Lindy Cooke Celebrant


Adding tradition

When you think about adding tradition to your wedding day, there are many different ways to achieve this. Here are just some ideas:


Something old, something new, something borrowed, something 💙 blue 💙

This tradition will depend on personal taste and what’s readily available to you. Perhaps you could wear an heirloom wedding dress (your mother’s or your grandmother’s) for your “something old”, buy new shoes for your “something new”, borrow a piece of jewellery for your “something borrowed”, or carry blue flowers for your “something blue”. Even if no-one else knows why you’ve made certain choices, you will, so each one will be very meaningful on your big day.


Arriving late

While I understand that no bride wants to arrive before her guests, I can safely say that, in over 10 years as a celebrant, there have only been a couple of instances where a guest walked in a little late. On both occasions, they looked a bit sheepish so knew that they were being a little rude. Usually, guests start arriving anything from 30 minutes prior to the expected ceremony start time as they’re keen to mingle beforehand. I always tell couples that a wedding is not like inviting someone to a family barbecue where time is not such an issue. People know you have a schedule to work to.

I would suggest the bride plans to arrive on time, or perhaps 5 minutes late. When you consider that there are usually photos taken when she arrives and gets out of the car, you can safely add another 5 minutes, so that means she’ll walk down the aisle 5 to 10 minutes after the official start time. This, I think, is perfect! It can be quite nerve-wracking for the groom to be kept waiting longer than that and, if it’s a hot day, there are elderly guests or there’s limited seating, it can be hard on the guests as well. This is not the time to be 30 minutes late. That, I think, is disrespectful to everyone. Your celebrant may have another commitment to go to and other suppliers, such as your caterer or the venue itself, will be expecting things to run to the timeframe you set.

I suggest making a detailed plan for your day, chat to your suppliers about timing (especially hair and makeup and your photographer if you’re meeting them before the ceremony) and then, as far as possible, stick to the allocated times. Give yourself enough time for each element and start preparing early on the day or choose a later ceremony time if you need to. Yes, it is your big day but considering and respecting others should always be part of your planning. The latest one of my brides arrived for her wedding was 1 hour 20 minutes !! This was incredibly rude and, unfortunately, precipitated a clause in subsequent contracts about either paying extra upfront if you’re more than 30 minutes late or if I had to leave and return at a later time. As the saying goes, “it only takes one!”


Not seeing your partner before your ceremony

Some couples still choose to spend the night before their wedding apart. It can be a fun way to enjoy time with your respective wedding parties and to build the excitement before the bride walks down the aisle. When this happens, I often find couples share a kiss when they meet because they’ve missed each other so much or chat for a little which helps to settle the nerves. (I actually love this part!)

If you plan to spend the morning apart but would like a little time with your partner before your wedding, you could always consider a “First Look”. Head over here for more info on this option.


Rain on your wedding day

I’ve heard it said that rain on your wedding day is like confetti from the sky! It’s often considered to be good luck too as it represents a completely new, fresh chapter in your life. As long as you have a Plan B for your ceremony location, you’ll have everything covered. Here‘s a previous blog I wrote on rainy day wedding tips.


Carrying the bride over the threshold

This one is a bit of a superstition which started, apparently, in medieval Europe. Many believed that the bride was vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet so, when entering their new home, the groom would carry her across the threshold so as to avoid any negative energy.


Wearing a veil

This custom can be traced back to Rome. Fearing evil spirits were jealous of her happiness, the bride would wear a veil down the aisle to disguise herself from them and avoid any ill will they wished to bring upon her. It would then be lifted back just before “the kiss” after the couple was married. These days, many brides choose not to wear a veil. There are so many beautiful alternatives including wearing a flower crown, a tiara or a comb embellished with pearls or something sparkly.


Choosing not to wear white

White has long been recognised in many societies as a symbol of purity and virtue. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for brides to wear another colour to their wedding, including black or patterned fabrics. As well as adding a pop of colour and personality, it’s likely that a dress that is not white will be worn again, rather than just on the day of the wedding.


Asking the bride’s father for permission to marry his daughter

This long-held tradition started when girls lived at home with their parents before marriage and did not have their own source of income. Their parents would, naturally, want to ensure their daughter was well provided for so it was important that they vet any potential suitors.

Nowadays this long-held tradition, if you care to follow it, is probably more about showing respect to your future in-laws.


Make your own

If none of these ideas sound like you, why not make your own tradition?



110 – 30/03/2024 – ©Lindy Cooke Celebrant

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