Our Algarve Wedding Blog on do you have to follow all the Wedding Traditions.

So what side of the tracks do you stand on? Seeing as you are planning or at the very least considering getting married in the Algarve and even if you want some basics traditions I’m guessing there is that rebellious streak that runs through you where you just want your wedding day to be a little different and why the hell not? it’s your day right!

For nearly two centuries weddings have not changed that much, the last big shock was when Queen Victoria decided to get married in the now so popular virgin white, yes that’s right that little tradition only became fashionable in and after 1840, clearly the saucy little minx wanted to put her own stamp on her wedding day.

We have certainly seen a shift in the modern couples attitude towards their big day in the last decade so we here at the Algarve Wedding blog we thought it would be fun to look at Tradition Vs the not so traditional.

The Veil

Do you see this as romantic or simply old fashioned? Well the veil has certainly stood the test of time, it’s history dates back to ancient Greece where the bride would wear a veil to protect her from evil spirits, in Medieval times it was worn as a symbol of purity and the very symbolic gesture of the husband lifting the veil to reveal his bride (be it lover or property) to plant that first kiss after the vows. The veil has also gone through fashionable changes throughout the decades from full length to lace to skullcap the list goes on. We mainly see veils in the more religious ceremonies here in the Algarve although a lot of none religious ceremonies have their fair share too, we love the veil but that does not mean you have to have one, you can still have that classic bride look with a more modern red carpet feel and ditch the veil, the beauty about your wedding day is just that, it’s YOUR wedding day and you make the choices.

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The Cake

Some simply must have it whilst other are like… Whatever, it’s just a cake!

We have seen a heavy shift in alternatives to the classic wedding cake in the recent years with brides opting for Ice cream, chocolate fountains and even cheese. The history of the wedding cake comes from medieval times and it would have been made of wheat, the guests used to throw the cake and the bride and it was meant to bring good luck and a sign of fertility… nice! when sugar became cheaper the modern day wedding cake was born and if you have a fun loving couple they still throw it at each other. So what do you think? are you going to stick with this tradition and keep the cake on the list?

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Only two colours allowed… traditionally

There was a time the bride wore white or ivory and the brides maids one colour, normally the colour of you chosen scheme, but guess what? That is starting to change too. More and more brides are opting to dress their maids in a variety of colours from bold rainbow colours to different pastel shades, each maid being different and unique to the next. and why not, arguably the maids do look nice and uniformed wearing the same colour but on the flip side its nice to see the brides imagination run riot with an eclectic use of colours, just pick the right ones for your bridesmaids otherwise they may get their own back during the speeches.

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The Garter

This is one tradition that most people do not actually follow or at the very least is an afterthought, the garter used to symbolise the brides virginity and the groom would remove it in a gesture to claim her, most of the time the garter is now used for show for the photos and very rarely does the groom remove it at the reception.

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Bridal Music

This is one tradition that is really going the way of the dinosaurs, traditional weddings you always imagine the bride walking down the aisle to Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, very rarely do you hear this at a Algarve Wedding, more modern brides are choosing balled’s from their favourite artists or a song that is special to them, it makes the ceremony more meaningful, personal and magical and makes you feel more involved in your own wedding when you are creating your playlists.

Tossing the Bouquet

Another tradition we don’t see here that often is tossing the bouquet to all the single ladies in the vein hope they will be next, the history of this stems back from jolly old England where single ladies would try and rip pieces of the brides dress and flowers hoping some of her good luck will rub off on them, the bride would toss her bouquet to make her getaway. Now we are hoping your single family and friends are a little more civilised then that but if someone other then your new husband tries to rip your dress off then you know you should reinstate this old tradition.

Your father should walk you down the aisle

The tradition of your father walking you down the aisle is symbolic of your father relinquishing his responsibility for you and passing the baton to another, however not all families are perfect and not all fathers are present, we have seen brothers, Mums, sisters and even a close friend escorting the bride down the aisle, there are no set rules, some brides even walk down the aisle alone and we have been to many weddings where the couple walk down together, this is a nice gesture as it symbolises your journey together, your walking into marriage together and leaving together as man and wife.

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You have to get married in a church

Although a traditional church wedding is nice this tradition falls on it’s face for the none religious, many couples seeking to marry in the Algarve dream of the sun on their face and the sea at their back and some even opt for the rugged Algarve countryside. If religion plays a big part in your life then we have some wonderful churches here in the Algarve and you can head to the beach for your reception, however if the church is not your thing then we have some stunning venues with natural beauty that will rival the most prestige church.

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The ceremony has to be  legally binding

Although religious and civil ceremonies are legally binding it is sometimes easier to get the legals done in your home country, many couples nip to the registry office a few days before they leave then hire a celebrant to perform a ceremony on a beach or clifftop here in Portugal, the benefit of this is that your ceremony is more personal to you and can include sand pouring, ring warming and hand binding and the best thing about this is that your guests don’t need to know it is not a legally binding ceremony.

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Although the basic core of most weddings are all the same there is nothing set in stone to say you can’t make your wedding day your own, if some traditions appeal to you then use them, if you feel some are outdated then ditch them and if you want to use some but with a twist then tailor make them to suit you. The most important thing about your Algarve Wedding is that it is your day and at the end of it you will be both joined together in marriage. Have fun with your plans and have a magical wedding.

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All images copyright James Hardie Photography, used with kind permission.