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7 Wedding Traditions in America That You Might Want to Keep

American weddings are filled with traditions that many still keep today. Some are held dear and near whereas other traditions some would rather not keep.

There are still many practices done during weddings that render this memorable event with a distinct American touch. Here are just a few of these American wedding traditions:

Engagement Traditions

Some American couples will only date for a few months before getting engaged whereas others will wait years. This often depends on their age and life goals.

For the marriage proposal, Americans often think of unique ways to commemorate their relationship. Many try to find a way to make their marriage proposal unique and personal. Marriage proposals are often well planned and elaborate but can also be simple and intimate.

Sometimes, after the engagement, the couple will host an engagement party. This costs less than a wedding reception and will only include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. If the couple is on a tight budget for their ceremony and reception, they can invite more guests to the engagement party and limit the number of guests during the wedding.

Bridal Shower & Bachelor Party Traditions

A few months before the wedding, preparations are made to have a bridal shower given by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids.

The groom may also have a bachelor party the weej before the wedding (but he has to be careful not to drink too much). Sometimes the bride will also have a bachelorette party the weej before the wedding as a last celebration before being married.

Wedding Invitations & RSVP Traditions

Most of the time, wedding invitations often include RSVP cards that guest can send back to the couple to say if they have accepted or declined the invitation.

Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent four to six weeks before the wedding ceremony.

Rehearsal Dinner & Luncheon Traditions

Usually, the night before the wedding, there is a rehearsal dinner paid by the parents of the groom. This is where the wedding party and family come to rehearse the wedding and join together for a meal.

A bridal luncheon may be hosted for the bride’s attendants on the wedding day before the ceremony. However, time constraints may not permit this to be part of the schedule for the wedding day. Likewise, the groom may also host a groom’s dinner for his groomsmen.

Seeing the Bride Before the Wedding

Even if there are few people who believe in bad luck, some couples still make sure that the groom does not see his bride until she starts waking on the aisle.

It is still practiced that the groom and his groomsmen enter the church through a side door. The bride will then walk down the aisle with her father. In some cases when both her father and stepfather are in the brides’ life, she may ask them both to escort her.

Some couple choose to have a First Look before the wedding ceremony so instead of the groom seeing his bride as she walks down the aisle, they have an intimate first look beforehand. This usually involves getting their photographer to capture the moment.

Wedding Reception Traditions

During a formal reception, there is usually a bridal table where the couple and the wedding party sit. Also, food and drinks should be served as the guests appear at the reception.

Reception activities often include dancing, speeches, the bouquet toss, and garter toss. Some of these traditions are becoming more uncommon and forgotten.

Wedding Gift Traditions

Gift giving used to depend on what the guest will feel useful for the couple. Now, it is better for the couple to register for gifts so the guests will know what to give that the couple will need. Some people feel that wedding registries are tacky but they have become very common.

Upon receiving an engagement or wedding gift, it is better to send a thank you note in the mail after the wedding. This should be sent within two weeks upon receipt of the gift. Some people like to hand write a personal thank you note, instead of sending a generic thank you card.

These are just some American practices during weddings. Whether one chooses to practice these traditions or prefer to have a very different wedding, the most important part is to make your wedding one you enjoy and that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

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Hi, I’m Kristin. While I haven’t found my Prince Charming yet, I’ve been dreaming of getting married for a long long time. I started this site as a place to record all the things I’ve found and researched in preparation for my own wedding someday. I can’t wait to share it all with you!

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