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Unusual Wedding traditions

Wedding traditions vary from culture to culture and even family to family.
A grooms cake, made by a relative for this wedding, portrays the sport the young man loves along with a catchy phrase that symbolizes humor in connection with his wedding.
Displaying wedding gowns worn by previous brides in the family, such as the mothers, grandmothers and sisters, can be a unique tradition. Note the placards telling about the weddings and photos of the bride and grooms on the day they were married.

Weddings are known for their pageantry and tradition. The ceremony, the line, the food, the cake cutting, the car decorating and the honeymooners getaway are all things we are familiar with.

While no two weddings are alike, these things they have in common. But what is not so common is the way people have adapted some of these traditions and added to them. Some have even changed the traditional wedding so much it is not much like itself at all.

However, there are many ways to make a wedding different from others without changing the entire formula. In some cases it can be the small things that are changed; in others it could be one major thing that changes the feeling of a reception or party.

Many new ideas are actually old ideas, coming from cultures much older than the Americas.

Here are some unique wedding additions that can add to a traditional wedding in a unique way.

•A history of family weddings. Both the bride and the groom have parents, grandparents and so on. How did the weddings between those people look when they were married. There are a number of ways to display this. One is to have a table or setting of old wedding photos with who is in them clearly marked. Favors, the cake knife or other pieces of the weddings can also be displayed.

While grooms seldom own their tuxedos or have long worn out suits donned during weddings many years ago, brides almost always have their wedding dresses. Those can be displayed along with a photo portraying the former bride wearing it on her wedding day. Weddings are a part of the history of a family; a part that can be interesting for wedding party guests to view and marvel at.

•Charms within the layers of the wedding cake. Americans know all about throwing the bouquet of flowers, and the woman who catches it will be the next to be married. Another way of doing this is to buy small charms and have them put between the layers of a cake. There can be one charm or many, but only one will signify who will get married next. Tie ribbons or colorful strings to them and have the women of the wedding party come pull them out of the cake before the bride and groom cut the cake. The winner gets a certain charm or the only charm that is attached to the pull string.

•A groom's cake. The wedding cake is always at the center of the wedding reception. It stands in unity for the single marriage that has just taken place, often with figures of a bride and groom on the top. But the while the cake signifies the unity of the two, sometimes it tends to be more feminine than masculine. A grooms cake can add a bit of spice to a wedding.

Grooms cakes are often not professionally made, although they can be. While the regular wedding cake is often yellow or white, the groom may like chocolate or spice. The grooms cake should fit the liking of the man getting married. They can also represent the man's life or a hobby he loves. Things like hunting, fishing, sports, cars or other things can be used as a model for the cake. The cake should reflect the groom's preferences. It can be cut at any time, but often is a good treat for the groomsmen; something special for having to wear tuxedos all evening.

•If a wedding is an RSVP affair, personal cards to each of those attending as they come in the door is a nice touch too. The cards can be personally signed by the groom and bride.

•A good keepsake of a wedding is something all the reception goers can be involved in. While they may bring a toaster or a salad set to the wedding as a present, make their autographs a personal part of the wedding. Have an artist's canvas set up with either a light beautiful scene on it or a rendering of the bride and groom. Have the guests sign the canvas, much like a yearbook signing, with greetings and well wishes set in ink. Then this can become a permanent part of the wedding memories, possibly hanging in the newlyweds home for many years to come.

•A photographer at the door taking photos of everyone who comes to the wedding. The photos can be of groups of people, couples or singles. This way the hit and miss photos of those during the reception will be shored up by a record of those who actually came past the guest book. For brides, grooms and their families it is also a fun game to get together after the honeymoon to see if anyone can name all the guests portrayed on the photos.

•Name tags. This may sound tacky, but it certainly can be fun. Have prepared for the wedding party, as well as all the guests who are attending, a classy looking name tag to wear during the reception. So often people don't know each other, and these help everyone to remember names. The tags can also be color coded by their enclosures. For instance blue for the groom's family, pink for the bride's family, green for friends, yellow for work associates, etc.

•For the couple that is well set and not in the mood to deal with a myriad of wedding gifts, a donation wedding is a good idea. Pick a favorite charity, and rather than have the guests buy gifts or use a gift registry, have them donate the money they would have spent to the charity in the weddings name. Or let guests donate money to a charity that they each individually pick in the name of the wedding. Have them submit what charities they have given the money too, then send them a thank you with a note from the charity along with it.

•One way to have a guest remember the wedding for a long time is to give something lasting back to them. For spring, summer or early fall weddings, guests can take away a tree seedling from the wedding and plant in their yard (or someone elses if they live in an apartment) to remember the bride and groom by for many years.

For thousands of years people have found ways to commemorate weddings. Families have their own traditions and so do cultures. The ideas can be drawn from a million places, just to fit the couple who are tying the knot.

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