Tag Archives: Wedding

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?
Colorado Wedding Photographers
Colorado Wedding Photographers
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.
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.
Cielo wedding photographer
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!

Wedding Traditions – Old, New, Borrowed, Blue?

Something old, something new, 

something borrowed, something blue,

and a silver sixpence in her shoe.

This saying came from England from the Victorian Era.  Each aspect of the poem embodies an item of good luck, and a good wish for the bride.  Out of the many traditions that we have surrounding weddings, personally, I really like this tradition.  It doesn’t come with a weird background, like carrying a bouquet to cover your body odor, or not seeing the groom, so that he won’t run away  leaving you at the altar because you are not attractive enough.  This one has a very good well-wishing, loving energy to it.  It is based in sending the bride off with positive pieces of her past, present, and future.  And, you as a bride can have fun with it.  If you agree read on!

The OLD represents the brides heritage of the past, continuity if you will.  A time to reflect on the successful marriages that the bride/you have experienced in your life, and the desire to bring that success to your union.   I once read on a post in The Knot that the traditions in the poem are not of great importance, just little tokens, and that you should not stress about them: feel free to go ahead and take the pressure off of yourself by wearing a used pair of hose. (Washed I am assuming?!)  But, I like the idea of putting a little more thought into it.  I do not see it as a stress, but perhaps a time to reflect on what is important in your upcoming marriage, and a way to privately express those thoughts.  Perhaps you have a piece of jewelery from a grandparent, or I have witnessed brides redesigning and wearing their mother/grandmothers old wedding dress.  Another bride wore an antique dress that was about 100 years old!  So cool!  I personally carried my grandmothers lace handkerchief, and it made me feel like her memory was present with me.

Nicole took her mother’s dress and had it redesigned into a modern-day classic.  Nicole has complied with the tradition of something old in a unique and beautiful way.

The NEW represents the optimism and success of the new life ahead.  This is pretty easy, I am sure that every bride is excited and optimistic about their upcoming marriage, just as  I am sure that every bride has something new in their wardrobe for the big event, the shoes, flowers, dress, veil, underwear, etc..  If not, fall back on The Knot’s recommendation of taking the pressure off, by buying a NEW pair of hose!  And, there is that tradition of the groom buying his bride a gift.  I have witnessed the groom giving his bride a watch, or piece of jewelry  and she knew about the gift in advance, and planned on that gift being the ‘new’ item that she would wear.

The groom hands his bride a gift, she wears it to the ceremony and comply’s with the tradition of something new.

The BORROWED.  It is a symbolic form of support from one of your happily married gal pals or relative.  They are passing on their marital success, blessings and bliss to your marriage.  You borrow an item and with it, its’ positive good marital energy and return it afterwards (otherwise it would change the poem to something old, something new, something kept, something….) It is also believed to symbolize that you can depend on that lending person; I think perhaps you depend on them, the lender,  for marital bliss advice.  It is the same as something old with respect to the item itself…a piece of jewelry, watch,dress, scarf etc. will suffice for the borrowed item.   Borrow something that you like and feel comfortable with and presto; enjoy the well wishes that comes with it!

Something BLUE.  Blue has been involved with weddings for many, many years.  Ancient history is involved here.  In Rome, blue was worn by the bride to symbolize loyalty, fidelity, purity, and love.  Before Queen Vicky changed dresses to white, blue was a popular wedding gown color.  In the past the bridal couple wore blue borders on their wedding attire to express the same ideas that the Romans expressed with blue (loyalty, fidelity, purity and love).  I have seen the bride wear  the following items in blue: shoes, nail polish, garters, flowers, rings, jewels, etc. to comply with this part of the poem. Be creative with it.  Or, if you are stressed by this, just go for the blue hose, used preferably to kill two birds with one stone!

This bride wears a beautiful pair of blue suede ballerina flats, adding a lovely, colorful touch to her gown and complies with the tradition of something blue.

And…the part that we U.S.A. Citizens seem to have forgotten: …..and a silver sixpence in her shoe.  So, the poem/tradition is British and the sixpence is a coin from Britain dating from 1551 to 1967.  It was made of silver and worth six pennies.   According to AskYahoo, a silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, and many companies sell keepsake sixpences for weddings. And these days, who couldn’t use some reassurance on a future fortune?

This is a tradition that you can really sink your teeth into! If you are not the creative type, it is still easy to accomplish, think previously worn blue panty hose and three are knocked off the list!  What I like most, is that you take time out from the hustle bustle of planning and, you stop and think about what is important from your past,  (the happy influencing marriages from your past), and you look at your present day marriage mentors and then you look to your future dreams for your wedded life.  How nice is that?!

Then you fly to England to collect for yourself a sixpence in an antique shop and you have got a nice trip to England out of that deal.  Or skip the trip to England and put a dime in your shoe.  It can be a very inexpensive tradition that you stick to (if you skip the trip to England), that brings around happy, positive, reassuring thoughts to your upcoming nuptials.  Enjoy!

Nicole in the new version of her mother’s wedding dress.

Bethany’s gown is over 80 years old.  The wedding theme was an ‘antebellum period wedding’, this dress was an amazing touch.

Wedding Traditions – Bride And Groom Do Not See Each Other Before The Ceremony

Why don’t the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony?

A hundred years ago or so, the bride and groom would put on their best clothing and walk together to the church or town meeting center to ‘make it official’.

And, years before that, when arranged marriages were the norm, the betrothed were never permitted to have a glance at one another.  Marriage was business, and it meant acquiring land, property and other goods through joining two people.   No father wanted to muck up a perfectly good business deal by having the groom see the potential bride and not like what he sees, thus backing out of the deal.  That bride needed to be a 10 on the attractiveness scale for a dad to take such a chance of letting the groom see her before the ceremony.  In some cultures, dowry’s were involved, ah the dowry, no father wants his son to lose that, so, again, no visual for the bride and groom.  In other words, it was considered “bad Luck” for the groom to see the bride because the groom, back in the day, would leave the “visual unpleasing” bride at the alter, indeed bad luck for her.

In the last couple of years, there has been a trend for people to marry because they love one another, and also, they are usually very attracted to each other!  Win, win!

In the U.S., arranged marriages are not very common nowadays, however, many brides still don’t allow their groom to see them before the wedding.  Many brides believe it gives them a sense of excitement and longing, making their wedding day more memorable.  And then many brides enjoy hanging out with their betrothed for a spot of time before their ceremony, allowing them to calm nervousness and share intimate moments together before the ceremony.

So, have you thought it through?  Will you see each other before the wedding?

From a photographers standpoint, we will do whatever you wish; it is your day, but some of the best “first glance” photo’s are birthed out of the calm meeting of bride and groom before the spotlight of the ceremony.  Again, I would like to restate, it is your day, so we will do whatever you would like with respect to seeing each other before the ceremony or not.  With that said, Dave and I have had discussions about the difference that we see when a couple sees each other pre-ceremony versus when they do not.  I personally think that is gives us a chance to capture the “first look” photos but something more; it gives the bride and groom a tender visit with each other.  A time to calm each others nerves, a very intensely romantic time.  The average couple will feel nervous before they walk down the aisle, let’s face it, it is not every day that you do this!  Personally, I think it would be very romantic and very cool to see a tradition form, where the couple spends some time together before the ceremony, reaffirming their love, calming, soothing and celebrating their bond together before they make their grand entrance!  After all, we are no longer talking about a business deal that might fail because of aesthetics…we are talking about the latest tradition of marrying for love.  Below are some pics of a “First Look” from a recent wedding.

What are your thoughts?

Wedding Traditions- Why Are Dresses White?

Long before Queen Victoria set the trend of wearing a white wedding dress, European brides bought a practical garment that would be worn on many occasions after the marriage.  The lower class favored black as it made the dress more practical.  I once read that author Jane Austen’s mother wore a red dress to her ceremony, this was typical for someone of her socioeconomic background.  When a white dress was worn, it was a color of mourning, brides would don white when they had recently lost a close relative, that was of course until Queen Victoria came along.

Are we seeing a trend for colored wedding dresses?  Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Gwen Stefani and other famous people chose to wear a non-white dress for their wedding.  Or should I say; are we seeing fashion go further back into the tradition of a colored wedding dress…since historically gowns have had color for longer than they have not.  The history behind gowns is rich and full of influence from fashion, social status, religion and culture.

The runway, 2012, is definitely showing more color this year than in many years past with colored wedding dresses or splashes of color on the wedding dress.  It will be interesting to see if the trend takes hold.  Do you have a prediction?  Are you a bride that wants to set herself apart from the others, or are you more steeped in tradition?  Did you ever know the background of why us girls choose white in the first place?  I would love to hear from you!

One of the publications that showcased a departure from the white wedding dress was Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, but then again, it had many white dresses as well!

Whatever you choose: a pink dress, white, or white with a splash of color at the sash, you will look beautiful.  Enjoy your special day, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!


ps.    WOW, this just in:  Check out Vera Wang’s black wedding dress!  The dress was recently featured in an article titled “10 Unforgettable Weddings Gowns” via Brides.com – published March 26, 2012.

Evergreen Wedding Photographer – Breckenridge Engagement shoot

Our shoot with Jen and Scott was so much fun.  They live in Keystone, and when we were trying to pick out locations, I suggested Breckenridge because of all of the old buildings, and general vibe of the town.  I love using architectural features and textures to add a certain quality and depth to our images.

We started the day out at the oldest bar in Breckenridge.  The Gold Pan Saloon, built in 1879, made for a really cool spot to hang out and get to know Jen and Scott, and obviously get some really cool shots.

From the Gold Pan, we headed out and walked around town.  We then headed up to Hoosier Pass to get some outdoorsy shots.  We hope you enjoy their pics as much as we had shooting and editing them!   As always, comments or questions are encouraged and appreciated (at the bottom of the post).  Here’s a small sample of the day:

Colorado Wedding Photographer at the Stock Show?

Yup, I spent the day documenting the day at the National Western Stock Show.  I always look forward to going to the show!  For whatever reason, I find the farming lifestyle facinating.  Here are some pics.