November 14, 2009

  • The changes in wedding protocol over the past decade continues to astonish me.

    I've mentioned before the lack of sleeves on wedding dresses.  Strapless is ubiquitous.

    When growing up, the only black worn at a wedding was by men, in either suits or tuxedos.  No woman would dream of wearing black to a wedding, as it was a funeral color.

    Now, of course, black-and-white weddings are common, and the bridesmaids at the wedding I volunteered at today wore short, black, strapless gowns.

    As did a significant proportion of the female guests.  One after another they showed up in dresses similar to the bridesmaids.  Some of the dresses weren't black, naturally, but almost all were strapless and short.  The church tends to be chilly . . . how do they stand it?  Don't they freeze in the Fort Worth air-conditioning?

    Today brought an entirely new wrinkle:  the "first look" photo.  Teresa, the wedding director for this particular wedding, said it began to appear about six months ago.  The idea is that instead of the groom seeing his bride in her bridal raiment when she comes down the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony, they first see each other a couple of hours prior to it....just them in the sanctuary along with the photographer.  I must say it makes it easier for everyone, as it puts an end to the whole "keep the bride away from the groom!" concern.  Most of the photographs of the bridal party were taken this afternoon before the wedding, cutting down on the number of pictures to be shot afterward. 

    Black dresses on attendants and guests, and now the bride and groom see each other well before the ceremony starts.  How things have changed! 

Comments (6)

  • I can beat the "bride and groom seeing each other before the ceremony on the day of the wedding ."  We just got a "save the date" postcard for a wedding to be held in August.  On the reverse were three pictures of the bride and groom in their wedding attire.  Not only no surprises for the groom when he first sees his beloved coming down the aisle, no surprises for anyone in attendance.

  • Ok, Lois has you topped by far, Anne! That's just plain goofy!

    Robin & David (my niece & her husband)got married 20 years ago and they took all of their photos before the wedding, shocking everyone involved. Turned out it was a great thing because they were able to take them outdoors - during the wedding the heavens opened and there would have been no lovely outdoor photos had they done it differently.


  • Some traditions should be lightly held, and this is one of them I think. But some couples really step over the good-taste line. We got an invitation with a light-hearted little rhyme asking for money instead of presents.

  • I tend to be grumpy about almost all changes to wedding traditions (except that any couple that opts to eschew the garter toss gets applause) including a lot of the ones that happened BEFORE my own wedding. It's not just that they're changes in tradition, it's that usually they come out of some reasoning that is bad or inappropriate. On the one hand, not seeing the bride is kind of a tradition that doesn't carry all THAT much meaning, and I wouldn't get upset over someone breaking it because it really created a difficulty, or even because they didn't find any identifiable meaning in it. OTOH, breaking it because you think your marriage ceremony is a Hollywood photo shoot (as Miss Manners might put it) isn't a good reason. Things like pictures are supposed to be pictures OF the wedding, not arranging the wedding around the pictures.

  • OTOH, I am happy to report that here in the frozen north, straps and sleeves are beginning to make their appearance again. For a while it was getting pretty ridiculous with all the blue-tinged December brides in their strapless dresses because wedding dresses just don't COME with anything above the bust, but I think the strapless stranglehold is beginning to break down, thankfully.

  • Meg is a maid of honor in an upcoming wedding just before Christmas. The bride's dress is actually intended to be a prom dress, which is OK, but of course it is strapless. Meg found a dress at Nordstrom's that made my jaw drop-- a Christmas-red one shoulder-strap deal that just streams elegantly straight down. Wow. It amazes me how much of a knockout modest can be!

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