Why Bridesmaids & Groomsmen?

So last week I wrote blog post about why brides wear white wedding dresses and it’s led to a lot of other questions about the wedding planning process. In light of that, I decided that I should investigate more of these “traditions” to see where they came from. Now – why do we have bridesmaids and groomsmen?

Turns out that unlike the white wedding dress, the bridemaids and groomsmen is truly a “tradition” that stands the test of time.  There are several different version of the history out there, so I’ll just try to compile it the best way I can….

happy groomsmen at a modern day wedding! photo from The Wedding Lens!

Best Man & Groomsmen

So the long & the short of it is that the best man and the groomsmen have always been the guys who would say to the groom “dude, I got your back.”

Somewhere in the early A.D. era, there were when a dude couldn’t find a wife, he and his buddies would go to the next village over and steal a future wife. Yes, steal. The buddies not only helped with the stealing but they’d “get the groom’s back” during the wedding ceremony — you know, just in case the bride’s family wanted her back or something.

Other stories say that the groomsmen helped escort the bride to the wedding (even when she was a willing participant). 

bridesmaids at a modern day wedding, photo from The Wedding Lens

Maid of Honor & Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids were involved in the wedding ceremony for two reasons: to be a witness to the wedding and to confuse the evil spirits. Roman law required witnesses be present at the wedding — so that’s why the bridesmaids were there! Even today, many bridesmaids (or perhaps just the maid of honor) can serve as a witness to a wedding ceremony.

The evil spirit thing has to do with…. attire!

Attire

In the case of both the brides and the grooms, the groups would dress very similar to the bride & groom. Why? To ward off evil spirits of course! The idea was that the evil spirits would get confused by the similarity in dress. Which seems (to me) that maaybe those evil spirits weren’t so bright.

Anyway, “we’ve” kept the tradition of the bridesmaids dressing the same as each other, but not so much as the bride. Perhaps this is because the brides have recently adopted the tradition of wearing white instead of any old color. Obviously the groomsmen still dress very similarly to the groom.

So that’s the story of the bridesmaids & groomsmen. IS there anything you want to know the history of? Email me! natasha@theweddinglens.com.

~ Natasha

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U.S. & British Wedding Traditions

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

Over the holidays, I went to the UK to visit family – including my niece, who aspires to be a wedding planner. She was telling me some of the traditions that take place in the UK that are so very different from the US traditions that I know so well. I thought it would be interesting to discuss – and bring in some of our UK friends to help us out!

1. Walking down the aisle. In the United States, it is traditional for the wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer) to walk down the aisle before the bride. In Britain, it’s the opposite: Brides are the first to walk down the aisle. The bride is the first to be seen so as to emphasize her importance and ensure full attention is on her.

Also, in the U.S. it is common for bridemaids and groomsmen to walk down the aisle arm-in-arm. This NEVER happens in the U.K. Interesting, right?

2. Bridesmaids. In the U.S., bridesmaids are usually friends or family of the bride or groom — around the same age. In the U.K., there are older bridesmaids (who are the brides/grooms age, roughly) and younger bridesmaids (who are around 10-12 years old). And the younger bridesmaids (it seems to me) wear something that parallels what the bride wears – a white dress, usually, that might have a colorful sash.

3. Hats. In the U.S., no one wears hats to a wedding. In the U.K, women wear hats — big ones too! And, if not hats, then something on the head (which, aside from the bride’s veil) just wouldn’t happen in the US. Check out these ban.do from our UK friends!

Obviously this is just a quick list to get us started. If you know of other traditions that are different between the US & UK, share em!

~ Natasha

Wedding Attire Roundup: Wedding Dresses, Tuxedos, and the Wedding Party’s Clothing

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

When it comes to selecting the clothing options, there’s a lot of information out there. I’ve written a lot myself! In case you’re looking for all of it in ONE handy dandy location…. here you go!

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

See anything I didn’t cover? Let me know! Email me: natasha@theweddinglens.com

~ Natasha

How to Be a Maid of Honor

You are SO excited that your friend picked you to be her Maid of Honor (MOH)!! But wait, now what? What are you supposed to do as a MOH? How do you help? Where do you begin?

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Well, obviously this role is going to change, depending on the bride and the couple. For example, I was a co-MOH in a wedding, so I did some things and the other MOH did other things. And we both helped out the bride wherever we could! That said, it’s nice to have an idea of what is in store for you. So here you go!

If you want to go above and beyond, here are some ideas for things you can do to be that much nicer!

You can also check out pictures of real bridesmaids to see how others held up on the big day! If you have other responsibilities that I’m missing, let us know!

~ Natasha

Best of The Wedding Lens Blog

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided that it would be nice to review some of the “Best of” blogs.  This is based on your comments, number of views, and the feedback that I have received. So without further ado….

Since those posts were created, we also developed two FABULOUS lists. One is 75 Cheap Wedding Tips and the other is 50 Green Wedding Tips. We think these lists will help you plan cost-effective, green weddings by doing small things that don’t compromise the quality, class, and dream wedding you’ve always imagined. 

Also, always remember to consider our FREE photo albums for your wedding!

Do you have other favorites? Tell us!

~ Natasha

How To Create Your Own Wedding Favors

DIY Wedding Favors

DIY Wedding Favors

Are you a fan of Martha Stewart?  If the answer to this question is yes, then you may want to consider the DIY method of wedding favors.

Wedding favors can be very expensive; especially, if you have a very full guest list. What about creating your own?  Sure, making your own wedding favors may be time consuming and as a bride and groom to be, who has the time right?  Try having a “wedding favor” party.  Including your bridesmaids, friends, and/or family may help you to get the job done more quickly.

Taking a trip to Joann fabrics or any type of craft/fabric store is one way of getting started on the DIY track. Here is an example you may consider for your big day:

Candy Satchel Minis

  1. Lace, Netting, and Tuelle: You can choose one of three fabrics that consist of your wedding colors to use as the base.  Cut the lace, netting, or tuelle into medium/small squares, big enough to hold the candy but with excess at the top so that you will be able to gather and tie together with ribbon.
  2. Ribbon: Choose a ribbon that will complement the lace, netting, or tuelle.  If you so choose you can buy a package of rhinestones or jewels to add a more elegant look to the ribbon.
  3. Candy: If your wedding is in the spring, the pastel M&M’s work great. Hershey’s kisses also have a variety of colors depending on the time of year.  The possibilities are endless as long as they can still be considered a mini.

Directions

  1. Cut all of your desired material into medium sized squares.  (Using a ruler is recommended to achieve perfectly shaped squares.)
  2. Separate all of the candy onto the pre-cut squares, about a handful or if using Hershey kisses, about four will do.
  3. Gather at the top and tie with ribbon.
  4. If you are adding rhinestones or sequins to the ribbon, it may be best to use a glue gun, this way the rhinestones or sequins will stay securely onto the ribbons without worries of them falling off easily.

DIY wedding favors can be easy and a lot of fun only if time allows it.  This idea is only recommended to those who love arts and crafts and loves attention to detail.

DIY Bride also has some great ideas for handmade wedding favors if you are considering the DIY route.

~ Lindsey