November 11, 2004
Did You Know…?
Wedding customs, fashions, traditions and little-known facts
Did You Know...?\n
• Sometimes the marriage ceremony is held outdoors. Particularly in ultra-Orthodox and Chasidic weddings -- but anyone can do this -- the marriage ceremony is performed outside at night. The custom developed because the stars are associated with God speaking to Abraham: "I will bless thee and multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the seashore" (Genesis 22:17).\n
• The bride stands to the right of the groom because of a biblical verse is Psalms (45:10): "The queen stands on your right hand in fine gold of Ophir."
In Jewish tradition, the bride is a queen and the groom is the king.\n
• A light bulb is often substituted for a glass during the ceremony. Since many believe the main purpose of breaking the glass is to create noise (to scare away the demons), some prefer a light bulb because it is easier to break and usually makes a louder noise.
Will You Marry Me?
Grooms are making big productions of their proposals these days. Sometimes they rent a billboard; sometimes they pop the question at a quiet, intimate time; sometimes it is in a restaurant while a violinist plays their favorite song.
What's in Style Today?\n
• Bridal suits are making a comeback.\n
• Rosette details on sleeves, bodices and backs are in the news. Rosettes are also used on the headpiece and accessories to complement the wedding gown.\n
• Pink, peach, and other pastels are a fashionable alternative to traditional white, ivory and silky white.\n
• Beads, lace, sequins, pearls and embroidery are used for embellishments.\n
• In place of a regular wedding album, you might also choose a "storybook" plan, where the photographer takes continuous pictures so that you end up with a copy of a picture of each event and each shot. (This produces a very large and thorough album, and is more expensive than a standard album.)
Little Tricks of For a Great Wedding
If you are able to control the music, select a romantic one. She will always remember the song that played when he proposed -- and it is bound to become "your song."
Are you going to have a "Presentation of the Bride?" The groom is brought into a room before the ceremony. There he finds the bride, looking her most beautiful, in her wedding attire. The couple has some time to spend together, after which they have the signing of the ketubah and take photographs.
Other Kooky Wedding Customs\n
•Couples in 18th-century Mexico shaved their heads to signify their adulthood.\n
•French suitors sent their nail clippings to their betrothed.\n
•In 18th-century England, a new bride's mother-in-law broke a loaf of bread over her head to bring luck and happiness to the couple.\n
•Polish brides brought luck and happiness to their new homes by walking around a fire three times and kicking each door with their right foot.\n
•Prenuptial agreements, which have enjoyed a resurgence, actually date back to ancient Jewish and Roman marriages.
How To Get Through the Day\n
• Stay Calm.\n
• Break away for a few minutes\n
• Take some deep breaths.\n
• Keep focused and avoid problems before they become problems.\n
• Just remember: The most important parts of planning an event is having fun and enjoying the benefits of all your hard work. With careful planning, even the most elaborate and glamorous affair can be a dream.
Joan Greenberger Friedman lives in Reading, Pa., and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.