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Free Wedding Planning Guide
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To receive your own dream wedding planning package and proposal, email us your name, date and your number of estimated guests
FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE BY MAIL
Out of states brides (non Florida residency) can apply for Florida Marriage License by mail through Paul an approval wedding coordinator for the clerk of the State of Florida. The cost is only $200 if forms received by Paul 60 days prior to the marriage. After 60 days prior to your marriage date add $5 dollars a day additional charge.
After After studying weddings from around the world there are many traditions, no right and wrong ways to perform a wedding and reception, but, at a Coconut Cove Dream Wedding the only right way is the way the Bride and the Groom wants, that is what is truly in our hearts, to make your dreams come true.
TIME LINE GOALS
12-24 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY
Agree with your spouse-to-be and your family on your Wedding date and then select your location, the most important decision next to your spouse. Decide on a Preliminary Wedding Budget.
30 DAYS AFTER BOOKING YOUR WEDDING VENUE
Prepare a guest list and send out the invitations, required if blocking rooms. Agree on a bridal registry. Call up and Select the bridesmaids. Agree on a date to order bridesmaids' dresses. Choose a beautiful place for your Honeymoon. Apply for passports, if needed. You must have wedding insurance it is very inexpensive with Coconut Cove Resort & Marina listed as additionally insured we recommend by Fireman's Fund which can be purchased at about $400 for a $15,000. Wedding insurance call 1 800 ENGAGED 1 800 364-2433 or see the site at www.rvnuccio.com www.wedsure.com
6 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY
Make airline reservations. Select the Rehearsal Restaurant.Make spread sheet of guest list replies. Look for a Wedding gown and allow time for alterations and fittings. Shop for and order wedding favors.
60 DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR WEDDING DAY
This is your deadline to finalize all items in your dream wedding planning proposal package and this is the date your first payment is due. Make final alterations and fittings for the Wedding Gown.
30 DAYS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY
This is your hard deadline to finalize remaining details in your dream wedding planning package proposal and also when your final payment is due. Fill out and submit application for the marriage license. Print our your Ceremony programs or send to a local printing shop.(Samples are at the bottom of the vows page) Buy your wedding bands. Start calling your guest list and finalize. Finalize music list and no-play list with band or DJ. Make reservations for bridesmaids' luncheon. Attend showers.
2 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY
The final count is due and your final payment is due if any is to be mailed. Check your rehearsal dinner reservations. Deadline to have an appointment with a Beauty Salon for day of wedding. Discuss with the hairstylist your hairstyle for your wedding day. Verify the bridal party clothing. Send a wedding announcement to the local newspapers, if you wish. Make necessary arrangements for name & address change, if any. The ceremony details should be finalized with Paul or Contact your minister and discuss final ceremony details
1 WEEK BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY
Start packing for your Wedding and your Honeymoon..Visit your Beauty Salon for manicure and pedicure. Make sure the ushers have the final guest list. Make sure you have gathered the items on the Bride’s Wedding Day Checklist. Make sure you have tickets and reservation materials for the honeymoon.
1 DAY BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY
Attend rehearsal and finalize wedding processional and then head off to your rehearsal dinner for a great night.YOUR WEDDING DAYMake sure you eat something. Visit your Beauty Salon for Hair styling & make-up. (Bring veil & headpiece). Pin your veil if a windy day on the beach. Make sure the Wedding Gown is pressed and steamed. Relax you are in Paul's and Magda's hands the experts in flawless dream weddings and savor the magic of your Special day.
PACKING LIST AND WEDDING DAY CHECK LIST
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR LIST BEFORE LOCKING YOUR DOOR ON THE WAY TO YOUR KEYS DREAM WEDDING
Wedding gown and repair set with bobby pins and baby pins
Veil and headpiece, note pin or add weights on windy days
Special bra, panties
Shoes, note you can were high heels on our beach (hard packed special sand)
Nail polish and file
Curling iron, curlers
Hairspray, hair accessories, extra bobby pins
Marriage License - give to minister Paul or your minister
Toothbrush, toothpaste, breath mints
Iron or steamer (the hotel has iron, Islamorada Dry Cleaners can steam your dress)
Garter and the rings
Penny or sixpence
Ring pillow (We can provide at no cost)
Computer and cell phone with chargers
ID, purse, wallet and money
Bikini and swim shorts
Shades and reading glasses
Plane tickets, passport, cruise documents or honeymoon details
Don't forget the groom and his shirt, pants and shoes
Inventory list faxed or emailed to Paul & Magda, with everything, favors, gift bags, guest book, engraved champagne glasses, gift card box, picture frames, tributes, guest seating chart, escort cards, and table names, ring bearers pillow or shell, garter, disposable camera's, cake toppers, marriage license.sand ceremony set, and sand ceremony vase/fish bowl/cookie jar.
After all guests have been seated,
1. The Groom’s Mother is escorted to the front row on the right side of the beautiful beach chapel for the ceremony. This is ordinarily done by an usher, but can also be done by the groom’s father.
2. The Bride’s Mother then follows, escorted by an usher, who delivers her to her place in the front row on the left side of the chapel or area setup for the ceremony.
Note: The seating of the bride’s mother is the traditional indication that the wedding is about to begin.
3. At this point the Minister enters with the Groom, usually from a side of the beach chapel, to take his place at the alter or focal point of the ceremony.
Note: The minister’s presence brings the preparatory part of the ceremony – the musical prelude and gathering of the guests to a conclusion.
4. Optional if groomsmen not walking with maids, the room can be next followed by his Best Man, takes his place at the front of the church or focal point on the right.
Note: The groom and best man turn and face the guests or the entrance from which the bride will enter.
5. Now the music selected for the processional is started, and the Ushers proceed down the aisle, taking their places along side the groom and best man. Note: If there is not room to stand beside them, then they should stand directly behind the best man in a row.
6. Once the ushers are situated, the Bride’s Maids begin their procession, and take their place on the left at the front, leaving room for the maid of honor and the bride herself. Note: If there is not room to stand beside them, then they should stand directly behind the maid of honor in a row.
7. Following the bride’s maids, the Maid of Honor will enter, taking her place to the right of the bride’s maids and leaving room for the bride at the center of the aisle.(Paul will instruct the maid of honor to adjust the train and veil.
8. The maid of honor is followed by the Ring-Bearer, who has the actual rings for the ceremony, normally carried on a pillow.
9. Next, the Flower Girl or girls enter, who scatter the aisle with flowers for the bride to walk on enter. They proceed down the aisle and take their place on the left side of the bride’s maids.
10. Now everyone is prepared for the Bride’s entrance and selected music is played such as the traditional wedding march or other song. She is escorted down the aisle on her father’s left arm, who then, traditionally kisses her farewell after the minister asks who gives this women in marriage. Her father then takes his place beside the bride’s mother and the ceremony begins!
RECESSION RECEIVING LINE
In the Christian Wedding the receiving line is formed after the bride and groom and the wedding party have left the beach or the front of the area setup for the wedding ceremony. It is my experience that a formal receiving line is utilized only 10% of the time. Only the most formal outdoor weddings will have a receiving line. This is also the case at historic properties such as at an inn or bed & breakfast. Most often, the bride and groom choose to personally greet the guests by stopping by each table during the banquet or by casually mingling during the reception.
When a receiving line is used the following is the traditional placement:
Maid of Honor
Note: The following wedding party members are not usually a part of the receiving line: Best Man, Groom’s Father, Groomsmen, Flower Girl, Ring Bearer & Clergyman (Minister).
TRADITIONS: WHO PAYS FOR WHAT?
Cultural backgrounds and individual convictions heavily influence the decision-making in Wedding traditions. Nevertheless, the following is a general guide that should be construed as such... and adopted as you deem fit:
THE BRIDE TYPICALLY PAYS FOR:
The Wedding ring for the Groom
Gifts for the Attendants
The Wedding gift for the Groom
THE GROOM TYPICALLY PAYS FOR:
The Bride's rings including the Engagement ring
Wedding gift for the bride
The marriage license
The Groom's men gifts
Flowers for the Bride
The going-away corsage,
corsages for mothers, special ladies;
The boutonnieres for men in wedding party
Fee for minister or notary
THE GROOM'S FAMILY TYPICALLY PAYS FOR:
Clothing for the Wedding
The Wedding gift for the newlyweds
THE BRIDE'S FAMILY TYPICALLY PAYS FOR:
The costs of the reception.
The Bride's Wedding attire/trousseau
Invitations, announcements, thank you notes
The seating assignment chart, napkins and mailing costs
Bridesmaids, flower girl, ring bearer flowers and accessories
All gratuities for all services: parking, security
THE ATTENDANTS TYPICALLY PAY FOR:
Their Wedding clothes
Wedding gift for newlyweds
ATTENDANT’S TRADITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
SOME TRADITIONAL POSSIBLE MAID/MATRON OF HONOR RESPONSIBILITIES:
The maid or matron of honor is usually a sister or very close friend. Choose some dependable. If you choose, you may have both a maid (single) and a matron (married) of honor takes precedence at the ceremony, and signs as you legal witness.
Before the Wedding: The maid of Honor may plan your wedding and take care of details for you. If she lives nearby she might help address invitations, plan pre-wedding parties, make favors or table decorations, and keep track of gifts received and thank you cards sent. The maid of honor usually hosts a bridal shower. The bride can delegate care of bridesmaid's fittings and details. She attends pre-wedding parties. She attends the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.
At the Wedding: The maid of honor helps the bride with dressing and assists with the, train, veil and holding the brides bouquet during the ceremony. The maid of honor sometimes wears the grooms ring on her thumb (or carries it in some other safe manner) until it is time for the blessing and exchange of rings in the ceremony. She is responsible for having an emergency kit with miscellaneous items such as a needle and thread, extra nylons, a roll of tape etc.
If you do not have a wedding planner or Paul & Magda overseeing your details the maid of honor holds on to a duplicate list of desired shots for the photographer and videographer as well as a song list for ceremony musicians and a copy of any special prayers or readings to be used during the ceremony.
The Maid of honor walks in front of the bride in the processional and with the best man in the recessional and stands near the bride at the altar. She makes sure that all of the bride's clothing, make-up and personal belongings are removed from the changing room at the ceremony site and taken back to the bride's home. She helps to line up bridesmaids for formal photographs.
At the Reception: The maid of Honor stands next to the groom in very formal receiving lines.During the reception, she mingles with guest. She dances with the best man at the reception. She helps the bride with her train, fastening it to floor length so it is out of the way for dancing, if necessary. A duplicate copy of the list of names and pronunciations for the bridal party announcements is kept by the maid of honor. She also keeps a duplicate song list for the reception musicians or disc jockey. If the bride needs assistance in tossing her bouquet or in gathering single women to catch it, the maid of honor can help out. If requested, she helps the bride dress for the honey moon and makes sure the bridal gown and other personal clothing items are returned to the bride's home after the reception. She takes the bridal bouquet for preserving and may take the gown for heir looming while the bride is on her honeymoon.
Expenses: The maid or matron of honor pays for her own dress and other attire. She may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. She may share the cost of bridal shower.
SOME TRADITIONAL POSSIBLE BRIDESMAID RESPONSIBILITIES:
Bridesmaids are usually close friends or family members. When inviting them, make them aware that there are costs involved as well as a time commitment. It is an honor to be asked, but may also be a financial burden. Make friends feel special when you invite them to be part of your wedding.
The number of bridesmaids usually depends on the formality of your wedding, with a dozen being the maximum for any wedding. Girls between 8 and 16 are considered to be junior bridesmaids. Junior bridesmaids are not expected to help with details as much as bridesmaids.
Before the Wedding: Bridesmaids help take care of details for the bride such as running errands, and making table decorations or favors. Bridesmaids usually join the maid of honor in hosting a bridal shower. Bridesmaids attend pre-wedding parties. Bridesmaids attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.
At the Wedding: Bridesmaids walk in the processional and recessional, either single file, two together or with an usher. They stand near the bride during the ceremony. They are in formal photographs of the bridal party.
At the Reception: Bridesmaids pay for their own dresses and other attire. If travel expenses are involved, they pay their own cost involved in getting to the wedding and staying in town during the celebration. Although bridesmaids may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. Bridesmaids share the cost of the bridal shower with the maid of honor.
SOME TRADITIONAL POSSIBLE FLOWER GIRL RESPONSIBILITIES:
You may choose one or two little girls to be flower girls. The best age range is between four and eight. (Although younger ones are cute, expect that they can create some real challenges during a processional or ceremony, but this is also fun and cute.) If you choose two girls, some brides think it looks nice if they are about the same size, but that may not be possible and is person preference. It can be a special honor for a child to be chosen as part of you wedding. Before the Wedding: Flower girls attend the shower and some pre-wedding parties. They attend the rehearsal and may attend the rehearsal dinner with their families. At the Wedding: Flower girls walk directly in front of the bride in the processional and in front of the maid of honor in the recessional. As flower girls walk down the aisle, they may scatter flower or rose petals. If petals are not permitted, sometimes flower girls will hand out single flowers to guest as they walk, or they may just carry a bouquet, a ring of flowers or a pomander ball. During the ceremony, flower girls may stand near the bridesmaids or may sit with their families. Younger ones probably will do better sitting with their families. They are in the formal photographs of the bridal parties. At the Reception: Flower girls do not usually stand in the reception line. Flower girls usually sit at a table of honor with their families. Flower girls may dance with family members, friends or other members of the wedding party if they choose to do so. Expenses: Families of flower girls are expected to pay for dresses and other attire. If travel expenses are involved, the girls' family pick up these costs. Flower girls are not expected to bring a gift to pre-wedding parties they may attend. If their parents attend, gift expectations would be the same as any other guest. If they attend more than one shower or party, only one shower gift is expected. Flower girls are not responsible for helping financially with bridal shower. A headpiece of beautiful baby roses with matching basket of flowers to spread down the beach isle is typical.
SOME TRADITIONAL POSSIBLE GROOMSMEN & USHER RESPONSIBILITIES:
Before the Wedding: Groomsmen usually help the best man plan the bachelor party for the groom. Groomsmen attend pre-wedding parties. Groomsmen attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.
At the Wedding: The main Job of the usher is to seat guests. They should arrive at the ceremony site at least one hour in advance and should have clear instructions on the seating plan. In Christian ceremonies, the bride's family and guests sit on the left and the groom's on the right. In Jewish services, the seating is opposite, with the bride's family on the right. Female guests are escorted by having the usher offer his right arm to her. Her date or spouse walks behind. Male guests are lead to their seats. If there are pew cards being used or a special reserved section, ushers should pay special attention as they escort these guests to their seats. Ushers distribute any programs or ceremony handouts at the ceremony. Ushers direct those bringing gifts to the ceremony to a gift table. If there is a guest book at the ceremony, ushers direct guest to sign it.
After all guests are seated, the ushers escort the groom's parents to the front row on the groom's side (Unless they are part of the processional.) Lastly, they escort the bride's mother to her seat, unless she is accompanying her husband in the processional. The Groomsmen may be part of the processional or they may take positions in the front with the best man or groom. They stand near the groom during the ceremony. They are in formal Photographs of the bridal party. They Escort the bridesmaids from the ceremony in the recessional. One of the ushers should be responsible to roll the aisle runner back up after the ceremony and have it cleaned and returned. One of the ushers should collect any leftover handouts or programs and see that they get returned to the couple who may want to send them to family or friends who were unable to attend.
At the Reception: Ushers may be part of the receiving lines in the very formal or formal weddings. Ushers may be seated at the head table although not typical used at our beach wedding a sweetheart table is used, sometimes they sit at a table of honor at the reception. During the reception, groomsmen mingle with the guest. Groomsmen dance with the bridesmaids at the reception. They assist by encouraging single young men to participate in catching the garter.
Expenses: Groomsmen or ushers pay for their own formalwear and accessories. If travel expenses are involved, they pay their own costs involved in getting to the wedding and staying in town during the celebration. Although groomsmen may attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one wedding gift are to be expected. Groomsmen may share the cost of the bachelor party with the best man.
SOME TRADITIONAL POSSIBLE RING BEARER AND TRAINBEARER RESPONSIBILITIES:
Neither of these is required positions and may be boys or girls. Usually only one ring bearer is used, but two with one ring per pillow will work if you have and abundance of four or five year children that you would like to have involved in the ceremony. Although the rings on the pillows are usually not the actual wedding rings, you could have two ring bearers if you are having a double ring ceremony, one for the bride and one for the groom. Trainbearer or pages usually walk in pairs but a single trainbearer can be used.Before the Wedding: If ring bearers and trainbearer are little boys they are not likely to be interested in any pre--wedding parties. If they are girls, they might want to attend the shower and some other parties. They attend the rehearsal and may attend the rehearsal dinner with their families. At the Wedding: During the Ceremony: The ring bearers (s) carries a pillow with a ring or rings sewn to it. (These are usually not the real wedding rings but symbolic ones for show only.)
The ring bearer (s) walks either directly in front of or beside of the flower girl (s) in the processional and the recessional.
If real rings are tied to the pillow the ring bearer takes the pillow directly to the maid or honor and/or the best man who will remove the rings. The trainbearers follow the bride in the processional and recessional, and carry the bridal train.
The ring and train bearers may stand near the ushers or sit with their families. They are in the formal Photographs of the bridal party. At the Reception: Ring and train Bearers do not usually stand in the reception line. Ring and trainbearers usually sit at a table of honor with their families. Expenses: Families of ring and train bearers are expected to pay for attire. If travel expenses are involved, the children's families pick up these costs. Ring and train bearers are not expected to bring gifts to any pre-wedding parties they may attend. If their parents attend gifts expectations would be the same as any other guest. If they attend more than one party, only one shower gift is expected.
The number of ushers is usually determined by the size of the wedding. One usher can comfortably seat about fifty guests. Ushers are usually brothers, relatives or best friends of the groom. In inviting people to serve as ushers, make sure that they are aware of the expenses involved. While it is not necessary to have an equal number if ushers and bridesmaids, it does balance nicely if they walk in pairs in either the processional or recessional.
SUMMARIES OF TRADITIONS IN RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE WEDDING PARTY:
Maid of Honor/Personal Attendant:
Helps bride with shopping, invitations and other details as requested.
Attends all pre-wedding events
Pays for own wedding attire
Takes charge of groom's ring during ceremony
Witnesses, signs wedding certificate
Helps bride in arranging veil and dress at ceremony and reception
Returns bride's gown to designated place after wedding.
Purchases and completes fittings of gowns
Performs tasks as assigned by bride
Attends rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
(Assists groom with all details of the wedding day.)
Pays for own attire
Transports groom to the beach chapel or church.
Supervises the grooms men, regarding their dress and duties at ceremony
Takes care of bride's ring until ceremony.
Presents the clergyperson with fee (if applicable).
Signs and witnesses the marriage certificate
Offers the first toast to the bride and groom.
Dances with the bride after the groom and both fathers have danced with her Prepares the honeymoon car, packs suitcases in car.
Holds for safe-keeping, any tickets, keys, etc. for the groom.
Returns groom's tuxedo to rental shop.
Pays for their own wedding attire
Attends rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
Attends bachelor dinner if there is one
Escorts bridesmaids during the ceremony
Pay for own wedding attire
Make sure principles have flowers before being seated. (Unless this task is
assigned to another)
Distribute wedding programs. (Unless this task is assigned to another)
Seat guests on appropriate side of church.
Assist elderly guests to seats.
Check church or synagogue for any items left behind.
TRADITIONS FOR MOTHER’S ATTIRE:
Tradition holds that the mother of the bride chooses a dress first, followed by the mother of the groom. Their dresses should complement each other, as well as the bridal party. For instance, having one mother in a floor length dress and another in a miniskirt is a major no-no. Likewise, your mother wearing an orange dress next to your bridesmaid’s light green ensembles are bound to make your wedding pictures look tacky. While your moms shouldn’t be wearing the same style and color, their dresses should coordinate. Generally, at formal weddings, your mother and mother-in-law should be in floor or tea-length dresses. Semi-formal or informal weddings allow them to get more creative with the length, but they still need to make sure they are complementing one another. Unless your bridesmaids will be wearing black, a mother of the bride or groom should avoid this color. Until recently, black at weddings was considered a social blunder and many guests will still look at the color choice with suspicion. Steer them away from choosing a color that will raise eyebrows as to whether or not they approve of the marriage. Don’t forget to finish the look with a matching corsage or a small bouquet.
In the Rose Ceremony, the Bride & Groom give each other a Rose. Two roses are all that is necessary. The Rose Ceremony is placed at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife. If a Unity Sand Ceremony is included it is placed directly following the Unity Sand Ceremony.
A single red rose is said to mean, "I Love You". It is appropriate that the first gift as husband and wife should be a single red rose. A rose has always been considered as a symbol of love and a single rose has always meant only one thing – it means "I Love You." Often, couples will stop on their exit and hand the mother of the bride and groom each their Rose, whispering "I Love You" before proceeding with their exit. Additional roses may also be given to grandparents, sisters and other special guests.
Unity Sand Ceremony
A Unity Sand Ceremony can easily be added to any marriage ceremony. It is placed near the end of the ceremony, following the Exchange of Rings. Mothers sometimes bring forward the sand glasses as they are escorted forward at the beginning of the ceremony. A Unity Sand Ceremony set consists of two or four glasses and a large center large mouth vase, candy jar, or fish bowl. The brides and grooms glasses represent your individual lives before today. They represent all that you are from your vast experiences, and they represent your individual families. Each of you pour into the center container. This represents the closing of the chapters in your individual "Book of Life" and the beginning of new chapters as you begin to write a new book as husband and wife! In another version, the children of the bride or grooms from previous marriages pour symbolizing the joining of the new family. The grains or sand in the new glass container representing that even though you have created a new family, each of you still maintains those characteristics that makes you individually unique, but in no way can ever be separated back again. If you are creating a new family you may want to include the children, this is an excellent way to involve children from a previous marriage. Mother as head of the house holds also are often pour symbolizing the joining of the two familiars into one.
Breaking A Glass Ceremony
The traditional Jewish wedding ceremony includes a "breaking of the glass." Here the Groom, having been offered a glass on a wooden pallet or wrapped in a cloth napkin, smashes it with his foot. The breaking of the glass symbolizes the fragility of life, the fact that whatever we see before us as whole can be broken at any moment. It calls our attention for the need to care for one another; for just as glass can be shattered with a single blow, so the grace of the marriage bond can be shattered with a single act of infidelity or repeated acts of emotional irresponsibility.
Include the Children
If you have children you may want to include them at some point in the ceremony. Often you may just want their names mentioned by the minister or you may want to include them in a more active role, but be aware that children will not always share your enthusiasm for the wedding. Most of the time children can participate by being a flower girl or a ring bearer of simply by being included in the sand ceremony. Paul is the very best with "blended" families. (Children from another parent) He loves a shell necklace giveaway after the rings with his loving words to show the love and fortune of the new step parent of having the new step child, and that this marriage is also about them.. Some people give each child a small gift and say some few additional words to them in addition or also following the exchanging of rings, occasionally present young girls with there own ring. But normally the bride and groom present children with a shell necklace or other gift following the exchange of rings. In giving a small gift, the bride and groom are symbolizing the fact that this joining, this love and family are more than the relationship between two people.
INCLUDE A CONGREGATION/FAMILY VOW OF SUPPORT
After reciting your vows you might want me to address your guests and invite them to make a vow of support to you. It is within the context of this community that your marriage will be enacted. For example, I might say, "Now that you have heard ______ and _____ recite their vows, do you, their family and friends, promise, from this day forward to encourage them and love them, and to help guide and support them in being steadfast in the promises they have made?" "We do."
Jumping a Broom.
African-Americans often include the "jumping of the broom" as a part of their wedding ceremony. This normally takes place at the end of the ceremony as the couple is departing. Often the broom is decorated elaborately by the friends and families of the couple.
The years of life are as a cup of wine poured out for you to drink. This "Cup of Life" contains within it a wine with certain properties that are sweet and symbolic of happiness, joy, hope, peace, love and delight. This same wine also holds some bitter properties that are symbolic of disappointment, sorrow, grief, despair, and life’s trials and tribulations. Together the sweet and the bitter represent "Life’s Journey" and all of the experiences that are a natural part of it. Those who drink deeply from the "Cup of Life" with an open heart and willing spirit, invite the full range of challenges and experiences into their being. (Paul pours wine into goblet and holds it up.) This "Cup of Life" is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share together the fullness of life. As you drink from this cup, you acknowledge to one another that your lives, until this moment separate, have become one with the Holy Spirit. (Paul hands glass to groom, who drinks, then hands it to bride, who drinks, who passes it back to pastor.) As you have shared the wine from these goblets, so may you share your lives. May you find life’s joys heightened, it’s bitterness sweetened, and all of life enriched by God’s blessings upon you. This is sometimes done in private behind the beach arch, a brief moment away from the guests in a private ceremony with Minister Paul.
BEST MAN TRADITION
Among the Germanic Goths of northern Europe in 200 A.D., a man usually married a woman from within his own community. However, when there were fewer women, the prospective bridegroom would capture his bride from a neighboring village. The bridegroom was accompanied by his strongest friend (or best friend), who helped him capture his bride.
This term has many origins from different cultures. In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom had the help of "bridesmen" or "brideknights" to help him capture and/or escort his bride. Later they would make sure that the bride got to the church and to the groom's home afterwards. The women who accompanied and assisted the bride were called "bridesmaids" or "brideswomen".
Bridal showers were meant to strengthen the ties between the bride and her friends, provide her moral support, and help her prepare for her marriage. Gift giving at showers dates from the 1890's.
The tradition of bridesmaids dressing the same as each other and in similar style to the bride comes from ancient days when it was believed that evil spirits have a more difficult time distinguishing which one is the bride and putting a hex on her.
In the 1st century B.C. in Rome, the cake was thrown at the bride or broken over her head as one of the many fertility symbols which then were a part of the marriage ceremony. Cutting the wedding cake together, still a predominant ritual at weddings, symbolizes the couple's unity, their shared future, and their life together as one. The three tiered cake is believed to have been inspired by the spire of Saint Bride's Church in London, England.
CARRYING THE BRIDE OVER THE THRESHOLD
Traditionally, the bride had to enter her new home the first time through the front door. If she tripped or stumbled while entering it was considered to be very bad luck. Hence the tradition of the groom carrying the bride over the threshold.
DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING
The diamond engagement ring originated with King Maximillian who presented Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring in 1477 as a token of his love. The Venetians Popularized the custom during the 15th. Century. Since the diamond was the hardest and most enduring substance in nature it followed that the engagement and marriage would endure forever.
In 860 AD, Pope Nicholas I decreed that an engagement ring become a required statement of nuptial intent. He insisted that engagement rings had to be made of gold which signified a financial sacrifice on the part of the prospective husband.
GARTER AND BRIDAL BOUQUET TOSS
In parts of Europe during the 14th century, having a piece of the bride's clothing was thought to bring good luck. Guests would literally destroy the brides dress by ripping off pieces of fabric. In order to prevent this, brides began throwing various items to the guests - the garter belt being one of the items. In order to avoid this problem, it became customary in the 14th century for the bride to toss her garter to the men. Sometimes the men would get drunk, become impatient, and try to remove the garter ahead of time. Therefore, the custom evolved for the groom to remove and toss the garter. With that change the bride started to toss the bridal bouquet to the unwed girls of marriageable age. Tradition says that whoever catches the bouquet shall be the next to marry. She keeps the bouquet to ensure this destiny. Sometimes if appropriate the single man that catches the garter and the single woman that catches the bouquet are asked to dance together. Note: This happened and that new introduction of two strangers and the dance of these two created a love and they were married here at Coconut Cove Resort one year latter. Who says these traditions do not work!!!
Seeing a lamb, frog, spider, black cat, or rainbows on the way to the ceremony is believed to be a sign of good luck!
The tradition of a "Groom's Cake" comes from England and Ireland. There, the traditional groom's cake is a fruit cake with white icing. The groom's cake is usually served along with the traditional wedding cake. Today groom's cakes are very often chocolate instead of the traditional fruit cake.
KISS THE BRIDE
The kiss dates back to the earliest days of civilization in the Middle East. A kiss was used as the formal seal to agreements, contracts, etc. In Ancient Rome a kiss was still being used as the legal bold to seal contracts. Hence the obvious use of the custom at the end of the wedding ceremony to "seal" the marriage vows. It also originates from the earliest times when the couple would actually make love for the first time under the eyes of half the village! In past arraigned marriages after pronouncement the veil would be lifted and the groom would then be instructed to kiss the wife would be the first time he would see his new wife's face.
It was the largest mass wedding in history, when nearly 21,000 couples from the Moonie cult all got married on the same day. The event was also 'attended' by another 9,800 couples who took their vows via a satellite link.
Sir Temulji Nariman and his wife Lady Nariman were hitched for a grand total of 86 years, although they did have a distinct advantage over most people. Both were aged just five when they got married.
MONTH TO MARRY
According to an old legend, the month in which you marry may have some bearing on the fate of the marriage:
" Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true;
When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate;
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know;
Marry in April when you can, joy for Maiden and for Man;
Marry in the month of May, and you'll surely rue the day;
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you will go;
Those who in July do wed, must labor for their daily bred;
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see;
Marry in September's shrine, your living will be rich and fine;
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry;
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember;
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last".
Of course, it's a sad fact that not all marriages last. But some people really do seem to make a habit of getting divorced. The person who is credited with being married the most times is former Baptist minister Glynn Scotty Wolfe, who has taken on 28 brides - and divorced 27 of them.
MOST EXPENSIVE DRESS
Wedding dresses can make a major dent in your budget, but however much you spend it will be nothing compared to the outfit created by French designer Helene Gainville. Estimated to be worth a cool £3.5 million, the dress is embroidered with diamonds mounted on platinum. Not the sort of thing you would want to put in the attic after the wedding day.
The oldest recorded bride was Minnie Munro, who got hitched at a sprightly 102 years of age. Minnie, from Australia, wed a toy boy of 82. Britain's oldest recorded bride was just one day off her 100th birthday when she took her vows with a man nearly 20 years her junior. Apparently the age gap was not thought to be a problem for them.
Minister Paul has been fortunate enough to reunite couples after divorcing each other and put them back together as husband and wife, a very touching ceremony indeed.
Rice has been used as a symbol of fertility and as a wish for a "full pantry" in various parts of the world from ancient to modern times. In the past, rice was not the only thing thrown at the bride and groom as the left the wedding. Wheat, instead of rice, was thrown in France, figs and dates were thrown in Northern Africa, and a combination of coins, dried fruit, and candy was thrown in Italy. In some European countries eggs are thrown! Rice is not harmful to the birds that eat it, but an article in California professing this to be the case, has caused birdseed to replace rice at most weddings. Flower petals, and bird seed are often used today instead of rice.
Rings were used as currency in the Middle East prior to the advent of coinage and were a sign of a persons wealth. In ancient times the wedding ring was thought to protected the bride from "evil spirits". Ancient Roman wedding rings were made of iron.
In early Rome a gold band came to symbolize everlasting love and commitment in marriage. Roman wedding rings were carved with two clasped hands. Very early rings had a carved key through which a woman was thought to be able to open her husband's heart.
In 3rd. Century Greece the ring finger was the index finger. In India it was the thumb. The western tradition began with the Greeks who believed that the third finger was connected directly to the heart by a route that was called "the vein of love."
In almost half of US weddings either the bride or groom has been married previously.
SHOES TO THE CAR
This tradition originated in England during the Tudor period. At that time, guests would throw shoes at the bride and groom as they left in their carriage. It was considered good luck if their carriage was hit. Today, more often than not, it is beverage cans that are tied to a couples car instead of shoes. It should also be noted that the English consider it good luck if it rains on their wedding day!
In Sparta, during the height of Greek civilization, soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would have a party for his friends the night before he was to marry. He would bid farewell to his bachelorhood and pledge his continued allegiance to his comrades.
In early times, for Christians, Sunday was the original day of choice for weddings because it was not a work day. The Puritan revolution in England during the 17th century changed all that - because the Puritans thought it improper to be festive on the Sabbath, Saturday.
SOMETHING "OLD", "NEW", "BORROWED", AND "BLUE"
The tradition of carrying one or more items that are "old", "new", "borrowed" and "blue" also comes from English. There is an old English rhyme describing the practice which also mentions a sixpence in the brides shoe. Something old, signifying continuity, could be a piece of lace, jewelry, or a grandmother's handkerchief. Something new, signifying optimism in the future, could be an article of clothing or the wedding rings. Something borrowed, signifying future happiness, could be handkerchief from a happily married relative or friend. Something blue, signifying modesty, fidelity and love, comes from early Jewish history. In early Biblical times, blue not white symbolized purity. Both the bride and groom usually wore a band of blue material around the bottom of their wedding attire, hence the tradition of "something blue". Originally the sixpence was presented to the bride by her future husband as a token of his love. Today, very often, it is the bride's father who places a coin in the brides shoe prior to leaving home for the church.
"TO TIE THE KNOT"
The term "tie the knot" also goes back Roman times. The bride would wear a girdle that was tied in many knots which the groom had the "duty" of untying.
The term originates from the sixteenth century. At that time a small piece of bread would be placed in a goblet of wine. The goblet would be passed from guest to guest until it reached the person being honored who would drain the goblet and eat the morsel of bread in the bottom. This tradition is practiced at weddings today - usually in the form of one or more champagne "toasts". The best man has the honor of giving the first toast. Usually the bride and groom remain seated for the toasts while all the guests are usually standing to honor them. The couple may then make a few remarks thanking their families, wedding party members, and guests. They may also "toast" each other or share a "toast" together. Often special glass or silver goblets are used by the bride and groom.
The tradition of tying tin cans to the back of the newlywed's vehicle originated long ago when items which would produce noise were tied to the back of the couple's carriage to scare away evil spirits.
Brightly colored veils were worn in ancient times in many parts of the world and were considered a protection against evil spirits Greek and Roman brides for yellow or red veils (representing fire) to ward off evil spirits and demons. At one time, Roman brides were completely covered with a red veil for protection. In early European history, with the advent of arranged marriages veils served another purpose - to prevent the groom from seeing the brides' face till after the ceremony was over. Brides began to wear opaque yellow veils. Not only could the groom not see in, the bride could not see out! Therefore, the father of the bride had to escort her down the aisle and literally give the bride to the today, prior to a Jewish wedding ceremony, it is the groom who ritually "veils the bride". This tradition goes back to the marriage of Jacob to Leah (the older sister) when he thought he was marrying Rachel (the younger sister) whom he loved.
WEARING A WEDDING RING
The reason that the engagement ring and wedding band is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand is because the ancient Egyptians thought that the "vein of love' ran from this finger directly to the heart.
WEDDING AS A TERM
Although some brides were kidnapped, marriage by purchase was the preferred method of obtaining a wife. The "bride price" could be land, social status, political alliances, or cash. The Anglo-Saxon word "wed" meant that the groom would vow to marry the woman, but it also referred to the bride price (money or barter) to be paid by the groom to the bride's father. The root of the word "wedding" literally means to gamble or wager!
WHITE WEDDING DRESS AS TRADITION
The tradition for the bride to wear a white wedding dress began in the 16th century and is still commonly followed today. This is a symbol of the bride's purity and her worthiness of her groom. The tradition became solidified during the time of Queen Victoria who rebelled against the royal tradition for Royal brides to wear silver. Instead, the queen preferred the symbolism, which is expressed by wearing white. The brides of the time quickly emulated the queen, and the tradition has continued in full force to this day.
WHY THE BRIDE STANDS TO THE GROOMS LEFT
After the bridegroom captured his bride, he placed her on his left to protect her, thus freeing his right hand or sword hand against sudden attack.
WHY IT BECAME "BAD LUCK" FOR THE GROOM TO SEE BRIDE BEFORE THE CEREMONY
Until relatively recently, brides were considered the property of their father. Their futures and husbands were arranged without their consent. The marriage of an unattractive woman was often arranged with a prospective groom from another town without either of them having ever seen their prospective spouse. In more than one instance, when the groom saw his future wife, usually dressed in white, for the first time on the day of the wedding, he changed his mind and left the bride at the altar. To prevent this from happening, it became "bad luck" for the groom to see the bride on the day of the wedding prior to the ceremony, and the bride was kept veiled until after they were married..
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ETHNIC TRADITIONS IN WEDDINGS
Paul has studied weddings around the world here is the most Popular Ethnic & Religious Wedding Traditions
Various wedding customs have their roots and popularity based on ethnic origin.
At some African-American wedding ceremonies, newlyweds "jump over a broom" to symbolize the beginning of a new life. The ritual was created during slavery, when African-Americans could not legally marry. Some people trace this wedding tradition to an African tribal marriage ritual of placing sticks on the ground representing the couple's new home. Today, the jumping of the broom is a symbol of sweeping away of the old, and welcoming the new. Broom Jumping can be performed either at the wedding ceremony, after the minister pronounces the newlyweds husband and wife, or at the wedding reception just after the Bridal Party enters the reception area. A fully decorated broom can be purchased at ethnic stores. Other couples may prefer to use a regular household broom decorated with bows, flowers, and/or other trinkets in the wedding colors. At some receptions, guests may participate in the ceremony by tying ribbons around the broom before the Broom Jumping begins.
As the Bride walks up the aisle at her Wedding Ceremony, the Bride stops and hands her mother a flower from her bouquet and they embrace. After the Wedding Ceremony is finished, the new couple walk to the Groom's side of the church and the Bride gives her mother-in-law a second flower from her bouquet and they also embrace.
The Bride may wear a red wedding dress, symbolizing love and joy. At the wedding reception, a nine-course meal (lasting up to three hours) is very popular. A family member may act as the official "Master of Ceremonies" orchestrating family introductions, toasts, comedy sketches, and a reenactment of the newlywed's courtship.
Eastern Orthodox Church Weddings
The rings are blessed by the Priest, who takes them in hand, and makes the sign of the cross over the Bride and Groom's head. The "Koumbaros" (Best Man) then exchanges the rings three times, taking the Bride's ring and placing it on the Groom's finger, and vice-versa. This exchange signifies that in married life, the weaknesses of the one partner will be compensated for by the strength of the other, and the imperfections of one by the perfection's of the other. Candles are held throughout the Wedding Service, which begins immediately after the Betrothal Service. The candles are like the lamps of the five wise maidens of the Bible who, because they had enough oil in them, were able to receive Christ when He came in the darkness of the night. The candles symbolize the spiritual willingness of the couple to receive Christ, Who will bless them through this sacrament. The Office of the Crowning which follows is the climax of the Wedding Service. The crowns are signs of the glory and honor that God crowns them during the sacrament. The Bride and Groom are crowned as the King and Queen of their own little "kingdom", their home, which they will (hopefully) rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity.
Both the bride and the groom march down the aisle, the groom either alone or with his parents.
The marrying couple picks a few pairs of ninongs and ninangs (godparents) to be the primary sponsors/witnesses of the ceremony. In addition to the bridesmaids and groomsmen, three pairs of wedding attendants act as secondary sponsors who manage the typical wedding candles, we use sand ceremony vases because of the gusts associated with the beach nature of Keys weddings, they also handle the veil and cord ceremonies which make take place during the nuptial mass. The bride holds an heirloom rosary along with the bridal bouquet during the ceremony. Generally the wedding ceremony includes a wine ceremony type mass done in private with just me as their minister behind the arch lasting two-three minutes. The entire ceremony with the wine ceremony lasts about thirty minutes.
In addition to exchanging rings, the groom gives his bride an arrhae, which is a monetary gift in the form of thirteen pieces of gold or silver coins. This is a pledge from the groom of his dedication to the welfare of his wife and children. The arrhae is carried by a coin bearer who walks alongside the ring bearer for both the processional and recessional.
The sand ceremony vase stand on the table up at the arch. The attendants bring forward these glasses containing the sand which symbolize God's presence in the union. Most couples integrate the pouring and joining of the sand into the service after the rings. The Unity sand ceremony and candle ceremony has its origins in the Protestant religion. After the sand is joined and the vace is blessed, the veil sponsors drape a long white tulle veil on the grooms shoulder and pin it. Another veil is then draped over the bride's head. The veils are used to symbolize two people who are 'clothed' as one.
The last pair of sponsors stands with a cord in the form of a figure eight and place one loop around the neck-shoulder area of the bride and the other loop around the neck-shoulder area of the groom. The cord symbolizes the infinite bond of the marriage. This cord can be a silken rope or made from a string of flowers or links of coins.
After the ceremony, during the reception, a pair of our own breed white love birds are released by the newlyweds out of a white basket to signify peace and harmony during the marriage. Instead of tossing of the bouquet, the bride instead offers the flowers to a favorite Saint or the Virgin Mary. Some older traditions with Filipinos opt to place the bouquet on the grave of a lost love one. I at times talk to the parents or elders to integrate the unique customs as they vary from region to region that I have traveled in Asia.
One early French wedding custom signifies the new alliance created by uniting two families through marriage. During the Wedding Reception, the new couple raise a glass of wine from two different vineyards. They then pour their wine into a third glass and each drinks from it.
During the wedding ceremony, the Groom may kneel on the hem of the Bride's dress to symbolize his control over her. Not to be outdone, the Bride may step on the Groom's foot when she rises to symbolize her power over him!
Some newlyweds wear a crown of flowers during the wedding ceremony. The couple may walk around the altar three times representing the Holy Trinity. At the reception, Greek folk dances are popular, with guests lining up in a single file line.
During the wedding ceremony, thirteen gold coins (representing the Groom's dowry to his Bride) are often blessed by the priest, and passed between the hands of the newlyweds several times before ending with the Bride. A large rosary or white rope ("laso") is sometimes wound around the couple's shoulders in a figure-8 symbol of "infinity" during the wedding ceremony to symbolize their union as one.
Wedding traditions always vary across religion, caste, ethnicity, language, region, especially in Asia. Traditional Indian weddings are generally structured into pre-wedding ceremonies, wedding day ceremonies (consisting of the Baraat, the Varmala and the Phere), and the Vidaai.
Vidaai is when the bride is formally sent to the groom’s household. It can get quite emotional even for the most stonehearted. Many heart-wrenching songs have immortalized this moment when the bride leaves her ‘babul ka ghar’ or father’s house
An example of the complexity of an Indian wedding can be seen from the various phases of a wedding in the North. The following events take place in a typical Eastern Uttar Pradesh Hindu marriage:
According to Hindu religious texts, Brahma created man from the right shoulder and woman from his left shoulder. A woman is referred to as Vamangi or one who is on the left side. Throughout the marriage ceremony the bride sits on the right side of the groom. That is the place for strangers and acquaintances. Only after the Saptpadi, when the bride and groom have exchanged marital vows, is the wife sealed on the left side of the man.
Bride and groom are told about their duties and responsibilities in married life by the minister. These vows direct the couple to a positive path of action. They help in promoting marital happiness for a lifetime.
Vows by the Husband
1.I will consider my wife to be The better half. I will look after her just as I look after myself.
2.Accepting her as in-charge of my home, I shall plan things in consultation with her.
3.I will never express dissatisfaction about any shortcomings in my wife. If there are any, I will explain them to her lovingly. I will support her in overcoming them.
4.I will always have faith in my wife. I will never look at another woman with wrong intent, nor have an illicit relationship.
5.I will be affectionate and treat my wife like a friend.
6.I will bring home all my income to my wife. The household expenses will be incurred with her consent. I will always make an effort to ensure her comfort and happiness.
7.I will not find fault or critical my wife before others. We will sort out our differences and mistakes in privacy by ourselves.
8.I will have a courteous and tolerant attitude towards my wife. I will always follow a compromising policy.
9. If my wife is unwell, or is unable to fulfill some of the responsibilities or through some misunderstanding behaves wrongly, I will not withdraw support or refuse to fulfill my responsibilities towards her.
During kanyadaan, the bride’s parents give their daughter away in marriage. The groom makes three promises – to be just (dharma), earn sufficiently to support his family, (artha) and love his wife (kama). He repeats these vows thrice in the presence of Agni (the sacred fire) and all who are gathered there.
Bariksha is when the bride's parents have informally shown intentions that they want a particular groom, and the groom and his family have agreed. Retracting at the end of this stage is frowned upon but is acceptable.
Tilak involves the bride's parents traveling to the groom's place to formalize the relationship. A large feast is organized by the groom's family to celebrate this occasion. Only a nominal number of members of the bride's family are present (usually only very close relatives, often in tens of numbers. Typically, the female marriage proposal is very rare.
Byaha Haath: This ceremony signifies the purifying of the mind, body and soul of bride and groom. This daytime ceremony prepares both of them for the nuptials. 'Uptan' is a mixed paste of sandalwood, turmeric and rose water which is applied by seven unmarried female members of the families and to the faces, hands and feet of the bride and groom. After this ceremony the bride and the groom are not allowed to step outside the house before the actual wedding.
In the early 1900's, an Irish couple would walk to church together on their Wedding Day. If the people of their parish approved their union they would throw rice, pots, pans, brushes and other household items at the couple as they approached their church. Today, "hen parties" (Bridal Showers) have replaced this practice. Some Irish people wear a "claddagh" ring for a wedding ring. This ring was created by a master goldsmith, Richard Joyce, 400 years ago in a fishing village called Claddagh, which overlooks Galway Bay. The claddagh symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship. On the right hand, with the heart facing inward, it means the wearer's heart is unoccupied. Facing outwards reveals love is being considered. When worn on the left hand facing outward, it signifies that the wearer is seriously committed or married. At some Irish wedding receptions, the Groom is lifted in a chair ("jaunting car") to celebrate that he is a married man. For good luck, the newlyweds are given a horseshoe to display in their home in the upward position. A traditional Irish wedding cake is a fruitcake. Traditional Irish toasts, in addition to remarks from the Best Man, are very popular.
Irish Marriage Blessing
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness.
From this day forward.
Some Brides may choose to carry a white silk or satin purse ("busta") to store gifts of money that are welcomed. "Tarantella" folk dances are popular at the wedding reception. Another Italian custom is to present five sugar-coated almonds to the guests which represent health, wealth, long life, fertility, and happiness.
The Bride and her Parents might visit the Groom's house on wedding day. At the wedding ceremony, the Bride's wedding gown is often a traditional wedding kimono. She usually changes into something else at the wedding reception. The first of nine sips of sake drunk by the Bride and Groom at their wedding ceremony symbolizes the official union of marriage.
It is a Jewish tradition for a Bride to present her Groom with a tallit to wear for his Aufruf, the reading of the Torah prior to their ceremony. The Groom's family often give candlesticks to the Bride that can be used during the actual wedding ceremony. It is also a custom for Jewish men to cover their heads at all times, especially during prayers, with a kippot (yarmulkes), as a form of reverence, respect, and acknowledgment that God is present everywhere. In some congregations, women also cover their heads to pray.
Some Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform wedding ceremonies take place under a chuppah (wedding canopy). The chuppah is a rectangular piece of cloth large enough for the Bride, Groom, Rabbi, and sometimes other members of the wedding party to stand under. The chuppah signifies the new home about to be shared by the newlyweds. Before the procession to the chuppah, the tanaim are signed, and the Groom is asked if he is ready to take on the responsibilities outlined in the kepubah. He signifies his willingness by accepting a handkerchief or other object offered to him by the Rabbi. The two witnesses to this sign the ketubah. While the actual text of the ketubah is never meant to vary, the border decorations on this document have over the centuries been the subject of remarkable artistic creations. At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, the Bride might observe the Biblical custom of "Circling the Groom" seven times. This practice is seen as a powerful act of definition, where the Bride will symbolically create the space that they will share as husband and wife. In Judaism, the number seven is mystical and represents completion and fulfillment. Just as the creation of the world was finished in seven days, the seven circles complete the couple's search for each other.
The bedeken, or veiling, is a small ceremony in which the Groom lowers the veil over the Bride's face, and by this act acknowledges that he is marrying the correct woman. This custom originated in the story of Jacob who didn't see the face of his Bride prior to his wedding and was tricked into marrying Leah instead of his intended, Rachel.
The Jewish marriage ceremony consists of two parts: Erusin (pre-engagement) and Nissuin (marriage). These ceremonies were historically performed up to one year apart, but more recently the two have been combined into one ceremony. The Eursin ceremony begins with Kiddush, the blessing over the wine. Kiddush is part of virtually all Jewish observances as a prayer of sanctification. The exchange of rings completes the Erusin ceremony.
In Jewish law, a verbal declaration of marriage is not legally binding unless an act of Kinyan, a formal physical acquisition is completed. This is reached when two witnesses see the Bride accept a ring from the Groom, and he recites the words of marriage. After the ketubah has been read at the ceremony, wine is often poured into a new glass, and the Sheva Berakhot (Seven Benedictions) are recited over it. The Bride and Groom then drink from the glass of wine. With the ceremony complete, tradition calls for the Groom to break the wrapped glass by stomping on it. This final action symbolizes the destruction of the Holy Temple in Israel, and reminds guests that love is fragile. The audience may shout Mazel Tov, and the Bride and Groom kiss.
Immediately after the wedding ceremony, the couple may spend a few private moments together, or Yichud as a symbolic consummation of their marriage. Later, the Mitzvah, or obligation, of rejoicing at a wedding reception is incumbent on the Bride, Groom, and guests.
Red beads are sometimes tossed at Newlyweds to bring them good luck.
The Mother of the Bride may choose to place the veil on the Bride before the wedding ceremony to symbolize her last task that a Mother does on behalf of her girl before she becomes a married woman. A traditional folk song ("Twelve Angels") is sometimes played at the reception, allowing the Bride to transfer her veil, and good luck to be married, to her Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, and Flower Girl. A morning wedding ceremony is sometimes followed with a brief afternoon luncheon, several hours of downtime when guests return home, and then a long evening wedding reception. Polka dances and other audience participation events are very popular.
The Groom and his Groomsmen often wear Scottish kilts (and traditionally no undergarments!). The Groom may present the Bride with an engraved silver teaspoon on their wedding day to symbolize that they will never go hungry. A traditional sword dance is sometimes performed at their wedding reception.
A Spanish Groom gives sometimes gives his Bride thirteen coins in memory of Christ and the twelve apostles. The Bride carries them in a small bag during the Wedding Ceremony as a symbol that the Groom promises to support and care for her.
We are well studied in the wonderful traditions around the world, congratulations on your engagement...God Bless minister Paul