Bridesmaids – The Tradition Of Having Bridesmaids In Your Wedding

How many bridesmaids will be in your wedding?  Why do we have bridesmaids?
At one time, a bride had a court of maids and the primary reason was to fool evil spirits, yes that’s right, evil spirits.  Bridesmaids clothed themselves in a similar fashion as the bride;  it was to confuse ill presences hovering around the wedding.  The ill presence could be in spirit form, or the human kind that just might have intentions to kidnap the bride.  Don’t you know it is difficult to nab the correct woman when her maids are dressed in similar attire!  This superstition of dressing the bridal party the same,  also offered protection from an ill-doer wanting to steal her dowry, which is confusing to me, did she have that on her person?
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The Groomsmen

The Groomsmen

In Rome, law demanded that witnesses come to the wedding to add confusion to the spirits that had evil intent for the bride and groom.  eHow’s “History of Bridesmaids” states that: “female wedding attendants came to a marriage ceremony in garments akin to the bride’s, while male wedding attendants–the forebears of ushers–wore attire that resembled the groom’s own clothing. This supposedly threw off bad luck that could be directed towards an easily identifiable bride and groom.”  Honestly, I never really knew why the wedding party wore the exact same outfit.
We have photographed all varieties of bridal party clothing; men who are required to wear a dark suit of their choice and matching ties, or bridesmaids that wear a dress of their choice all in a similar color, people in casual clothing; parties in all matching dresses, all matching tux’s.  I think bridal parties, at least partially, are breaking from the old tradition.
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The tradition of kidnapping brides has pretty much died off, though, I can’t say for sure if evil spirits still hang out weddings.  That is definitely out of my realm.  In the past, no person of social status was unattended, the more the status, the bigger the wedding bridal/grooms party, a nice way to show off the family’s wealth.  So, why do we still have a bridal party in modern times?  From what I can tell, a girl likes to have her friends around her on a special day, and a guy likes hanging with his buddies to celebrate.   And let us not forget the added bonus of the parties that friends often help throw for the bride and groom leading up to the wedding!
On the wedding day; the bridesmaid is kind of like an executive assistant and helps the bride with her needs on her wedding day.  She is someone who the bride can lean on and celebrate with.
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I am guessing the bridal party exists today for a multitude of reasons.  They definitely are a big help to the bride and groom, fulfilling little tasks, tying loose ends last minute etc.  Tradition certainly plays a role, although, I am convinced that the average bride and groom are probably not familiar with the true beginning of having attendants.  Moral and emotional support given by the party on this important day is definitely a reason to have close friends around.  The end result is a nice support system of friends that always end up having a laugh and a good time!  It seems like a very nice tradition and a way to bond with friends!

Denver Wedding Photographers – Denver wedding Sample Slideshow

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I was putting together a sample slideshow for a corporate client recently, and decided to test out the software on a recent wedding we shot in Denver, at Artwork Network (see the blog post below for the pics).  What do you think?

Denver Wedding Photographer shoots wedding at Artwork Network

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Ginger and Josh’s wedding day started out as a better ski day, than a wedding day, but as you will see the weather turned out to be beautiful conditions for wedding photography!

We met up with the ladies at The Retro Room Lounge and Salon, and the men at The Hotel Magnolia.  Took some shots with the entire wedding party right in front of the magnolia, then off with just Ginger and Josh around Denver.  Despite the snowy and cold weather, they were troopers!  Big props to Ginger who was not feeling well, yet was in such high spirits.

Their ceremony and reception was held at Artwork Network  in the Art district in Denver.  What a cool and unique venue!

This amazing day could not have happened with out the help of these talented and professional wedding vendors:

Organizing:  Mark Christopher Weddings and Events:  http://www.markchristopherweddings.com.  We have worked with Mark on several weddings.  He is not only extremely organized and professional, but a blast to work with!
Ladies get ready:  The Retro Room Lounge & Salon:  http://theretroroom.homestead.com
Gents get ready & lodging: Hotel Magnolia:  http://www.magnoliahotels.com/denver/magnolia-hotel-denver
Ceremony and Reception: Artwork Network:  http://artworknetwork.com
Ceremony and Cocktail hr Music:  Masterful Musicians:  http://www.masterfulmusicians.com
Catering:  Three Tomatoes:  www.threetomatoes.com
Flowers:  Bella Calla:  http://www.bellacalla.com
DJ:  Dance Trax Productions:  www.dancetraxproductions.com (ask for Jacob Sanchez. He is really great!)
Linens:  Chair Covers & Linens:  http://www.linenhero.com

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Colorado Photographer shoots ESPN X Games Aspen

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This year at X Games Aspen was filled with milestone moments.  From Colten Moore winning gold in Snowmobile Freestyle, a year after his brother, Caleb died from an injury during last years X Games, to Danny Davis winning his first gold in Snowboard SuperPipe, after 6 years of appearances at X Games.  With mind blowing athletic talent, and concerts by Matt & Kim, Phoenix, Axwell, & Tiesto, this years X Games Aspen topped the many we have shot for ESPN!

Here are some recap photos.  To view all of our comp photos, check out a gallery here.  Images can also be purchased directly from this gallery.

X Games Aspen Slopestyle Photos

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X Games Aspen X Games Aspen Slopestyle Photos

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X Games Aspen Photos

X Games Aspen Concert Photos

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Colorado Wedding Photographer- Shoots Highlands Ranch Wedding

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Congratulations to Shauna and Jimmy! When they were telling me about their big day, I got excited to be a part of this amazing wedding. Then we checked out the website of the venue and also did a site visit… This was our first wedding at the Highlands Ranch Mansion, and all we have to say is, WOW! If you are planning a classic, elegant wedding, you owe it to yourself to check out the Highlands Ranch Mansion. With the combination of amazing professionals and the setting of this beautiful venue, their wedding was an absolute hit!

With Julie Gambrel with Classic Creations coordinating the day, and the pumping beats of Dance Trax Entertainment , the day could not have been any more stress free or fun!

Here are some of the Professionals* that made it happen:

Wedding Coordinator Extrodinaire: Classic Creations & Special Events (www.denver-weddings.com)

Chair Covers and LinensChair Covers & Linens, Inc (www.linenhero.com)

Chairs and Furniture for Guest book area: Chairs with Character (http://chairswithcharacter.com)

DJ: Dance Trax Entertainment (www.dancetraxentertainment.com)

Flowers: Flower House (www.theflowerhouseweddings.com)

Catrering: The Food Guy (www.thefoodguy.net)

Venue: Highlands Ranch Mansion (www.highlandsranchmansion.com)

Cake: The Makery (www.themakery.com)

*We have worked with most of these vendors on several occasions. Because our reputation is reflected by who we recommend to our clients, we do not mention anyone we would not use ourselves. Needless to say, we wouldn’t hesitate recommending any of the above vendors, to our clients! If you contact any of them, please mention that we sent you.

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Colorado Wedding Photographer – Shoots an Aspen Wedding

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We recently had the privilege of photographing Haley and Jason’s wedding in Aspen, Colorado.  The day started out with the ladies getting ready at the Limelight Hotel , and the gents getting ready at a private residence in town.  They chose to do a first look prior to their ceremony, which, by the way, makes the day go smoother.

For a truly unique setting, their outdoor ceremony was held at ACES (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies).  With the fall colors in full effect, and some snow on the ground, you could not have asked for a more beautiful backdrop for two beautiful people to get married!  As you can see, nothing beats a fall wedding in Aspen!

Here is a list of the amazing wedding vendors that helped make this an amazing wedding:

Wedding Coordinator:  Events by Windy, Windy Gillespy:  www.eventsbywindy.com
Location:  Aspen Center for Environment Studies (ceremony)  http://www.aspennature.org  / Elks Club Aspen (Reception)
Musicians:  Silver City Strings (Ceremony) http://www.weddingmusicaspen.com
Caterers:  Conundrum Catering (Ceremony and Reception) http://www.conundrumcatering.com
Florist:  Mountain Flowers of Aspen (Personal Flowers, Ceremony and Reception)http://www.mountainflowersofaspen.com
Transportation:  Corporate Transportation Specialists http://www.ctsaspen.com
Accommodations:  Limelight Hotel (Bridal Getting Ready) http://www.limelighthotel.com
DJ:  Natzy Nate http://www.djnastynate.com
Linens:  Cloth Connection http://www.clothconnection.com
Vintage Silverware/Plates:  Vintage Rentals Denver http://vintagerentalsdenver.com
Programs, Welcome Bags, and Welcome Booklets:  Express Yourself Basalt/The Hello Totehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/the-HELLO-tote/157447157639329
Hair and Make up:  Salon Tullio http://salontullio.com

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The Money Dance

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Ahhhh the money dance.  I have always know it to be a dance that the male guests dance with the bride and the female guests dance with the groom.  Traditionally a dollar was pinned to the bride by every partner, but in more recent times, I have seen the best man collect the dollars…so no pins.  I come from an area of strong Italian decent and these are the weddings where I would see the dollar dance.  Also, New York weddings seem to strongly favor the dance.

After witnessing more weddings as I go along; I don’t think the money dance is reserved for Italian descent, the Spanish, Greek and Polish seem to use this tradition as well!  The dance does offer the bride and groom a chance to have a personal visit with all of their guests.  So, instead of roaming around visiting your guests whilst they are eating, you can turn to the money dance.  The best man and maid of honor will limit the time of the individual dances to a couple spins around the floor so that you, the bridal couple, have and opportunity to dance and visit with everyone.  If the money dance feels awkward or tacky to you, how about the money collected goes to your favorite charity?  Win, win, you get to visit all the guests and the money goes to a good cause.  Or, if you are on a strict budget, then embrace the dance and keep the money for your honeymoon! …it is just a buck after all!

It turns out that the money dance seems to have originated in Poland in the early 1900′s.  So, as customs and traditions go, it is a relatively new tradition.  Many cultures employ the dance as it turns out and  in the United States, there are areas where the dance is very popular, as well as areas that it is unheard of.  Basically, in all the cultures, it is just a way to give and extra dollar to the bride and groom which represents a wish of good luck and prosperity, and, of course offers an opportunity for a personal visit.

I am going to go ahead and show you what is on wikepedia since there is such variety, and I would not want you to miss out on all of the potential origins!  Here it is:

Poland

The money dance may have originated in Poland around the beginning of the 20th century. The dance takes place some time after the First dance, often once guests have had a chance to have a few drinks. The best man or MC or the disc jockey announces the event. Customarily, the best man begins dancing with the bride, pinning money onto her wedding gown or putting it into a purse, which she carries especially for the purpose, or into the pockets of an apron she dons over her gown especially for this dance. In a more contemporary version of this custom, the dance includes bridesmaids and other ladies who dance .

Ukraine

At Ukrainian weddings, the father of the bride usually begins pinning money on her dress. He is followed by the best man and groomsmen, and, finally, by the remainder of the male guests. Another variation is where the bride’s veil is removed and given to the maid of honor and an apron is placed on the bride. Money is then placed into her apron during the dance.

Yugoslavia

At Yugoslavian weddings, instead of pinning the money on the bride’s gown, the male guests give the money to the best man for safe keeping.

Hungary

At Hungarian and Portuguese weddings[citation needed], the bride takes off her shoes and puts them in the middle of the dance floor. Then the shoes are passed around from guests to guest and each deposits a contribution.

North America

Mexico

Relatives take turns dancing up to the bride and groom and pinning money on their clothes, which allows the couple to spend a few moments with each of their guests. After the money dance, the groom is ridiculed by his friends, tossed in the air while being covered with the veil, and given an apron and broom.

United States

In America, practice of a money dance varies by geographic region and ethnic background of the families involved. It typically involves guests giving small sums of cash to the bride or pinning cash to her gown or veil. Even cultures that accept this may balk at paying the groom for his time and attention, so alternatives have developed, such as “paying” the groom with play money or a stick ofchewing gum. Some consider this a way for the bride and groom to have face time with their guests. Many, including traditional North American etiquette experts, consider the practice incorrect.[1]

This has led to some couples calling it the honeymoon dance instead of a dollar dance or money dance. Some couples have even called it the dime dance and have put dimes under each person’s plate or in a small bowl on each table so that guests won’t feel obligated to ‘pay’ for a short dance with the bride or groom, while still giving them the opportunity to spend 30–60 seconds chatting and dancing with them.

The Philippines

At some Filipino weddings, the money dance is usually announced; males line up in front of the bride, pinning money on her dress or veil, then dance with her. Same with the male, only females line up instead. Money is pinned or taped onto the new married couple’s garments, representing the wish that good fortune is “rained” upon them, while also helping the couple financially as they begin their life together.

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