch a bouquet covered in lotto tickets and gift cards. They were right. And it was awesome.


    We’re doing a lot of Jewish traditions, revamped for my egalitarian sensibilities.

    Mikvah – I’m immersing in the week leading up to the wedding.

    B’deken – He lowers veil on me, I put kippah on him

    Ketubah – We’re using Aryeh Cohen’s ketubah language because it is fully egalitarian and in line with the original sentiment of a ketubah -a prenuptial, legal contract, not some wishy-washy “mission statement” of promises to each other that didn’t sit right to us as a couple.

    Circling – I’m doing three rounds, he’s doing three rounds, and we’re dosey-doe-ing the seventh.

    “Vows” – We’re not having them, per Jewish tradition. He will state the traditional formula. I will reply by stating a phrase to him from the morning blessings.

    Rings – Mine is a silver band with three sapphires embedded in it; his is yellow gold.

    Chuppah – my (non-Jewish) mom is making a quilt for us to pass down through the generations for our chuppah, and my (non-Jewish) dad is building the support frame because I wanted them involved and to know they’d ALWAYS have a part in my life.

    Bouquet/garter toss – nope, instead we’re doing the shoe game.

    Food – yep, it’s all kosher. Even the wine. Mevushal wine, ugh.

    Cake – we will cut but not smash.

    Hora – OVER MY DEAD BODY will I be lifted into a chair by drunk people who haven’t practiced or coordinated in advance.

    Old/New/Borrowed/Blue – pearls/dress/grandma’s trinket for bouquet/shoes

    I’m really looking forward to the traditions – I feel like we’re another link in the chain of this social institution that has meant so much throughout history and will continue to mean so much in the future.

    • “Hora – OVER MY DEAD BODY will I be lifted into a chair by drunk people who haven’t practiced or coordinated in advance.”

      [dies giggling]

    • My best friend did the same thing with the circling at her wedding!

      Her husband’s family who is not Jewish did the chuppah. His father built the support frame of it and his mother made the quilt to cover it.

  • anonymous coward

    I want to do the old, new and borrowed things, but I specifically *don’t* want to do the something blue. Blue is traditionally associated with virginity in the west and with me being a survivor of sexual abuse, the bride=virgin thing is something that I feel very very shamed by. But how do I do this without talking about things I can barely talk about in therapy, or have people assume things?

    • anonymous coward

      Oh and I have no problem with anyone else doing it, in case that’s not clear over the internet (can’t edit original comment)

    • ART

      hugs. i don’t think you are a coward in any way.

      is there another color that is meaningful to you in a way that you would want to share with anyone who might bring it up? i was fretting about blue for a completely frivolous reason, and then last night as we were trying to decide how to get our guests to sort their compostables and recyclables correctly, we came up with the idea of “something green” and decided to make that kind of a “thing” at the wedding. my earrings are green and i’m in an environmental field, so we thought we’d like to make a point of sharing our environmental goals with our family and friends by letting them know just why they are eating off plates made of leaves and drinking from cups made of potatoes or whatever.

      anyway, point is, could you give yourself a way to glide right on past the “no blue” thing to “oh, we chose to do something yellow because xyz!” not that you NEED or owe anyone an explanation for anything at all, but i know it can be easier in the moment to have a way to deflect and point the conversation in a direction you want and can have some control over. i have zero poker face so i use that approach often. whatever you decide to do, it’s absolutely your choice to adhere to or stomp on any particular tradition in a way that feels right.

    • You don’t have to have something blue!

      Do you think your family will be searching for it…?

      I just never brought that poem up and no one tried to force me to have the elements from it. It was a non-issue for me. I don’t know what your crowd is like, though.

      • anonymous coward

        Thanks ART and CarolynC for your support, it means a lot

        I like the green idea, we are having a eco-wedding too so that might work. I hope my family won’t bring it up (I sure won’t), but I don’t know which way they’ll go, my family hasn’t had many weddings of late.

        Thanks again

  • Blimunda

    I really, really want to do the cake cutting thing (no smashing), and I’d really want to serve cake personally to every single guest, but I don’t think it would be practical (unless we decide for a smaller wedding. not happening.).
    I’d love to have a necklace that belonged to my grandmother as my something old, blue (sapphire), and borrowed.
    And I don’t want to throw the bouquet. I don’t like the second bouquet for tossing, nor the I-toss-it-for-tradition-sake-but-then-I-want-it-back (seen both) and I since it took me a lot of catched bouquet to hopefully get to have one myself, that’s mine. Mine. MINE.

  • Shannon

    I, too, am going with the old/new/borrowed/blue tradition!

    Old: Two bracelets: one belonged to my Great-Grandmother,who brought it with her from Portugal in the 30’s, and one that my future husband’s mom left to him when she passed away.

    New: My dress. Is it possible to be in love with a dress?

    Borrowed: My grandmother’s rhinestone Trifari jewelry set from the 1950’s. It’s sparkly, retro, and all-around fabulous. it’s got a great backstory, too. Dear Grandma is a serial return of all presents. When my grandfather presented her with a clock for their fifth (?) anniversary, she turned right around and pawned “that ugly thing” for the jewelry, which she and other family members have worn to every semi-formal occasion since.

    Blue: Our niece and nephew! We love them so much, and wanted to recognize their special place in our hearts. They’ll be dressed in blue and with us that day.

  • Meredith

    I read this post last night, and since then I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with an all-inclusive garter/bouquet toss idea for my wedding in June, since I have some very close friends who are gay and trans. I do like the phrasing of “anyone who wants to get married” but wanted to move away from singling groups of people out. ANYWAY, the thought just popped into my head that I was thinking too hard about it. If I want it to be all-inclusive, I’ll make it just that – J and I could throw bouquet and garter at the same time to one group of willing participants :) Voila!

    Still stuck on my Old, New, Borrowed, Blue. I need something old, unless my great aunt’s pearls can count as both old and borrowed.

  • I wanted to do old/new/borrowed/blue, and now, 2.5 years after the wedding, I have NO idea whether I did or not. My dress was new, my engagement ring old, my veil borrowed (but not particularly old), and I have no clue if I had anything blue. I have a feeling my aunt might have put a blue ribbon around my bouquet to cover my bases, but I can’t remember.

    I also thought I was going to throw my bouquet (I did not want a garter toss), but it never happened, and it took me like 6 months to realize that it hadn’t, and then I wasn’t sure if maybe I had decided against it before the wedding, after all.

    It’s funny – I had a very traditional wedding, really, and it took a post like this to point out to me how unimportant all the traditional wedding kitsch was to me throughout the whole process.

    We did cut the cake, however. Our maitre d’ (who we did NOT like) handed us the knife and told us to pose for the picture and then give it back to him to cut the cake. We hadn’t been told ahead of time that we didn’t get to cut our own cake, and I was appalled. We obediently posed for the picture, and then I just kind of let gravity take over so the knife sliced the cake while it was still in our hands. I’m still not sure whether I had particularly strong feelings about cake cutting, or whether I was just rebelling against anything that condescending man told me to do.

  • MrsH

    We wound up doing most of the traditional things though being from England they’re somewhat different (have never heard the “all the single ladies” song or seen a garter toss!).

    My blue though was my bright (Tardis!) blue shoes which I love

    New was the dress and the sparkly headband/tiara which I need to find a random excuse to wear again (tiara to the pub perhaps??)

    Old and borrowed was the same thing: My mother loaned me a ring that had eben given to her by her mother. She had been given it by her father-in-law (my great-grandfather) not long after she got married as he had found it when out walking one day. It’s *tiny*, I have small hands and it only fit on my little finger but it’s so pretty. I was terrified of losing it! I have since been told that one day my mum will pass it on to me when she can bear to part with something that was from her grandfather.

    We did the bouquet toss from a fence into a field, no one had to participate, we just said it was happening, there was lots of scrabbling and several men, one of whom was bearing a larp-safe axe, to this day I’m not sure what for.. I love the bouquet toss, but again, I might just be competitive!

    We even did the cake cutting (which my 81 year old grandmother accidentally photobombed…)

    • MDBethann

      I thought every woman wore a tiara to work in England? ;-) (j/k)

  • Elizabeth

    Borrowed: Spray deodorant from a bridesmaid who gets it brought to her by her in-laws in Australia.

    I forgot about “borrowed” (how do you even do that?!) until like 5 minutes before the ceremony.

  • Can I state how giddy at makes me the number of times the phrase “TARDIS blue” has come up in this thread? I love you all.

  • Sara

    I just got married last Saturday. I had been pretty anti-wedding the entire time, but my now-husband really wanted to have one. Up until an hour before the ceremony I had planned on walking alone down the aisle, but decided to have my dad walk with me. I am so glad I did. It was this amazingly sweet moment between the two of us that I will always cherish. I put my arm in his and looked at his face and he started to cry in this amazingly touching way. It started the ceremony off so sweetly. By the time we reached my husband, everyone was crying.
    We did a first dance, but didn’t really call a ton of attention to it, and it was so nice to just hold one another and talk for a bit. We had planned to not do parent dances, but as songs came on that reminded us of our parents, we grabbed each of them and danced and it was perfect. It didn’t need to be pre-set and announced, but the reason those traditions exist are because- why wouldn’t you want to dance with your dad, etc.? It’s just a nice celebration of your family and enjoying the moment.
    We also had toasts (our dads, best friends, and a cousin got up) which were somewhat impromptu and awesome.
    The traditions I didn’t do that I am so glad I didn’t are:
    Ceremony Unity stuff
    In the end, people kept commenting on how US everything felt. We went to a wedding recently where it just felt like going down the check-list of wedding stuff you’re supposed to do. Ours felt like us getting married and celebrating in our own way- a collaboration of tradition and the bucking of it.

  • We didn’t end up doing these particular traditions. I didn’t care one way or the other about something borrowed, something blue. I ended up having a few something olds, including my wedding ring which was a gift from my mother-in-law, an heirloom from her family. My dress being red, I don’t think I ended up with anything blue on!

    I hate bouquet tosses and garter tosses, so I never even considered having those.

    One tradition we did that I wasn’t expecting was shoe stealing.

    In Indian weddings, the bride’s sisters will steal the groom’s shoes and he is supposed to give them candy or money to get them back. Though I had only a couple friends who knew about this tradition, my good friend who is Indian started telling the girls in the bridal party to do it. The groomsmen saw it on Facebook and were prepared. It ended up being a really fun chase with my husband’s shoes right after the ceremony!

  • MDBethann

    I like tradition, so I didn’t mind incorporating some of it as long as we could own it.

    Something old: A pearl & diamond anniversary ring that belonged to my late grandmother
    Something new: My dress, my shoes, my veil, my jewelry (made by my BFF)
    Something borrowed: My tiara/headpiece, which was borrowed from my cousin Dawn
    Something blue: My sapphire & diamond engagement ring, the ribbon on my garter

    Other borrowed/old items included the ring bearer pillow & my card bag, which my mother had made for her wedding back in the mid-70s.

    Lighting of a unity candle? – Check (which we bought from a local candle company)

    Bouquet toss? – Check

    Cake cutting? – Check (we fed each other nicely though)

    Father/daughter dance – Check

    Dad walking me down the isle – Check

    Traditions we nixed:
    Mother/son dance – Hubby doesn’t like being the center of attention, but he did have a slow dance with his mom at some point in the evening

    Garter toss – Hubby didn’t want to do it, and we didn’t really have many single males at the wedding, at least that were older than 18 (which would have been weird)

    Receiving line – we chose to mingle with our guests at the cocktail hour & the reception, mostly on the dance floor

    Rice/bird seed/bubbles – The church didn’t allow rice or bird seed for safety purposes, & we didn’t feel like getting bubbles or anything else to wave. I like bubbles, but since we weren’t doing a receiving line & it was a bit of a drive to the photos & reception, I didn’t want to waste the time. I honestly didn’t miss it.

  • Ragnhidl

    Im 5 months from getting married now, and I hope I get to read everything on this site before that! So many helpful and interesting articles. I want to do the old, new, borrowed, blue – but have no idea what my borrowed could. I plan to embroider with blue thread on a handkerchief that belonged to my fiancees great-grandmother, so that covers two categories, plus I will have a vintage veil, and my dress ++ will be new.

    However, there is one tradition i am not so excited about. Here in Norway, during the dinner, guests will tap their glasses indicating that the couple will have to stand on their chairs and kiss. Maybe I will feel different about it on the day, but I dont think I want to do that… But there is more; if the guests beat the table with their knives and forks, the PARENTS of the couple have to get up and kiss. My in-laws are American, and I have no idea how they will react or feel about this, and I am just hoping noone will do this….

    • aldeka

      Oh gosh my whole extended family does this (the glass clinking) and I find the sound the most annoying thing ever! I didn’t realize it was a Norwegian thing, though! (My family’s Minnesotan, of various Scandinavian extraction, so it makes sense.)

      Hoping to figure out a polite way to inform people that we will not kiss if they do this, we don’t negotiate with terrorists, etc. Maybe we’ll come up with some other game for them to make us kiss instead?

      • Minny

        I remember reading somewhere about a couple who had a giant die that people could come up and roll, and if it landed on a certain number, the newly weds would kiss, but if it landed on different numbers, the person rolling it had to do something, like impersonate a chicken if it came up 1, sing a song if it came up 2, etc :)

        And as another Minnesotan, I was so confused about how the clinking of the glasses would confuse Americans, now I get it, haha.

  • JoJoP

    As British bride-to-be I love all these different traditions, especially the creativity with the “something”s! Interesting to see no-one’s mentioned the last line of the rhyme… “And a silver sixpence for her shoe”.