Broke-Ass Tag: wedding traditions


Keepsake box from Etsy Seller mariaallenboutique

Tradition recommends a bride have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue as she goes down the aisle. I’ve been throwing tradition to the wind all Willy Nilly the entire time but this one gives me pause. Four items — how hard can that be? Famous last words.

Obviously the something new is easy enough. Essentially everything I’m wearing is new: Dress, shoes, jewelry … all of that has been purchased expressly for the wedding. Something blue is also not an issue at all: My colors are navy and sunflower, so I could tie blue in anywhere. My shoes will be blue and the stone in my ring is blue as well.

Something new and blue, check.

Where I’m currently struggling is something borrowed and something old. My mother didn’t save her wedding dress when she got married because she knew neither my sister or I would fit in it when we were old enough to be married. My sister and I hit that size in our youth. So there goes that idea. While Michael’s mother probably still has her wedding dress, it is from her second marriage. You don’t realize you have a superstition until it stares you in the face. So that’s out.

One of my girlfriends has offered to let me borrow an apron her mother made her for her wedding day to wear while she eats BBQ. While I have no fears of spilling BBQ on a white dress, it is likely a good idea. But, I’m not going to be wearing it when I go down the aisle, so maybe it doesn’t count? I’m pretty much fully decked out already, what else can I possibly add to what I’m wearing/carrying for this old borrowed stuff? I don’t have a garter, I’m not really sure I want one. We aren’t having a garter toss and I doubt Michael will even care if I have one, let’s be real. Also, borrowing one of those seems a bit icky, not really sure how I feel about that.

I have seen some brides wrap family heirlooms or scraps of fabric in their bouquets to help incorporate items. Neither of my parents really have any pieces of fabric that are important enough to borrow. My grandmother on my mom’s side was married three different times, so I don’t want anything from her. My father’s mother (and father) have already passed away so I can’t ask them. Of my assorted aunts and uncles on both sides, none of their first marriages lasted. Oy vey.

My stuffed bro Pango

I have a stuffed toy that I’ve had since birth. I’m not really wild about cutting a piece of him off to take with me, but I could steal a bit of his stuffing I suppose. He’s a bit too big to bring with me down the aisle.

I feel like I’m spinning my wheels on something that, ultimately, doesn’t really matter. It would be nice to do, but maybe I’m just wasting my time on something pointless.

Has anyone else had this problem? Thoughts? Suggestions?

  • 6/23

    “Is that too weird?”

    Every time I hear the question I just want to reach over, squeeze the person’s hand and smile.

    In a word, nope.

    Listen closely here, friends: Weddings are all about celebrating who you are as a couple and we all have little things about our relationship that are weird. Some couples hurl insults at each other that just turn out to be their signs of affection. My husband and I refer to each other as “potato” when we’re not functioning at a particularly high level (or *coughcoughhungovercough*). Family traditions might seem weird anywhere outside of your family, but since weddings are literally the start of a new family, it sounds to me like they’re one super appropriate place to show off that weird.

    There’s a good reason the Dr. Seuss quote about mutual weirdness is one of the most re-pinned quotes on Pinterest. It’s heartwarming and it hits home for so many of us. It’s been a great last few years for the nerds and the geeks and the off-center. Weddings don’t have to be all white fluff and a few basic colors. Adding personal touches or inspiration from your favorite fandom is just as natural as all of the quotes on love you can find.

    My own wedding had a few moments of, “Wait, what are they doing?” that fit seamlessly within an overall traditional feel. My wedding band was a twist tie. Since my father was no longer present in my life, my mother walked me down the aisle and because I knew I didn’t want to make that walk alone, but had certain ~feelings~ about the whole being “given away” thing, once we reached the end of the aisle, my husband’s mother stood up, took my other arm and finished the walk to the altar where we met my husband and his father (who was serving as best man) and we exchanged a big group hug to signify the idea of our joining as a family. Just because it was different doesn’t make it weird.


    Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

    Just in case you were wondering, here are a few other things that we’ve as a part of Little Wedding Extras that even a few years ago may have been “weird,” but are now special ways to meaningfully celebrate your day.

    Having a woman officiate (Thank goodness the “weird” has worn off that one!)

    Woman as officiant

    Forgoing fresh flowers for paper, fabric or unique items

    Skipping children as flower girls or ring bearers and having grandparents step in

    Potluck meals

    Using personal items in lieu of a bouquet wrap (This was a piece of a baby blanket and the father of the bride’s watch.)

    personal bouquet wrap

    The couple walking down the aisle together

    Wedding couple trivia

    Fun alternatives to guest books

    alternative guest book

    Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

    The only things you really have to consider come down to legality. Does it violate a city ordinance and will your venue and other vendors allow it per your contract? As long as there aren’t any conflicts there, you are free to make your own choices. Your wedding doesn’t have to be some crazy source of entertainment for your guests, but if something sounds fun and it’s in your budget, do it! Even if it’s just a tiny detail that doesn’t cost money, do it! The more personality you add to your day, the more memories you’ll take away.

    Are you doing anything weird for your wedding day? Share in the comments!


  • 6/18

    It’s so easy to get caught up in our own Quest for the Dress, that sometimes we overlook the other people who want to look smashing for our big day. My bridesmaids were mostly helpful and each chose different dresses that made them feel their best, but finding a fantastic frock for my mother was quite an undertaking. Recently, I shared the story of why…

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    Our friends over at emailed us with this awesome infographic on wedding day traditions and superstitions. From wearing white to tossing the bouquet to not seeing your betrothed before the wedding ceremony, wedding traditions are long-held standards that seem to be falling by the wayside in modern-day I Do's ... for better or for worse. Here's a brief history of 21 one quirky sentiments couples…

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    First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the realization of all of the traditions that come with it. From wearing white to tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake, there are many "rules" that brides and grooms are expected to follow on their wedding day, some dating back to the 14th century! Let's take a look at some of them: Brides began wearing white…

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    I know our On Marriage series can usually focus on the poignant and serious, but this little ditty was just calling my name. I mean, MARRIAGE KITTENS, YOU GUYS. Written by Amanda Scherker for The Huffington Post, this article covers five wedding traditions of yore that definitely deserve to be brought back, in the way JT brought sexy back, ya heard? While we love a good hora, there…

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    Greetings BABs! By the time you read this on Sunday, I already will have walked down the aisle to the rousing tunes of the Pipes & Drums of the NYPD Emerald Society. I'll be stuffed full of mini burgers and candy from our penny candy themed dessert buffet. I'll have danced my first dance with my new husband, and I'll be a married woman! If…

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    So far, this is the Vow Renewal front runner. Dream, dream, dream. I'm performing a wedding ceremony on Sunday. On Easter. Which, I kind of wanted to ask, did you guys realize it was Easter when you set the date? Because I didn't when I agreed to to do this. It's not a religious thing, or anything, at least not on my part, and obviously…

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    I am not superstitious, but I do enjoy a clever rhyme that encourages me to acquire more pretty and meaningful things. So for that purpose and that purpose only, I will partially play along with the whole Something Old/New/Borrowed/Blue thing. And by "partially" I mean I will proudly wear my "Something Blue" the day I marry my sweetheart: a pair of SEQUIN BLUE NIPPLE PASTIES. …

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