Family Wedding Traditions… we all know “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Traditions have always provided a bonding experience that helps bring multiple generations together. This can be more relevant when there are family dynamics that make it challenging to find common ground. These wedding rituals will always be a way to come together and say, we are family!
Couples today are looking for fresh ways to modernize traditions and make everyone feel included. The trick is finding the balance of old and new, yours and mine, and making those traditions “ours” as you move into life as a newlywed couple.
We have compiled our top picks for ways to bring your family into a “We Do” state of mind.
Growing Up- We have all seen the adorable happy couple growing up slideshow. For a twist try placing a photo of each of you at the exact same age on your table numbers. Example- Table 1 (photo of the each at age one) Table 2 (photo of the each at age two) and so on.
Alternative photo ideas we have seen include…
Couple/family slideshow. This we have seen in varied forms over the years. Our favorite two options at Lionscrest come from Pure Sounds Productions. The first is a looping slideshow that runs in the bar area and loops throughout the event. This provides guests a chance to pop in and catch a few pics while they wait for their beverage. A healthy and fresh dose of embarrassing bath-time and class photos to keep everyone entertained. The second is a formal slideshow after dinner for all of the guests. A fun twist for this option is to incorporate family dances with the slideshow. There is no sweeter combo than pictures of you growing up in the background while dancing with Mom and Dad. A real tear jerker, we promise!
Photo Displays. These can be scattered around the venue as collections or random fun photos displayed as a collection on boards, banners, frames, or photo pin ups. A great way to make the venue feel more like home or maybe grandmas house, depending on how many photos you bring.
Remember Me- Memory Table and Memory Items
Losing loved ones is something we have experiences or will all face in our lives. For many, the idea of having the big day without those cherished family members is truly unbearable. In 20 years of weddings at Lionscrest, we have been blessed to witness many amazing tributes and memorials couples have created to include those who have passed. Here are a few ideas…
Cherished Belonging. Memorable and personal items help us all to remember our loved ones. Grandma’s lace handkerchief, heirloom brooches from the ladies in your life and even popped buttons from grandpas work shirts all hold special memories. Being able to have these items with you is a perfect way to feel their spirit and bring you love and courage.
Engagement or Wedding Rings. There is no greater symbol of love than the wedding ring. Stronger yet could be the passing down of rings from one generation to another. This symbol of everlasting commitment represents all that has come and all that will be with you and your family. A true symbol of infinity.
Memory Table. Having framed photos of loved ones is a wonderful way to share more about who you are and where you came from. We especially love wedding day portraits of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Sweet Treats- Family Cookie or Dessert Table. According to wikipedia the cookie table is “a wedding tradition said to originate in Southwestern Pennsylvania, where in place of or in addition to a wedding cake, a large table with different cookies is presented to guests at the wedding reception.” These cookies are often hand-crafted by family members and good friends. This tradition has spread across the US and taken varied forms with loved ones supplying cherished family recipes and sweets such as; Grandmas cream cheese wedding mints, Aunties pecan pie, Nana’s cannolis, etc. Drooling yet? If you would like to learn more about the Pittsburgh Cookie table tradition here is a great piece from the NY Times – The Wedding? I’m Here for the Cookies.
Words of Wisdom- As an alternative to the tradition of the guestbook, we have gathered our favorite ideas that will allow you to gather well wishes and wisdom from your guests. We guarantee these loving mementos will bring you years of smiles, laughs and maybe even a few tears.
Wedding Jenga. Like the photo shows; guests grab a piece, write a note or advice and help build the foundation of your day. This spin on the traditional Hasbro Jenga game will have guests engaged in the moment and all of the memories to come.
Marriage Advice “Tip” Jar. We all know what a “Tip” jar is. Instead of asking your guests to contribute a monetary donation how about letting them impart some wisdom on you. Getting a few “cheat sheets” for the ups and downs to come is simply being prepared for the class of life. If you want a DIY tutorial on making your own Advice Tip Jar check out the tutorial from Confetti Daydreams.
Anniversary Wishes Boxes. Anniversary wish boxes are very similar to the “Tip” jar idea except that the wishes are broken out over milestone anniversaries. We have seen couples with boxes ranging from 1st year, 5th year, 10th, all the way up to 50th anniversary. If we should all be so lucky to make it to the “Big 50th,” AMAZING!!! These anniversary boxes allow your guests to impart additional wisdom and ideas to help you on your long term marital path. Check out these Pins on Wedding Anniversary Boxes/Jars.
Want help tracking down a fun storage piece for your wishes? We recommend Reale Events. With vintage suitcases, funky boxes and other personalized items for rent, they can help you create your own personalized signing item.
We know that the creativity of our upcoming wedding couples will continue to shed light on more unique wedding family traditions. We are so honored to be witness to so many special moments and look forward to many more anniversaries of our own, personally and professionally.
Special thanks to Elegant Images and our amazing couples for the photos, ideas and love they share.