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How to Plan a Traditional Wedding

Updated on December 19, 2012

Planning a traditional wedding may seem to be easy at the first sight, as you simply need to do what is common, tried and tasted and use less effort on creativity. However fully organizing everything traditionally may be tricky! While traditional weddings were a “rule” before, and made the ceremony common, now they can be a beautiful classical choice over many modern weddings and yes, a way to be different! So here are a few steps to go while planning a traditional wedding.

Wedding Planning Checklist:

  • Set a workable budget: think about how much money you wish or can afford to spend on your wedding (remember, traditional weddings are not cheap!).
  • Make a list of guests to be invited, starting from relatives ending up with friends and other potential guests.
  • Make up your mind on the date and book the wedding venue, if you wish.
  • Hire a wedding photographer, if you are not a professional yourself.
  • Rent a wedding dress with at least 3-4 feet long train and purchase the wedding rings.
  • Choose the wedding cake design traditionally and order the cake.
  • Purchase wedding accessories and make an appointment with hair and make-up artists.
  • Make a list of the wedding songs, (hire musicians, if you wish).
  • Organize the menu, flowers as well as the ceremony and reception order.
  • Invite your guests!
  • Choose wedding vows, if you can't write your own (which is preferred), look for them in wedding websites online or in books.
  • Choose close relatives, such as brother and sister as the best man and maid of honor. If you don't have a brother or a sister, the cousins can substitute.
  • Dress the bridesmaids in gowns with the same color and style. The maid of honor can wear differently.
  • Finalize your home decorations, plan a sit-down dinner.
  • Get ready for the honeymoon!

1. Cook Traditional Food

Every nation has its own national cuisine coming from old times. It is simply what our grandparents used to cook and eat. Thus whether you are a traditionalist yourself or just want to plan your wedding traditionally, you should be able to find traditional recipes. One way (and probably the best way) is to ask your parents or grandparents, as they are more likely to know many national recipes. Cooking websites and books on traditional cooking can be great alternatives.

For instance, if you wish to cook traditional American wedding food (which is adopted from different cultures, but also has Native American components), then consider serving appetizers, entrees and desserts in this same order.

The most common appetizers usually include:

  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Honeydew or melon wrapped in prosciutto,
  • Bruschetta

Entrée goes as simple as:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Macaroni salad (or some basic salad)
  • Stuffed peppers
  • Bake chicken
  • Fish (like cod)
  • Beef

The dessert!

While the wedding cake is always the queen of the table, cupcakes and other cookies will keep your guests in mood! Chocolate is always an option!

2. Wear Traditional Wedding Attire

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A traditional white wedding gown with veil. Michele and David Wedding
A traditional white wedding gown with veil. Michele and David Wedding
A traditional white wedding gown with veil. Michele and David Wedding | Source
This couple are the grandparents of the couple above. How nice!
This couple are the grandparents of the couple above. How nice! | Source

Choosing Wedding Dress/Tuxedo

In most cultures (such as France, UK, Germany, USA, Italy, Spain, Russia and most of European countries) a white gown has been the traditional wedding attire especially after Queen Victoria’s marriage in the 19th century. White also symbolizes purity, innocence and virginity. However every nation has its own color for wedding dresses. Most Asian and Middle Eastern cultures have different preferences. For example in India, Vietnam, China brides wear a red wedding gown which symbolizes fertility and prosperity. Choose the color that is traditional in YOUR culture!
Don’t forget about traditional wedding accessories, such as a veil, bridal tossing garters etc.
As for grooms, a tuxedo or a morning suit is the most common wedding attire in the Western world. This includes a black morning coat, trousers, a waistcoat and a tie.

What Do You Know About Weddings?

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3. Play Traditional Wedding Songs

When it comes to picking your wedding ceremony music, choose thoughtfully as it is something you are going to remember for the rest of your life! Think about some classical wedding songs you would enjoy while walking down the aisle. Here are some all-time hit wedding songs:

Wedding Ceremony Songs

  • Wagner’s Bridal Chorus
  • In My Life
  • Procession of Joy
  • Vivaldi’s Spring
  • Here Comes the Bride
  • Pachelbel’s Canon
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow

First Dance Songs

  • At Last by Era James
  • Come Rain or Come Shine
  • Endless Love
  • I Had to Be You
  • Marry Me

Father and Daughter Dance Songs

  • I Loved Her First
  • Through the Years
  • Wind Beneath My Wings
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • Stand By Me
  • How Sweet It Is

Hey, this is just what Americans play at weddings, if you are from another nationality, choose your own traditional wedding songs. Whether you are planning your wedding in a church or in your garden, national music is the best for a traditional ceremony. Very often a professional may be of great help as well.

Michelle and David Wedding
Michelle and David Wedding | Source
A vintage wedding car
A vintage wedding car

4. Choose Traditional Wedding Cars

Those old-fashioned vintage wedding cars will really create the mood! Take some time to do a thorough research and find what’s the best for you. The color of the wedding car is traditionally chosen by the bride.

If you don't own one (and you probably don't), It is a wise idea to hire them from a professional company with the help of a specialist.

Some offers are:

  • Essex Super Six (1909)
  • S2 Bentley (1962)
  • Sunbeam Dawn (1934)
  • Ford Skyliner Retractable (1959)

Way to go!

(If you have interesting wedding traditions to offer, you are welcome to share them in the comments!).


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    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I stumbled upon this wonderful hub! I hope all is well Nare.

    • profile image

      Ekta khandelwal 

      4 years ago

      Excellent work

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      It's really beautiful to hear you talk so sweetly about your girlfriend and marriage :) Good luck!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great gal Kelly and I may have to take some notes and use them on our special day....when we decide when that day is. She said YES, but have to finish some priorities before we do the deed!! Blessed to have her in my life....thanks for the great hub!! :)

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Ohh I am so happy and relaxed to hear that dear poowool5! I was concerned if there is something missing. Thank you!

    • poowool5 profile image


      8 years ago from here in my house

      Hi Nare, great hub, well done! And I read it with a very critical eye since I had a super-traditional wedding in a 12th century church in England, reception in an abbey dating from 1206. So I'm all over traditional, but then so are were spot on with all your facts and great advice from a multi-cultural perspective too! Couldn't fault it, great info and advice, nice job :) Voted up and useful.

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Thank you dear Ruchira :) Appreciated!

    • Ruchira profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Nare, you went into the depth of it of this planning. It sure was a very traditional one :)

      loved reading about it...thanks!

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      You are quite right dear fpherj48, weddings have a lot of details that it hard to put in a singe hub. But no worries! More wedding hubs are on their way!

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Thank you dear roxanne459! If I haden't doen a research I would fail it too :D

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Dear marcoujor, your comment makes me happy! I am just so content that you like this and yeah Cher is awesome!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      8 years ago from UpstateWestern,New York

      I love this hub. Planning a wedding is a very exciting project. There are far more "details' than one would expect, before taking on this event. It's difficult to find anything more fulfilling than being a part of the single-most important day in a young couple's life. Excellent hub!! UP ++

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Very interesting and visually appealing. I also failed the quiz but it made me think so I love it! Voted Up!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Nare,

      I have been wanting to visit you since I found out about our mutual love of Cher and her music. And now, to meet Linda's beautiful family in your excellent hub is an added bonus indeed!

      I was content with my 80% on your quiz! I am not at all surprised that you have experience as a wedding planner. This is a comprehensive piece that would have helped me a great deal 25 years ago... oh well!

      Voted UP & UABI-- Hugs, mar.

    • Stokermm profile image


      8 years ago from Gainesville, FL

      Awesome hub!!! I'm glad my wedding pictures were able to help you in this hub. :) I love how weddings are based around the traditions but each couple makes it their own with unique details. Great hub!! :)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      8 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I haven't been to any weddings in a while but it definitely makes me want to go. I didn't know that a traditional wedding was this simple but I think what I've noticed are more couples incorporating the traditional with modern elements. Great hub!

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Thank you very much :)

    • alliemacb profile image


      8 years ago from Scotland

      Great hub. I love to read about different wedding traditions. Love the pictures.

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Oh if a wedding planner says that it's good, then I believe! Thanks :)

    • Mmargie1966 profile image


      8 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Awesome! I used to be a wedding planner!

      Excellent hub :)

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Ahhaha, retake it! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Thank you dear.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      8 years ago from Nepal

      Interesting cultural study.

    • Matt Stan profile image

      Matt Stan 

      8 years ago from Colorado

      Interesting, voted up! I completely failed the quiz

    • Nare Anthony profile imageAUTHOR

      Nare Gevorgyan 

      8 years ago

      Dear Sunshine, a big big thanks to you for supporting with the pictures! :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Nare this hub makes me want to go to a wedding! Now!:)

      Excellent details and ideas for a bride or groom to be be. One of the traditions that I like is the bride and grooms first dance, it always brings smiles.

      Thank you for using my beautiful daughter and son-in-law's wedding photo! Also to my surprise is my parents wedding photo! What a delight!:)


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