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19 Wedding Traditions to Incorporate in 2019

World traveler, stunning photographer, and today’s guest blogger, Autumn Lee, is sharing with us some of her favorite wedding traditions and unity ideas! Autumn is the force behind Autumn Lee Studios. She captures weddings, events, families, senior photos, head shots, and Be You Be Art, and is absolutely amazing! Take it away, Autumn!

Dear Fantastic Bride,

For twelve glorious years I have clicked weddings around the world, from Paris to India, I am smitten with weddings that are as unique as the couples themselves! Here is what I know as fact, you can choose ANYTHING that makes you and your honey full of celebratory happiness! A majority of historical wedding traditions are based in the awesome foundation of three things: to keep you safe, to gather those that love you, and to bless your marriage. With this understanding, you can’t go wrong. Make your matrimonial moment especially yours by choosing or adapting modern and historical traditions from around the world that feel good to you.


Ceremony and mementos are sacred and are based in intention, dedication and positive energy. I have included a list of my favorites! May your wedding day be filled with all the love and happiness you deserve.

Cheers! ~Autumn

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A Human Arch

Passing through an arch of friends and family with their arms raised and connected symbolizes the participants care and protection over the couple. It also represents a home that the pair will build together with the blessing of their loved ones. Often the couple is not allowed to pass through the arch until they seal their love and future life with a kiss. After the couple goes through the “tunnel,” other couples go through as well to show solidarity in the shared journey.

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Washing Feet

This tradition is from the Christian Bible and demonstrates a humble devotion to each other. A chair is brought forward with a bucket of blessed water and a clean towel. The bridal couple takes turns removing the others shoes and with great care, washing the others feet, drying them, and then returning their shoes.

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Sand Ceremony

Blending sand together symbolized bringing lives together. Separate glass jars of specific colored sand is poured in turn by the couple into one glass vessel during the ceremony. The coming together of the unique sands demonstrates everything the couple has been and will become as they commit to life together. Colors are often used to represent particular meanings. Pink or Red: Love. White: Purity and devotion. Yellow: Harmony and balance.

Wrap Your Hands Together

Numerous cultures around the world do very similar adaptations of this ceremonial moment. It is believed that it may have begun during the Roman Age and is often called “handfasting.” The couples hands are tied/joined/wrapped together with colorful ribbons or a simple rope. Often the couple is not “released” until the marriage ceremony is complete.

Jump Over a Broom

At the conclusion of the ceremony the officially married couple jumps over a broomstick to symbolize “brushing away” their old lives and starting their new life together. The tradition originated in the early 19th century by African Americans.


Plant a Tree


The gist of this tradition is that a sapling will be planted with soil from two separate containers coming together to represent you and your spouse’s lives coming together to grow as a couple. The tree can be replanted later at the couples residence or somewhere in nature. There are many beautiful variations of the way the soil, sapling, seeds, etc. can be incorporated into the ceremony.

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Break Some Glass

Once the newlyweds are announced, a glass wrapped in a cloth is broken by the couple with a stomp. The guests then cheer loudly in celebration. In this traditionally Jewish practice, the belief is that the couple will remain married for as long as the glass is shattered.

Five Jordan Almonds

Pass out sweet-salty Jordan almonds to symbolizes life’s ups and downs and the hope that there will be more sweet than bitter. This Greek wedding tradition has been in practice for more than three millennia. Remember to give out only five almonds to each guest to take advantage of the auspicious nature of that number. Each almond symbolizes their hopes for their life: health, happiness, fertility, wealth, and a long life.

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Light a Fire

An old African tradition brings two family houses together with the use of fire. Combining flames from each kindred hearth creates one new fire together. Today this tradition may take the form of lighting a unity candle, or the couple actually building a bonfire fire together with their family.

Pass the Rope

After each guest has touched the rope, signifying their blessing on the marriage, the couple braids the rope together. The braided rope is a metaphor for their union and their lives together with God {If they are religious}.

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Vows Under a Canopy

Often called a chuppah in Judaism, this “roof” represent the couples new life and home together. In addition it exhibits a promise not only to each other, but also to live in and support the community. Often the four cornered canopy is supported by close friends and family displaying their dedication to bolstering the marital union.

Participate in a Crowning

Be a king and queen of your wedding day by incorporating a stefana ceremony. This Greek Orthodox tradition enlists attendants to place wedding crowns on the couple’s heads and the rings on their fingers. The crowns, or stefana, are connected by ribbon displaying unity and their new role as queen and king of their family.

Gather Around

Ask your guests to prepare a few words about the couple and circle up for this Quaker tradition. Guests form a circle together with the bride and groom for the entirety of the ceremony and share in the blessing of the couple as active participants with songs, readings, and verbal blessings.

Anniversary Dance

This feel good moment has taken the place of the bouquet toss. All married couples are invited to the dance floor. Slowly couples are asked to leave the dance floor based on the number of years they have been married. The longest married couples remain dancing. Eventually, you are left with the longest married couple that then receives the bouquet and often publicly gives the newly married couple advice.

Kiss Over a Cake

In Ancient Rome a cake represented fertility. In fact they would bake numerous wheat cakes and at the wedding break them over the brides head {perhaps where smearing cake on each other’s face came from}. Later it became more fashionable to instead bake cakes and stack them as high as possible and challenge the couple to kiss over them, without knocking them, over to ensure a lifetime of good fortune.

Drink Meade

Dating back to the 5th century, when cultures represented the calendar time in moon cycles, a newlywed couple would drink meade, an alcoholic beverage made of honey. This tradition would take place during the first moon of marriage to bless their long lives together.

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Wear Something Blue

Bring the color blue into your ceremony. The Virgin Mary, who is often depicted wearing a blue robe is actually the reason early Christianity started incorporating “something blue” into the brides wedding clothing. It was blue, not white that was viewed as a sign of purity.

Throw Something

The age-old wedding tradition of tossing rice or grains began as a loving way to shower the couple with prosperity. This tradition has been replaced with throwing bird seed, blowing bubbles, or lighting sparklers to collectively bless the couple with good fortune.

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Bridesmaids Dresses

Bridesmaids use to wear the same dress as the bride. This was a tradition created in an effort to confuse evil spirits and keep the bride protected from being discovered and avoid being cursed on her wedding day. We have come a long way from this Ancient Roman dress matching tradition and have instead transitioned to each bridesmaid wears a different style of the same type of dress or a dress of her choice.

Which tradition are you going to incorporate?! Let us know in the comments below or share with other brides across the nation in our private Facebook group called Forever Brides!


For more information on Autumn you can send her a message at autumnleestudios@gmail.com or check out her website here!/a>

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