I looked up some Latvian, English, Jewish and German traditions that could be incorporated. At this point, we won't be doing any major kind of tradition during the ceremony, but it's always interesting to see what other cultures do!
Traditionally it is mandatory for every Latvian bride to wear her white wedding dress, and veil, until midnight. At the reception celebration the wedding veil is removed and passes it down to one of the younger sisters, who will presumably, marry next. Once it is done the bride flaunts a married woman's cap. It is also a custom to kidnap the Latvian bride at her wedding reception, and the groom has to pay a ransom by means of drinks or song to rescue her.
I will be wearing my dress all day (I'm not sure if it will be until midnight ;) but most of the day), I don't have any sisters, so that won't work, but the last part sounds pretty cool! How sweet to have Josh rescue me?!
Stepping through traditional wedding ribbons in Latvia symbolizes the future for Latvia brides and grooms. In another Latvian wedding custom, groomsmen "kidnap" the bride, and the groom must complete a simple task to "ransom" her back.
Writing sins on rocks, then tossing the rocks into a body of water, will allow a person to atone for their sins. This ritual is sometimes performed before weddings. The practice of transposing a sin onto an object to be discarded is similar to Eastern European folk remedies, which sometimes require transferring an illness onto an object and destroying it or throwing it away - thus destroying the illness.
I like the idea of writing sins on a rock and having them sent away. I'm just not sure what I'd put down if it's supposed to be relationship-wise!
A lot of people know about some Jewish traditions. They do vary among regions, but there are a lot that are pretty popular: the processional is different, the ceremony happens under a chupah, the couple signs a ketubah (wedding contract), and the glass is broken.
There is a ton of information about English wedding traditions, and I was going crazy searching through them all! You can go here and here for A LOT of information!
- Fruit cake was the traditional wedding cake
- It was safer to get married between harvest & Christmas
- Shoes were tied to the newlywed's get away car
Again, there's tons of info, and I'm getting lazy. Miss Scissors also has some traditions listed here, here, here and here. She has a lot of good information!
- Sometime during the vows, when the couple are on their knees, the groom might kneel on his brides wedding dress to show who will be 'wearing the pants' in the relationship. When they stand, the bride might step on her groom's foot to show otherwise.
- A wedding reception follows the religious service.. It is customary for the 'best man' to steal the bride from the reception and take her to a local pub, where they drink champagne until the groom finds them. Then the groom has to pay for all that they drank. Later, friends of the couple block all the reception site exits with ribbons and garlands. When the couple is ready to leave for their honeymoon, the groom must pay a toll to exit, usually the promise of another party.
- As the newlyweds leave the wedding chappel, they throw coins to the children watching.