First of all, just to be clear, this writer likes the tradition of tying shoes and cans to the bride and groom’s getaway car’s bumper. But it doesn’t seem to happen so often anymore. Perhaps that tradition’s decline comes as a result of recycling and noise abatement ordinances. Perhaps an exception can be made in the case of wedding cars.
Weddings still offer an opportunity to try unusual and seldom applied celebration rites and traditions. In fact, some wedding planners look to make a lasting impression on the wedding guests with surprising and original activities. They know that one way to make a wedding memorable is by introducing the guests to a new way to mark the occasion. They also know that what may be old hat in one part of the world is new and fresh in another. Readers looking for ideas from around the world will find these following ideas interesting.
1) A very popular custom in Poland is to prepare “passing gates” on the way to the reception for the newlyweds. In order to pass through the gates they must give the “gate keepers” some vodka. Feel free to substitute scotch or bourbon or perhaps chocolate. In those jurisdictions with open container laws, be sure to pass through the gates after parking the car if giving out alcohol.
2) Bagpipes make a striking impression and call attention to any event. Consider using them to escort the bride and groom into the reception.
3) Handfasting comes from the ancient Celtics. In this wedding ritual the bride’s and groom’s hands are tied together, and some say that is the origin of the phrase “tying the knot.” Handfasting could add some extra fun when it comes time to cut the cake.
4) Jumping the broom may make some couples uncomfortable because of its ties to slavery, but for the more adventuresome it could add some extra fun to the wedding reception. The broom in Asante and other Akan cultures also held spiritual value and symbolized sweeping away past wrongs or warding off evil spirits, and some may find those connotations inappropriate. Broom jumping has also occurred in Europe, especially in the Wicca and Celtic traditions.
5) Croquembouche comes to us from France, which is not surprising since it is a pastry dessert, a kind of piece montee often served at weddings. It consists of a high cone of profiteroles (choux filled with pastry cream) bound with caramel, and usually decorated with threads of caramel, sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons. There goes the diet, but celebrants can always get back on track the day after.
6) Weddings in the Southern United States give us the cake pull, where tiny silver charms are placed inside parts of the wedding cake. During the wedding reception the female attendants, typically the single ones, gather around the wedding cake and simultaneously pull the charms, which are attached ribbons, from the cake. Charms can represent future children, travel, and marriage. Beware of the dreaded thimble, though, which represents that the puller will be a spinster.
When planning your wedding, remember that it offers an opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. Family traditions will of course require attention and honor, but the schedule allows some leeway for new ideas. In that case, go ahead and give a new idea a try and maybe even start a new family tradition.