Guess who's recently got engaged? ME! So it was quite fitting that this next blog be bridal based. I always thought of myself as a bit of a traditionalist, but as the weeks have gone on and the usual questions have been asked, I've begun to question whether I'm traditional at all. My first thought was I want a church wedding with my dad walking me down the aisle, a lovely wedding reception with cake cutting and a first dance to some emotional love song etc....
Now I'm seriously considering sodding off to Mexico and getting married on the beach and toasting with tequila!
HOWEVER, I am still me. Whether I'm getting married down the road, or thousands of miles across the ocean, I still want a wedding dress and all the lovely things that come with it. The shoes, the bridal lingerie and the wedding garter. I want the full shebang! (Except a veil, I have too much hair for that).
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WEDDING TRADITIONS
Shooting the Bride - CHINA
In China's Yugur culture, grooms shoot their future brides with a bow and arrow (minus the arrowheads) — three times. The groom then breaks the arrows to ensure the couple stay in love forever. Puts Cupid to shame a bit....
Fat Farms - MAURITANIA
In Mauritania, girls aged between 5 and 15 are sent to "fat farms" before their wedding to pile on the pounds. If a bride had stomach rolls, stretch marks and overlapping thighs, it signalled her husband was wealthy enough to keep her satisfied. - I thought this was something that happened naturally after marriage anyway?!
Blackening of the bride - SCOTLAND
Scottish bride-to-be's are taken by surprise by their friends ahead of the wedding day, and pelted with all sorts of rubbish such as curdled milk, dead fish, spoiled food, tar and feathers. She is then tied to a tree and afterwards, taken for a night of drinking. The belief is that if she can withstand this kind of treatment, she can handle anything that comes her way in her marriage - I have no words for this but I am chuckling!
Crying for the groom - CHINA
Brides of the Tujia people in China are required to cry for an hour a day, every day, for the month preceding their wedding. Ten days into this ritual her mother begins to join her, then her grandmother. This is thought to be an expression of joy as the women cry in different tones. - I'm really interested to know how you manage to cry for an hour everyday for a whole month?! The Notebook? Marley and Me? Running out of wine prematurely?
Beating the grooms feet - KOREA
Korean tradition dictates that the groom has his feet beaten with fish or a cane before his first night as a married man — to test his true strength and character. My fiancé would go spare! He hates having his feet touched, so this is a tradition I may carry forward to my own wedding!
Marrying a tree - INDIA
In parts of India women born as Mangliks (an astrological combination when Mars and Saturn are both under the 7th house), are apparently "cursed" and thought to be likely to cause their husband an early death. In order to counter this, they must first be married to a tree and the tree cut down to break the curse - I mean, what?!
Drinking from the toilet - FRANCE
Newlyweds in France were forced to drink leftovers from their wedding out of a toilet bowl. Nowadays, chocolate and champagne are used as a substitute, but still served out of a toilet. The idea was to give the bride and groom strength before their wedding night - No. No. No. No. Just No.
Cross dressing - SPARTA
In Spartan culture, brides would have to shave their heads and dress up like men - You'd have to pay a disgusting sum of money for me to even consider shaving my head!
Feet on the ground - IRELAND
In Ireland, the bride's feet must stay on the floor at all times when she and the groom are dancing. This is due to the belief that if they don't, evil fairies will come and sweep her away - How? Just how?
Smashing plates - GERMANY
Guests at traditional German weddings bring the happy couple any type of porcelain except glass, and smash them in the belief that this will ward off evil spirits. The couple are then expected to clean up the mess together, learning that married life will not be easy, but by working together, they can overcome any challenge - I feel an obstacle course would be a more fun tradition to make this point.
DID YOU KNOW?
Engagement rings originated from Ancient Egypt. They believed that the circle was a symbol of eternity and would exchange rings made out of braided reeds. These were worn on the left hand ring finger, which apparently had a vein that ran directly to the heart which was later named, Vena Amoris.
A RIGHT ROYAL KNEES UP
Thinking of having a wedding fit for royalty? With the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle it's without doubt that many bride's will be taking inspiration from yet another iconic royal wedding, but what are the costs expected to be?
A leading UK wedding planner has estimated the staggering cost of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding day in the region of £32million and according to Bridebook, the royal nuptials could land the couple a place on the list of the top 10 most expensive weddings of all time.
Rumour has it that a good £90,000 will be spent on 20 silver-plated fanfare trumpets which will be played as the couple arrive at St Georges Chapel. (Wtf?!) These trumpets will be made in the same workshop where William and Kate's wedding and the London Olympics trumpets came from. Each bespoke trumpet costs between £3000 and £6000.
Kensington Palace recently announced that Pastry Chef Claire Ptak, owner of the London based Violet Bakery, will be creating a lemon elderflower cake for the couple, this is expected to cost £50,000.
A staggering £26,000 is said to be spent on sausage rolls and hot tea for the 2640 members of the public who have been invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle for the big day.
For the evening reception, where a further 200 guests are invited, a glass marquee will be the centrepiece in the grounds of Frogmore House, which is expected to cost £30,000
An estimated £110,000 is expected to be spent on flowers to decorate the various venues on the big day - St Georges Chapel for the Wedding Ceremony, St Georges Hall for the reception and the evening reception taking place at Frogmore House.
Megan Markle is reportedly rumoured to be spending an eye watering £60,000 on her wedding dress and there is still mass speculation on who will be designing the special gown. She is also expected to change into a second dress for the evening.
Other estimated costs:
Private jet for Megans family: £70,000
My budget is less than what they're reportedly spending on sausage rolls and hot tea.....
DID YOU KNOW?
According to a recent survey of 4000 UK brides, the average cost of a wedding is now up to £21,161 which is up 9.6% from last year.
Best get saving then....
TOP 10 TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO DRESS SHOPPING
- Limit the number of people you bring with you - nowadays it's common for brides to bring along their whole entourage, however in a lot of bridal salons and boutiques there simply isn't enough room to fit 6 bridesmaids, mother, mother in law, nan and your fiances brothers girlfriends cat.
- Don't just show up - the best approach is to make an appointment in advance, bridal salons fill up very quickly with Saturdays being the most popular choice and the last thing you want to feel is rushed.
- Have an idea of what you want - Do some research and make a few decisions in advance, also be prepared to talk colours, accesories, shoes and find out what lingerie will work best under your dress.
- Don't be stubborn - Knowing what you want is great, but try not to have your heart so set on one style that you aren't willing to work with your stylists advice. You should always try on multiple styles because something that you think wont work on you, may turn out to be your perfect dress.
- Know when to say no - Don't try on dresses you can't afford. You're just setting yourself up for nothing else to ever be good enough. Be upfront with your stylist about what you can afford and if they try and push you to try on dresses that are way over your budget, the power lies with you to say no.
- Understand you're not the only one feeling the pressure - You're under pressure to find the perfect dress, stay within a budget and not wind up in something that you hate, because your nan thought you looked spectacular in that giant meringue with the puffy sleeves. On the otherside is your consultant who depending on the setting, may be working under an oppressive commission structure. Some bigger bridal chains do operate under intense commission models.
- Shopping local might pay off - While the thought of getting worse treatment if you have a lower budget isn't great, not everyone in the industry has pound signs in their eyes. Particulary not in smaller boutiques.
- Pay attention to the details - If staying in your budget is a big concern, it's a good idea to pay attention to what your spending after you've found your dress (shoes, veil, tiara, lingerie etc).
- Don't put it off - If your waiting to shop for your dress because you want to shift a few pounds or until you've picked your venue, you could be putting yourself at risk of a wedding dress emergancy. A few months might feel like all the time in the world, but remember you may have to order the dress in and there might be alterations you need to have. At least 6 months in advance is the recommended time.
- Consider staying home on Saturdays - Brides who are looking for a more 1-1 experience are better off making appointments on a weekday.
- Don't forget to ask about your bridal lingerie - When choosing your wedding dress, it's important to consider what bridal lingerie you would like to wear. Ask your dress fitter what underwear would suit the dress best. You may be able to wear a full lingerie set or you might need to wear a strapless bra, stick on bra or seamless knickers.
WHAT IS A BASQUE?
A basque originally refers to a type of bodice or jacket with long tails. In later use, a long corset. It is characterised as a close, contoured fit that extends past the waistline over the hips. It is called this because the original French fashion for long women's jackets was adopted from traditional Basque dress. In contemporary use, it refers to a long item of lingerie, in effect, a bra that continues down stopping at the waist or at the top of the hips.
WHERE DOES THE WEDDING GARTER TRADITION COME FROM?
The wedding garter tradition originated in the Dark Ages, a less private time shall we say? When the luck people disappeared off to consummate the marriage, the wedding guests would follow them to the bedroom to get a good eyeful to make sure the newlyweds really did seal the deal. As it this wasn't bad enough, over excitable guests would grab the brides dress as she walked by, trying to snatch a piece off for good luck. Bear in mind, this was wayyyy before elastic was invented, so the garters holding the brides stockings up became a go-to price for rowdy guests.
Fortunately over time, people began to realise that gawking over the marriage bed was a teeny bit intrusive. Instead, the groom would toss the garter to guests waiting outside as a little show of what was going on behind closed doors. Over time these traditions became part of the reception, so if you're a bit of a prude, at least noe you only have to see a little bit of leg!
LETS GO SHOPPING
From the 30th April - 30th July, Knicker Locker have 10% off their entire Bridal Collection
with code BRIDETOBE10
Dominique intimates is dedicated to creating luxury underwear that look and feel as if they were made to measure. Each product is carefully crafted with an expert production team with over 60 years experience. Every hand-sewn stitch is made to help modern women feel more comfortable, beautiful and body confident. From everyday basics to bridal lingerie and special occasion wear, Dominique are designed in a wide size range to provide the perfect fit of every woman.
Shop the full range here.
Mabelicous Bridal owner, Luci learnt to sew at an early age and learnt many skills working for a lingerie company. In 2011, Luci put all her skills and love of weddings into one place and that's when Mabelicious Bridal was born.
Every Mabelicious Bridal product is designed and created in their UK studio from answering emails to cutting the fabric and making the order. Their bridal garters are all handmade and made from high quality lace and detailing. They make the perfect accessory to co-ordinate with your wedding lingerie for your big day.
Shop the full range here.
Below are some useful links on Knicker Locker to help find the perfect Bridal Lingerie for your wedding dress
Bridal Lingerie for your wedding dress
Bra fitting guide
For the full range of Bridal Lingerie at Knicker Locker here.
ONE FINAL WORD....
I have to say, I haven't been engaged long and I can already tell it's going to be an overwhelming experience. The advice that keeps being given to me is "it's YOUR wedding, do what YOU want to do" and to be honest, I think I'll be sticking to that mantra.
LOVE JESS X