Category Archives: Traditions

Wedding Garters with a Little Bit of History

One wedding custom most of us are familiar with is the garter toss.  This tradition seems to stem from a few different cultures, each of which had their own way of obtaining a piece of the bride’s clothing on the wedding day.  I thought I could share a little of my research with you!

During the Dark Ages, the story goes that friends and family would accompany the bride and groom to their wedding bed.  When the couple began the consummation of their marriage the husband could provide the wife’s garter as proof that their marriage vows had been fulfilled.

Another old English custom was for wedding guests to sneak up to the bride and groom’s wedding chamber.  They would then fling the bride’s stockings at the bride and groom, and if the stocking landed on his or her nose, the person who tossed it would be the next to marry.

In France, in the 14th Century, certain areas believed that obtaining a piece of the bride’s clothing would bring good luck.  This resulted in the wedding guests ripping pieces of cloth off of the bride.  (Which, as we can all imagine, was no fun for the bride!)  Later, to deter the ripping of clothing, the bride began throwing pieces of her dress, the garter being one of them.  Drunken male partygoers then began trying to remove this item themselves, until that role became the groom’s and the tradition began.

And still there are more stories.  Eventually, traditions evolved to the point that some groom, somewhere tossed a garter to the single men.  The man who catches the garter is now said to be the next to marry.  For this innovation I am thankful!  While I was comfortable with the garter toss at my own wedding, I don’t know that I would have been comfortable with any of these other garter customs!

Now that you’ve got a little background, here’s a collection of my handmade favorites to help you out on your search for that perfect garter!

 

The Graceful de la Ronde Crocheted Garter

 

Miss Muffet Had It Coming...

 

Superman Inspired Garter in Vivid Colors

 

Ivory Lace Bridal Set

 

This post was brought to you by Jon and Deanna of EdenGallery.

Brides Around the World – Part 1 Japan

Do you long  for a bit of the Far East?  Are you in love with simplicity, serenity, and stately elegance?  The traditional dress of the Japanese bride might be for you.

Most of us know that the traditional women’s dress of Japan is called the “kimono.” And, though  they aren’t as commonly worn as they used to be, one of the places you’re still sure to see kimono is at a Japanese wedding. Though the modern bride will often wear more than three outfits throughout her wedding day, the traditional wedding kimono, called an uchikake, is almost certain to be one of the ensembles worn..

The uchikake is  a robe-like dress that used to be the common dress of women in the samurai (warrior) class. Uchikake have long rounded sleeves that swing elegantly off of the arm, and a longer hemline than most other kimono styles. The hem is also padded, which helps the uchikake to form a train behind the wearer. It is worn open, like a long coat, over a pale under-kimono (called kakeshita). In ancient times, there would have actually been five or more under-kimono beneath the uchikake. Today, some uchikake mimic this style with thin strips of fabric trimming the edges.

In the traditional religion of Japan, Shinto, white is a symbol of purity. Because of this, the uchikake is most often white, as is the kakeshita, or under-kimono, and it’s obi, or sash. The hair is also wrapped in a traditional white headpiece, known as the tsunokakushi..

But tucked into this tsunokakushi (wedding headpiece) is by far my favorite part of the traditional Japanese wedding ensemble–the kanzashi.

Kanzashi are traditional Japanese hair ornaments.  They, like kimono, come in a wide variety of styles. The wedding kanzashi are usually a golden-yellow color, and very ornate. Originally made of tortoise-shell or metal, today they are most often created from molded plastic. The detail is stunning and often includes symbolic elements such as cranes, pine branches, and turtles, all symbolic of longevity.

Western brides might consider a less formal tsumami (“folded fabric”) kanzashi to accent their hair, or a monochromatic silk brocade for their gown. Perhaps an up-do with a traditional Japanese flair might compliment an ornate western dress. Or an actual kimono–either white or brightly colored–might be to the bride’s fancy.  The Japanese bride is stately and graceful, and provides much to inspire her western sisters.  Kitty Kanzashi designs and creates some of the most amazing Kanzashi flowers on the market.

This post brought to you by Michelle Greenwood of Greenwood Occasions.

Henna Daisy Wedding Spoon - Made to Order

Greenwood Occasions Wedding Spoons

Isn’t her work stunning???  I see a wonderful tradition starting 🙂

Krissy

Make Believe’N

>Dress Up Your Sexy Shoes!…and Hair…and Belts…and…

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Back in the 1950’s and 60’s shoe clips were a popular accessory for spiffing up a regular ol’ pair of shoes. Today shoe clips are enjoying a revival of sorts and being enjoyed from weddings to daily wear.

As hemlines become shorter or as the bride daintily, or daringly, lifts up her dress to have her shoes poke coquettishly from beneath, her shoes are on display for all to see.


Accessories can make or break an outfit and oftentimes are the focal point for what the outfit is built around.

Thrifty brides will love that after the wedding their shoe clips can also be worn as lapel brooches or hair accessories. The creative bride will discover that the clips can pretty much be worn anywhere from boot toppers, to belts, pant tops, etc.


Check out these wonderful selections from fellow Etsy sellers and remember…just because an item is being sold as one thing, it doesn’t mean it can’t be worn as something else!

Stephanie Farley
La Coco Rouge, LLC
http://www.lacocorouge.com
http://www.facebook.com/lacocorouge

>Has the Tradition Always Been White?

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Vera Wang

The wedding dress has inspired women for generations…most assuredly what it will look like but most definitely white.

The thing is…white is a recent phenomenon! With the advent of Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 one of the greatest love stories of all time took the imaginations of women by storm, and the Queen wore white thus setting the fashion for years to come.

It used to be that women would wear their best dress to wed in – no matter the colour. In the 1400’s blue was considered to be the colour of purity.

Today we see a happy mix of styles, colours and textures to choose from for our wedding day. Many women are choosing dresses that are versatile enough to be worn again for other occasions.

Here is a small sample of what you can find out there for yourself from vintage to rock star to simple beauty…

>The Etsy Wedding Team

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Etsy Wedding Team

The Etsy Wedding Team is our traditional sister team on Etsy.com.  I lovingly call them the sweet and creamy vanilla to our dark chocolate.  Like us they are a collaboration of artists specializing in high quality handmade wedding products.  The Etsy Wedding Team is just as picky about its members as the Offbeat Etsy Weddings Team is.  They only allow members with outstanding customer service and top of the line products.  Their blog is a great go to place for wedding inspiration treasuries, spotlights on interesting vendors and some of the best giveaways out there.  If you like your wedding info in short and sweet blasts join the 11K others and follow them on Twitter.  Or, get your daily dose via Facebook.

Powder Blue Bijoux
Oh So Sweet Prints
Clutch - The Elle Jane Clutch - Chocolate Brown
The Social Seam

Krissy
Make Believe’N

>Mother Daughter Dances – A song list

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Go off the beaten path.  Try a Mother Daughter dance at your wedding.  Here are some songs you may like:
Get the tissues now.  I mean it!!  Seriously!

Martina McBrides – In My Daughter’s Eyes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLS0Y40WwlA

“Every Mother’s Dream” (www.weddingmusiccentral.com)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBjcCk-uIZQ

Christina Aguilera – I Turn To You
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4q05resEvc

Josh Groban – You Raise Me Up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJxrX42WcjQ

Taylor Swift – The Best Day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq4W68_h6rw

Reba McEntire – I’ll Be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4IBsqzawlQ&feature=related

Rascal Flatts – My Wish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxjVCBSa-Vs

>Hot Air Balloons!

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What could be more offbeat from the traditional path than a Hot Air Balloon wedding?

Floating with lofty ideals, high on love and a desire to step forth into a new phase in your lives melds seamlessly with the thought of leaving the ground and taking the high road with the birds and the clouds.

Here’s one site where you can research your own locations for attaining Hot Air Bliss.

Asheville Hot Air Balloons will even offer to have up to 28 balloons tethered together for a full wedding party in the air!

Looking for a little inspiration while you ponder your flight filled fantasy? Check out these cool images from fellow Etsy sellers:

NoteArt



TCaponePhoto



AndreaKett

If you have a cool story involving a wedding and hot air balloons we want to hear about it!

>Who Says You Need a Diamond Engagement Ring?

>Perhaps the most enduring tradition of the modern bride today is the ring.  In particular the diamond ring and in recent years coloured diamond rings for those with an extensive budget.  Remember J lo’s super fabulous fancy pink ring designed by Harry Winston?  Yum J  But really…who says you need a diamond ring or even a ring at all?

The tradition of the engagement ring is a relatively recent phenomenon within the past 500 years.  It is popularly held that its origins began with the presentation of a diamond ring from Archduke Maximilian of Hamburg to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.  Google it and you will find a wealth of info.  

Since then through 500 years of famous marriages, marketing (thanks DeBeers) and the tweaking of the romantic notion – today’s bride normally wouldn’t think twice about a diamond ring being part of the marriage ceremony.  It’s romantic, there’s always a story to be told about the presentation of the ring and the ring itself is a symbol of commitment that you belong to each other.
Okay – but what about those of us who choose NOT to have a diamond ring…or even a ring at all?  What other choices remain?  
Julie Stout & Doug Matthews of Austin, TX chose to go with a painting for their engagement.  Being avid art collectors and less purveyors of the jewelry domain – they chose to seal their promise to each other with a work of art that sings of joy and passion.  At their wedding, the painting was displayed at the front door for each guest to see upon arrival.  Today it hangs proudly in their home for all to see and they each wear simple matching white gold wedding bands.

Jennifer & Helme Calfee of Atlanta, GA went with a blue sapphire engagement ring (fyi – sapphires come in all the colours of the rainbow except for red. When red, they are referred to as rubies).  Jennifer loved the tradition of having a ring but has no liking for diamonds.  Her passions, next to her husband and step-daughter, are the colour blue and sapphires for they represent strength and protection.  

As for myself…I neither require a diamond ring or even a ring at all.  For me, something I have to wear everyday would drive me crazy;  however, something to wear on occasion might be nice.  My fantasy dream piece of jewelry?  Padparascha sapphire ring.  I have a refined yet eclectic taste.

So what other ring options are there?  Check out these funky options from these Offbeat Etsy Wedding Sellers – whether it’s for that special day, everyday, or special occasions there’s a ring sure to delight your offbeat senses!





And remember  – it takes all kinds to make an offbeat bride whether it’s your ring, the colour of your dress , the theme of the celebration, etc.  Go be your funky self and dance outside the traditions to make your own!
We would love to hear from you regarding your choice, or not, with a ring.  If you have a story to tell, please share it with us and other prospective brides!

>Who walks you down the aisle if Dad is gone?

>Sadly, many brides are without their fathers on their wedding day, and have to figure out an alternative for walking down the aisle. A local Atlanta radio morning show (www.thebertshow.com) discussed the history of this tradition and what happens when “Dad” isn’t available.

The tradition of a bride being walked down the aisle and given to her future husband is based in the old property laws. A father owns his daughter until he gives his property to another man. It is hard for me to imagine that in practice today, but it is certain we are keeping it alive during our special day. I do like some of the older traditions. I think this one shows respect and love to our fathers. I only wish that I had given love and respect to my mother in some way during our ceremony.

This radio bit made me think about my wedding and how lucky I was that my Dad is actively involved in my life. Some fathers have passed away, some fathers are too far away physically or mentally, and maybe worst of all, some fathers never existed beyond donating sperm. The brides without dads are left wondering what to do in this situation. Does a grandfather or uncle step in, a brother or best friend, or do they walk down alone? A tough choice. One that might hurt feelings. I love the contemporary idea of the mom walking a bride down the aisle. To me that seems like the best alternative to a missing dad.

I would like to recommend to future brides to be at peace with your choice and consider asking mom to walk you down the aisle. If you are reading this and are lucky like me, consider asking both of your parents to walk with you. What a gift of love.

On a personal note when asked who gives this bride my dad said “her mother and I will share her”. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about how special that moment was. If you love this too, ask your family to start a new more equal and updated tradition.