Stephanie is the Sr. Marketing Manager at Punchbowl, Inc. She blogs about celebrations, party planning, and free eCards.

When planning your special day, there are a lot of decisions to make. You get to choose a dress, decide who is invited to share this grand experience with you, and basically plan how every minute of your ceremony and reception is going to go.

Weddings are steeped with tradition. Some stem from superstition: others from practicality. It can be difficult to decide which traditions you want to include in your own wedding. Here is a breakdown of some of your options, along with pros and cons of choosing each one.

Engagement Announcements

It is common to send engagement announcements soon after the proposal, but after sharing the information with immediate family such as parents, grandparents, and children from previous marriages. Some people have begun to skip this custom as it is another thing that needs to be mailed, and they choose to save time and paper by coupling it with the save-the-dates.

It can be nice to let the world know about your wedding before the exact date is set though. A time-saving solution is to use eCards. You can fully customize your announcement and send it quickly to everyone who will be invited to your wedding. This also causes you to get some planning out of the way quickly, which is always a good thing.

Groom Not Seeing the Bride before the Ceremony

It has long been established that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her dress before the wedding ceremony. No one really bothers to think about why this is so, but it does not stem from superstition. In olden times, fathers would arrange advantageous marriages for their daughters. If the daughter was less than spectacular looking, there was a fear the groom would back out of the deal. Therefore, the bride was hidden until after the marriage was final, which is the history behind the veil that covers the face as well.

Since you most likely know your spouse-to-be, you are completely free to decide whether or not you want to see each other before the ceremony. On one hand, it can be very special for the groom to see his bride in her dress for the first time when she walks down the aisle.

On the other hand, it can be nice to have some “couple-time” before the ceremony. You are less likely to be nervous if you can gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes for a few minutes before you go out in front of all those people.

Seeing each other before the ceremony also allows pictures to be taken, which can really speed things up between the ceremony and the reception. Your photographer can take a “first look” photo of the groom seeing the bride in her dress for the first time. Shooting the couple-pictures before the service allows you to spend more time with your guests and the wedding party after the ceremony.

Bride’s side and Groom’s side

While it is traditional to have the Bride’s family and friends on one side of the church and the groom’s on the other, this does not have to be the case. If one of you has a much larger family than the other, this could cause issues with the seating. Also, friends of both of you may have difficulty deciding where to sit.

Instead, consider open seating. After all, this day is to celebrate two people coming together. Shouldn’t your family and friends come together as well, instead of being separated?

No matter what traditions you decide to incorporate into your wedding celebration, remember that it will be a beautiful day and the thing people will remember most is how happy you and your new spouse look together.

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