Special Report

How Weddings Have Changed Over the Last Century

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16. Bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony

Traditionally, it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. But the superstition actually dates back to the time of arranged marriages, when the man wouldn’t see his future wife until they were at the altar, as a glimpse before might have given him a chance to change his mind. Today, not only do we not have arranged marriages, but also many couples are living together before they get married. Some brides and grooms still follow tradition 24 hours before the ceremony, just in case, while others are choosing to meet up before the ceremony to take what are called “first-look” photos.

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17. Wedding guest book

Though today some couples may not want to go to the trouble of having a wedding guest book, and even experts agree it’s no longer an absolute must, it’s still considered a good etiquette. In the past, the wedding guest book was an attractive book with some nice pens, and that is still fine for couples looking to save money. But today, some are taking the boring idea and making it more unique with fun takes on the tradition, such as signing a wooden bench.

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18. Using ‘Here Comes The Bride’ to walk down the aisle

Originally composed for Richard Wagner’s 1850 opera “Lohengrin,” “Here Comes the Bride” was believed to have first been used for the wedding of Queen Victoria’s oldest child in 1858. It’s since become the traditional choice for brides walking down the aisle. Among all brides, the tune is no longer as traditional as it once was, and more are favoring a more personalized or stylized choice to walk down the aisle. Also, as same-sex marriage become more common, more couples are looking for an alternative to the bridal-themed song.

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19. Father walking bride down aisle

Though today a father walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding can be a sweet tradition, it actually dates to arranged marriages when a father’s presence was used to keep the groom from backing out. The tradition is still one that is honored by many brides, but some are choosing to walk down the aisle with both parents, multiple relatives, a different family member, or even a pet. Others are even choosing the symbolism of walking down the aisle alone.

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20. Traditional vows

Traditional vows can be traced back centuries, with each religion having its own version, and such vows are still used by many couples at the altar today. Though they have religious roots, some use them no matter how devout they may be, but they may choose just one part of the standard “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part” or adapt the words. In particular, brides are choosing to drop the problematic part where they promise to “to love, cherish, and obey their husbands. Other brides and grooms are now throwing out traditional vows altogether and writing their own personalized words to express their personalized love story.