It's St. Patrick's Day, and we can't help but feel the Irish love. We're all about green beer, shamrocks, and leprechauns, but there's a lot more to Irish tradition than the commercialized side of the holiday — especially when it comes to Irish wedding traditions. You don't have to be an Irish bride-to-be to appreciate these sentimental Irish and Celtic traditions, which have inspired some of our most well-known big phrases like "tying the knot" and "honeymoon." See how you can add a little luck o' the Irish to your wedding now!
Love was truly in the air in Scotland this Valentine's Day as numerous couples tied the knot at one of the most popular wedding destinations in the world: Gretna Green Blacksmiths Shop. People have been getting hitched at Gretna Green since the 18th century, and more than 5,000 weddings take place in the area every year. The destination is especially popular for eloping or "runaway marriages," a tradition that began in 1754 with the arrival of Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act that declared the parent of an under-18 minor could prevent a marriage from taking place. Since the rule only applied to England and Wales, Scotland's loose marriage regulations made it an appealing spot for these elopements. Scottish law also stated that pretty much anyone had the authority to conduct the wedding ceremony, so the blacksmiths in Gretna earned the nickname "anvil priests." Nowadays the blacksmiths shop and its anvils are still a part of the Gretna Green tradition.
The Scottish venue has also been mentioned in popular culture. Jane Austen included it in two of her stories: in Love and Freindship [sic] the protagonists convince a naive girl to elope in Gretna Green, and in Pride and Prejudice a couple elopes, leaving behind a note that they're headed to Gretna Green. More recently, Downton Abbey's Lady Sybil Crawley and her chauffeur-turned-husband Tom Branson were en route to Gretna Green to elope before her sisters convinced them to change their plans.
See what the Scottish wedding tradition looks like in modern times — kilts, bagpipes, and all — with pictures of today's Gretna Green nuptials now!
We've been showing you how to add some history to your wedding with our weddings through the decades, beginning with the Victorian period of lace and silhouette portraits and ending with the era of neon, big hair, and mix tapes — the '80s. And then in the middle, we've got ideas for fans of Downton Abbey, Mad Men, and The Great Gatsby. If you're looking for some ways to incorporate the traditions, trends, and fashions of the past century, check out these weddings through the decades!
Following the free love of the '70s was the playful culture of the 1980s — a decade filled with neon shades, big hair, and pop music. WIth Nintendo, Pac-Man, the Brat Pack, New Kids on the Block, and the boombox, the '80s were all about bright colors and punchy energy. Hoping to bring some retro fun to your big day, or maybe your bachelorette party? From music-inspired accents to bold, bright decor, here are some unique ideas to spark your creativity.
In the wake of the conservative, buttoned-up 1950s came the flower power counterculture of the '60s: civil rights, the sexual revolution, and the women's liberation movement. While marriage held the utmost importance in the '50s, the role of women and wives began to change in the following decade. Along with Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique came the rise of feminism, which questioned women's position in society. Meanwhile, legendary musicians were at the top of the Billboard charts: The Beatles, The Supremes, Grateful Dead, and Bob Dylan. Men started adopting the mop-top hairstyle, while women wore everything from beehives to Twiggy-inspired pixie cuts. Hoping to channel the '60s for your big day? From mod styles to daisy accents, these creative ideas will kick-start your inspiration.
It was all about the flawless, quintessential white wedding throughout the '50s: extravagant ceremonies, pristine formal attire, and happy, upbeat music. Crooners like Frank Sinatra stole the scene early on, while Elvis Presley and rock and roll took over the radio spots later in the decade. Onscreen, Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe made pin-up girls the ultimate male fantasy, while TV programs like I Love Lucy and Leave It to Beaver stuck to a cookie-cutter mold. Hoping to channel the jukebox era for your own wedding? From striped straws to retro color schemes, here are 35 creative ways to carry '50s charm into your big day.
Weddings of the military-minded 1940s involved men in uniform, simple gowns, big band entertainment, and plenty of romantic details. It was the decade of film noir, Casablanca, "Rosie the Riveter," and the introduction of classic pin-up girls — plus the royal wedding of then-Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. Hoping to channel a bit of vintage flair on your big day? Consider adding patriotic accents, military-inspired decor, or nautical details. From rosy red bouquets to glamorous Old Hollywood hairstyles, here are 33 creative ideas to help you plan a '40s-inspired wedding.
Throughout the wedding planning process, engaged couples are constantly faced with standard traditions they must decide to either include or exclude from their big day. Will you get married in a church? Will your bridesmaids wear matching dresses? Will you use the traditional vows or write your own? Will you have a bouquet toss? And while you may feel the pressure from everyone from your mom to your planners to follow the traditional path, nowadays pretty much anything goes when it comes to which wedding traditions you keep vs. the ones you nix. The day is all about you and your soon-to-be spouse, after all, so it's up to whether you go the traditional or nontraditional route. Just take a look at what our own gals did (or are going to do) on their wedding days with the third post in our Sugar Bride Guide series. We shared our sweet proposal stories, our sentimental song selections, and now we've got the scoop on wedding traditions. Check out which traditions our Sugar brides and brides-to-be kept and skipped now!
Some of the toughest decisions you have to make when planning a wedding revolve around the music. First, you have to decide if you're going with a band or a DJ; then you have to choose the songs for the guests' arrival, the reception, and the cocktail hour; and most importantly, you have to pick the songs for the processional, recessional, grand entrance, first dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, and exit. It can get overwhelming! So to help you out, we went to our fellow brides and brides-to-be at Sugar HQ to find out what songs they used or are planning to use on their big days. In this second post of our Sugar Bride Guide series — be sure to check out the first one with proposal stories — we get the inside scoop from Sugar brides on what songs they chose and why they are so special to them.
The Edwardian period, also referred to as the Gilded Age, was an era of newfound wealth, the start of industrialization, and peace before the first World War — it's also known for the sinking of the RMS Titanic — and for weddings, this meant rich, extravagant occasions. Several wedding traditions first began during the Edwardian period, including the bridesmaid-then-bride processional, the afternoon ceremony time, and the importance placed upon beautiful wedding gowns. Gold and pastels color schemes were the most popular, while brooches, hats, gloves, and embellished accessories stayed in style. Considering a bit of romantic Downtown Abbey-esque flair for your big day? Here are our favorite picks to help you channel the gorgeous Edwardian style.