Veronica Armas Ms. Baker-2 English 12 9 November 2012 Wedding Traditions: Modern Society and Changes The words “I do”, some of the most significant words to known to a human being, believing in an everlasting love. The tradition that goes into seeing such a beautiful face on such a day makes people think how much relief they can have. All the months of planning and fixing everything to make it perfect finally came. Most people do not realize how much time or adjustments must be made in order to fit their criteria of a “perfect” wedding.
Due to financial situations the traditional Mexican wedding cake cannot be afforded or the specific henna of a Morocco wedding. Women, now, pan their weddings and realize that not all traditions can be used in their weddings mainly due to financial purposes. From the cake, dj, ceremony, flowers, reception, music, and many other items used for a traditional wedding, in any culture, can be taken back or left as a last resort if they cannot afford it or they choose not to include that particular time in their wedding and with modern society and changes, keeping tradition is a very difficult thing for people to have.
Same sex marriages, being some very abstract to our society, even try to follow as many wedding traditions as they can. In general, many countries have their own ideas and traditions on how their weddings should be and how modern society adjusts to their personal biddings. So why do wedding traditions have to be represented in a wedding. “Quite often, the sentimental value is tremendous” (Mary). Though these traditions, such as having something borrowed, can sometimes be altered by money but, they can also be altered by time.
So many obstacles can pause a wedding into stand until the idea of a tradition or a new application of an item in a wedding can somehow altered or used in a different way. Having a specific kind of dress such as a traditional quipao, a red silk dress with gold, instead of having a western idea of a white dress can differ depending on financial status or desire of an item. If a bride wishes to have quipao, such used in a traditional Chinese wedding, would be slightly pricier than a western white dress. Yet, if she desires to have that specific tradition, then the expense would matter.
Every bride is different and each one has their own priorities. Some priorities can be inexpensive while others are extremely expensive depending on the specific tradition within their family or culture (Wedding Customs). Specifically in Italian weddings, a very large and important part of the wedding would be the dress. A white dress in an Italian wedding would symbolize a bride to be a virgin and have purity. Since the dress have a very specific symbolization, it usually has a higher price to it. According The Knot another big tradition in Italy is the chapel (Wedding Customs).
In order to have a chapel along with all the amenities, it is extremely expensive. Not only having a religious view at a ceremony done in a chapel, the feel of family would be taken into consideration when choosing a chapel for such an important day. For example, since price is such a controversial part of this journey, choosing the most beautiful chapel in the world from a mediocre, yet very pretty chapel could easily mean the world of a difference. Now, apart from the chapel, food and music are key parts of an Italian wedding reception.
A plate of food can come from anywhere from 15-100 dollars a plate, depending on the amount of guests and quality of food you would like to have. Having quality items in a wedding is always a very classy and elegant way of showing your social status in a very discreet manner. Music, for such a wedding that is so richly involved beings happiness ad vibrancy to a wedding. In a traditional Italian wedding dance the bride and groom would lead the guests into something called the tarantella, which legend says that this dance can save the bride and groom from tarantula bites.
The musicians to play such music can cost from around 300-900 dollars per hour. The big plus in an Italian wedding is the financial support given by family members. It is tradition for guests to give money to the bride and for her to keep it in a small bag called a borsa. These traditions in an Italian wedding can be either extremely expensive or mediocre all depending on the personal desires of financial status of certain individuals (Wedding Customs). In the case of traditional Chinese weddings, they differ greatly compared to an Italian wedding.
In order to have a correctly dated wedding, according to the couple’s birth dates. This alone would cost at least 100 dollars. If the couple decides to have a wedding without consulting fortune-teller it would be cheaper but it would go against tradition. Apparel for the bride, if going the traditional route, would be a bright-red silk dress with intricate gold embroidery that would be high necked and long sleeve in order to preserve and show her virginity to the guests and her spouse. The quipao would be around 100-300 dollars. Many people having it be tradition and a lot less expensive, people would choose a quipao.
Tradition has been changing due to personal desires and therefore, nowadays, Chinese people may want to choose a western style dress instead, which can cause rom anything from 300-5000 dollars. Other traditions such as negotiating for the bride’s hand in marriage would be crucial since brides were used as a form of payment or a type of property. Nowadays this tradition is used as an activity, and yet is still shown as a form of how the bride will be taken care of in the future. For music, the lion dance would be crucial and yet optional thing to do at the wedding due to the expense cost.
In our time traditions due to personal desire such as the dress can be altered in order to have more of a media ideal wedding (Wedding Customs). During Mexican weddings, family is a key part. Mr. and Mrs. Armas are a Mexican couple that have been married 19 years. Both with deep roots in Mexican culture have background and knowledge of a Mexican wedding. According to Mr. and Mrs. Armas, family orientation is strong enough due to the culture, family helps both financially and opinion-wise (Armas). The most important part to a Mexican style wedding would be the religious ceremony.
The amount of money that is invested for the ceremony would be around 800-3000 dollars, since all the traditions that are required must be met through. A traditions such as the arras, symbolize how the man will be supporting his wife throughout her life with him. This simple and yet pricey traditions can cost around 300 dollars if money was spent wisely for a financially restricted couple, otherwise the sky is the limit. The attire for the bride would be a long white dress, symbolizing virginity and youth. The veil another important aspect of the brides’ attire was used to show her innocence and purity.
Then again the attire would depend on the different areas of Mexico. The reception would usually take place on a warm summer evening along with plenty of music and food. Food would be a Mexican delicacy called virria that would come along with beans, rice and tortillas. Once all of the guests have finished their food, mariachi music is played to the entertainment of all, usually cost around 300-500 dollars the hour. If the couple has money and wishes to invest in more music, the traditional would be to hire a banda, around 500-1000 dollars an hour.
Of course, one of the most traditional and must haves in a wedding and in the ceremony are madrinas. The Mexican people prefer to have madrinas and padrinos, or godparents, for their wedding instead of a best man or maid of honor. This act comes back from the time when brides were used as a type of property and the godparents would make sure to oversee the marriage and that the agreement was proper. These traditions mixed in with people’s financial stability and personal desire show how culture and tradition reflect their lives and how they try to incorporate it.
When planning a wedding with one or more cultures being involved, the stress and options are more intense. In the case of Rauly Berrios, growing up with and Cuban mother and a Puerto Rican, and her spouse Sergio Maldonado, growing up with Mexican-Jewish roots, the four extremely different cultures and traditions would all have to be somehow represented in the wedding ceremony and reception. Choosing a venue that was a hotel for the main event was one of the easiest decisions for the Berrios. Her roots of being a Cuban influenced her dress; this meant dramatic ruffles and extreme shaping of the body for her dress.
The ceremony was not extremely religious due to the different thoughts of religion though at the end they decided with the Jewish traditions of breaking a wine glass and yelling “Mazel tov! ” This is a very good example on how different people with different backgrounds can work through their financial and cultural predicaments (Brooke). For same sex couples, you wonder, how do wedding traditions work? Do they have the same traditions as heterosexual couples or do they make their own. Surprisingly enough according to the New York Times states the following, “All straight traditions were thrown out or mocked before. Gay commitment ceremonies in America today often closely resemble, even follow, traditional weddings. That might seem surprising since same-sex couples are far less bound by protocol. ” (Lois). Though same sex couples follow most of the traditions of heterosexual couple’s traditions, as stated the New York Times, they also have to have in mind the cost and different likes and dislikes of certain things. Being a same sex couple and planning wedding, requires lots of modifications to what heterosexual couples would consider traditions. For example, who would be the person to be walking down the aisle?
Is it based on how feminine one or the other is? Well according to The Knot, that is all based one choice but all other “religious” traditions are basically the same. “Your ceremony itself is a binding ritual so make it truly personal. Start with the basic outline… and personalize it from there. ” The ceremony being the most controversial item on a wedding for same sex couples shows where the most traditions are used. These can be anything from a white dress or a best man or maid of honor. Either way financial disadvantages are taken into place since everything costs money and no one has an unlimited supply of it.
Personal wishes are also taken into play since one person may want an ice sculpture in the wedding, while the other sees no need for it and sees it as too expensive. No matter what kind of relationship you have with your couple, if its same sex or heterosexual, everything is always thought twice when planning a wedding due to a financial restriction or a like or dislike. When planning any wedding in general there are several things that have to be taken into account: apparel for the bride, apparel for the wedding party, a ceremony site, wedding flowers, invitations, receptions sites, catering, photography, a cake, entertainment etc.
In the book Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget it shows how any wedding can happen. It shows how any wedding tradition no matter what religion you follow it can work and finances would not be a worry for the couple. Of course a wedding shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, since a wedding should be a special time in your life and not bring as much anxiety to the couple as it does. It explains how several traditions can still happen while having a budget in hand. The goal of this book; to help you save money and still have a fantastic wedding! ”(Fields). In the Wedding Goddess it shows you how to plan your wedding according to your vision of a perfect wedding. Though this has everything to what a person wants it does not really show how people can save some money with their wedding. “The question is how do you resist the allure of the “fantasy wedding” and instead make sure your wedding experience reflects your true beliefs and values” (Brockway).
Planning a wedding with all of its traditions of any culture should be an easy thing to do, and yet with all of the financial restrictions, it is not always easy. Yet with help of outside sources other than family any wedding can happen. As stated before, everyone has desires and such for their “dream wedding” and everyone dreams about the magical phrase of saying “I do” one day. Yet there will always be complications; if you did not like something when planning afford it, or just want it so much and yet cannot afford to have it, these can all be considered impediments.
Many other items used for a traditional wedding, in any culture, can be taken back or left as a last resort if they cannot afford it or they choose not to include that particular time in their wedding and with modern society and changes, keeping tradition is a very difficult thing for people to have. This is just a fact of life and how everything comes to be. The way people realize their financial restraints and their wants and needs, usually come from planning a wedding. In order for a couple to incorporate all of the wedding traditions along with following a financial plan it is extremely challenging.
Though it is challenging everyone’s motivation is seeing their special someone at the other end of the aisle and know that all the hard work was completely worth it. Works Cited Armas, Jose. Personal interview. 12 Sept. 2012. Brockway, Laurie Sue. Wedding goddess: a divine guide to transforming wedding stress into wedding bliss. Perigee trade paperback ed. New York: Penguin Group, 2005. Print. BROOKE SHOWELL Special to Newsday. “Ethnic and extravagant BY BLENDING TRADITIONS, COUPLES FORGE MEMORABLE NEW LINKS IN THE CULTURAL CHAIN. “Newsday. 10. Jun. 2012: H5. eLibrary. Web. 10.
Sep. 2012. Fields, Denise, and Alan Fields. Bridal bargains: secrets to throwing a fantastic wedding on a realistic budget. 9th ed. Boulder, CO: Windsor Peak Press, 2009. Print. LOIS SMITH BRADY; Johanna Jainchill contributed reporting for this. “For Gay Couples, New Rituals at the Altar – New York Times. ” The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N. p. , n. d. Web. 8 Nov. 2012. <http://www. nytimes. com/2003/11/23/style/for-gay-couples-new-rituals-at-the-altar. html>. Mary, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.. “Making it Their Own. ” McClatchy- Tribune Business News. 5. Feb. 2012 eLibrary. Web. 10. Sep. 2012. “Same-Sex Weddings: The Basics. ” Gay Weddings a€“ Gay Wedding Planning a€“ Gay Wedding Ideas. N. p. , n. d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <http://gay. weddings. com/articles/gay-commitment-ceremony-basics. aspx>. “Wedding Customs: Wedding Traditions From Around the Globe – Wedding Planning – Wedding Customs. ” TheKnot. com – Wedding Planning – Wedding Ideas- Wedding Dresses. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12 Oct. 2012. <http://wedding. theknot. com/wedding-planning/wedding-customs/articles/wedding-customs-and-traditions-from-around-the-globe. aspx>.