March 2017

Wedding Cake Trends for 2017
Modern cake trends seem to be shifting from what was considered "normal" to becoming something completely abnormal.

Common wedding cake trends seem to be drifting away from the traditional white cake and more towards making cakes more vibrant and fun with their colors.

The most common wedding cake trend seems to be moving more toward coordinating with the bride’s colors, even if there is no white on the cake. Here are some of the trends for cakes this year:

When most people think of a wedding cake, they automatically assume it should be white. There are a lot of reasons for this. White denotes purity, which became popular during the Victorian era. The white wedding cake is also a visual link between the bride and the cake. White cakes and frosting, at one time, symbolized affluence. It was difficult to get refined sugar before the Victorian age. The whiter the cake, the more wealth a family had to obtain those difficult ingredients.

Here are some of the cake trends for this year:

  • Metallic decorations – think edible glitter for sparkle, or gold- or silver-leaf sheets in cutout embroidery lace-like designs.
  • White on white – a traditional cake with only white decorations.
  • Ruffles – no, not fabric ruffles, but embellishments of sugar frills. Include fresh or sugar flowers to finish off the cake.
  • Naked cakes – show off the inside of a cake by not frosting it. Fill the layers with seasonal fruits or nuts to add texture and taste.
  • Marbleized decorations – hand-painted designs on the frosting, set off with a simple ribbon or flower border.
  • Stained-glass – these cakes are part of the hand-painted variety but include outlining the images in black.
  • Beads – cover your cake with edible beads for a unique look.
  • Greenery and botany – don’t limit your cake decorations to flowers, but use fruits and greenery or anything organic to make it your own.
  • Navy and black – most people don’t associate navy blue or black with a wedding, but more brides are choosing one of these elegant colors as part of their attire.
  • Whimsical cakes – more brides are forgoing the elegant white cake for a tiered cake that represents their personality.
  • Ombre effect – blend colors on the wedding cake from a dark, deep tone to the lightest tint.
  • A cake trio, or quartet – a table of cakes at your reception, giving your guests two to three flavors to choose from. Not only does this make for a spectacular display, but you won’t have to choose between your two favorite flavors.
  • Rainbow cake – the inside of the cake is done in the colors of the rainbow, while the outside of the cake is more traditional.
  • A “sweet” cake – cover your wedding cake in the candies or sweets you enjoy. Some brides are even creating cakes out of their favorite goodies, opting for a different type of dessert altogether.
  • Monograms – decorate with your initials in a repetitive pattern around the cake. From a distance, it will be a pretty pattern. You could also have a sugar-made plaque with your new monogram.
  • Buttercream cakes – instead of the smooth fondant layer on the cake, more brides are going with a simple buttercream frosting in a pattern that might not be perfect. It tastes much different than fondant and can feel more casual and relaxed.

Why Stacked Wedding Cakes?

In the Middle Ages, legend has it that cakes or buns would be stacked in a large pile before the newly wedded couple. The couple would then try to kiss each other over the stack, and if they could, it symbolized a lifetime of prosperity. Eventually, the layers of cake would be stacked together with frosting. Because modern refrigeration wasn’t available, the cakes would be covered with lard to keep them moist. The lard would be scraped off before serving, but invariably, a small amount of the lard could not be removed. Bakers began adding sugar to the lard to improve the taste, and thus, the modern wedding cake came into being.

Choosing the Wedding Officiant for Your Ceremony
A wedding officiant marrying a couple.

Choosing the right wedding officiant can take your wedding from being great to being spectacular.

Once you’ve chosen a date, chosen your wedding colors and booked a venue, you have thousands of other details to manage in regards to your ceremony. A wedding coordinator might be able to handle the catering and decorations, but you and your future spouse are the only ones who can choose the wedding officiant. Whether you’re looking for a professional and skilled officiant or want a friend to do the service, you should still ask questions. Here are some of questions you can ask a potential officiant:

  • Are you available on our wedding date? Consider this carefully if travel is involved. Better to check the calendar first. Don’t forget to check the availability for your rehearsal dinner.
  • Can you personalize the ceremony? Many religious leaders use the ritual from the church, but some wedding officiants will allow you to customize your ceremony. At the ULC, we offer a template for our ministers, but it can be personalized to your own style.
  • How many pre-wedding sessions do you require? Although a friend or family member may not require pre-wedding counseling, some officiants might. It can help you get to know each other better, but the wedding officiant might charge for the sessions too. Find out what to expect before you sign a contract.
  • Do you charge a standard fee or do we make a donation to the church? When talking to a professional officiant, you want to make sure you know how much will be charged. Every minister is different. If you’re talking to a family member or friend, it might be awkward to bring up a fee, but remember that this person will be going above and beyond for your wedding, similar to your attendants.
  • How will you respect our wishes, if our beliefs don’t fall in line with yours? In today’s culture, it might be difficult to find a wedding officiant who believes exactly what the two of you do. Consider how the officiant acts when presented with personal requests and whether he or she respects your beliefs.
  • Do you want to come to the reception? Will you be bringing a guest? When you are having a catered dinner, one or two extras can throw the numbers off. You might be close to the fire code limit or not have enough seating for two extra. Make sure to find out all expectations before the wedding.
  • Do you have any restrictions on whether we can be married? Some officiants might not marry couples outside of their own faith. You may not be allowed to have another officiant take part in the ceremony.
  • Do you plan on giving a sermon during a wedding? We’re not sure why people think that a wedding is an appropriate place to proselytize, but some do.
  • What do you plan to wear? Can you adjust to our wedding style? If you’re having a themed wedding, better find out if the officiant will participate or not.
  • What happens if you get sick? No one wants to think about getting sick, but the reality is always there. Find out what the backup plan is before the wedding.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Wedding Officiant

Does the officiant make you feel comfortable? You want someone who is genuinely interested in your wedding and services. This person will be welcoming your guests and playing best supporting actor to you and your partner. Does the officiant have the presence to handle a noisy guest? What happens if someone stands up and says that you shouldn’t get married?

Before you start talking to wedding officiants, think about what you expect. Do you want someone spiritual or secular? Do you have special readings or music you want included? Will your officiant adapt to your wedding or do you have to adapt to his or her plan? By taking time to consider your options, you will find the right person to lead your ceremony.

The Importance of Reading to Children
Mother with her daughters reading a book at home.

Reading to children has so many benefits that will help them to develop.

Do you remember the movie, “Three Men and a Baby?” There’s a scene in the movie where Tom Selleck’s character is reading a sports article to the baby. He says something to the effect of, “It doesn’t matter what you read to a child. Reading is beneficial to the development of a child.” Most people know that reading to children is fundamental for academic excellence. However, there are a number of other benefits of reading to toddlers and preschool-age children:

  • Children have a stronger relationship with the reader. Cuddling up while sharing a good book keeps you in touch with each other.
  • It promotes basic speech skills. It reinforces speech and language sounds.
  • Children who have books read to them have better ways of expressing themselves. They can relate to how the characters of a book talk to each other and can use those skills in their own relationships.
  • It teaches children how to read a book. No one is born with an innate knowledge of reading left to right.
  • Toddlers learn to increase their attention spans through with books. Even though many children squirm when they start out with story time, as you practice reading to them, they’ll find more discipline to sit still and enjoy the story.
  • Reading also helps children adjust to new experiences. A story about starting school to a child who is anxious about going to school all day helps a child see that he or she isn’t the only one who is scared.
  • It can also expand a child’s vocabulary.

In a 2014 study out of Harvard University, it was discovered that when dads read to children, especially girls, there is an even bigger benefit than when moms read to children. Additionally, men tend to be more abstract when talking about what they’re reading. For example, a woman approaches reading very factually. An example might include a mom asking a child, “How many blue fish do you see?” Men ask questions that challenge the child’s brain. For instance, a dad might say, “Look. Do you see the bus? Remember when we rode the bus to go to the zoo?”

Teenagers Benefit From Reading, Too

Preschool children aren’t the only ones who need to be engaged in reading. Once your child begins junior high and high school, reading a book out loud is very beneficial to development and cognitive thinking skills. You may have to be crafty at first, because your teenager may see the practice as childish. Start out with short articles from the newspaper or magazines, or maybe some poetry that you enjoy. Read during a meal time, then discuss it.

Take advantage of car rides. Listen to an audiobook that your children might enjoy. Listen to one chapter, then turn it off. You might be able to read something to your child when he or she is loading a dishwasher or doing another chore. Use the moments when you have a captive audience. Choose adventure stories that keep a child engaged from the very first chapter. Limit reading time to one chapter a night, kind of like Scheherazade. Ask your local librarian for books that fit your child’s interests and age level. Read biographies of people who did great things.

Most pediatricians recommend that a child’s screen time be limited. It’s very difficult to keep children from watching television or using their smartphones. You have to give them an alternative activity to make it feel like a privilege instead of a punishment. Reading can be this activity. Model good reading skills to your child, and help him or her find worlds that can only be imagined in words. You may not immediately see the benefits, but years later, your children will thank you.

Exploring Interesting Canadian Wedding Customs
Some wedding customs are as old as weddings themselves.

Examples of longstanding wedding customs would be the throwing of the bouquet, the throwing of the garter belt, and the couple slicing the first piece of cake.

It is no small surprise that Canadians love their country and all of its expansive beauty. Though Canada shares a lot of its culture with countries in Europe and America, there are many wedding customs that exist within the nation that are unique. If you are planning on getting married in the near future, you may be wondering how your fellow citizens go about the process. Recent studies have shown some interesting facts about how modern couples get married.

Long Standing Wedding Customs: The Month of December

Popping the question to your significant other is a big part of the wedding process. Without taking this initial step, you really can’t move forward with a marriage. Engagements are different depending on the culture. This is especially true of when people decide to pop the question to their partners. A study surveying a large number of Canadian men points out an interesting trend in this regard. A vast majority of men have proposed or are planning to propose in the month of December.

Age Is a Number

Wedding customs marriage change as much as the times do. Statistics show that the average age for a woman to get married in Canada in 1950 was 25. This number fluctuated a bit in the subsequent decades, dropping to an average of 23 from the 1970s until more recently. This trend in Canada reflects a larger movement happening among women of all backgrounds. Though this primarily is a shift in Western cultures, women are adopting more professional roles in greater numbers.

Under Pressure

The idea of a wedding has grown a little bit out of control in recent decades. Once, a wedding was simply a union between two people who loved each other. Polls taken of young brides approaching their wedding have shown that a large number of women feel pressured to spend more than they can afford. While you may want to spend a good amount on your wedding, it is important to be sensible with your budget and keep enough cash around to start your life with your partner after the big day.

Making It Your Own

Paying attention to wedding customs and trends can help with planning a wedding that meets your own specific needs. It is important for you to follow your own path. Couples should not caught up in what everyone else is doing.

While you may want to explore popular trends to see what is interesting to you, making your decisions based on what you personally enjoy will help result in the best celebration of your love. Find a way to make your special day a unique experience. This will make it easy to remember fondly for many years to come.

Commemorating the March Equinox
During the spring equinox, the days and nights are equal.

The Spring Equinox is the point in the year where the Earth’s tilt is perpendicular with the sun.

This year, spring officially begins on March 20. This is the day when the earth’s axis is not tilted away from the sun’s rays but rather is perpendicular to them. The equinox is thought to be the day the earth gets a day and night of equal lengths, but in reality, it depends on how the sunrise and sunset are defined. Legend says that the spring equinox is the only day of the year that an egg can be perfectly balanced on its end. It’s not true, but its fun to try.

The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently. Gary Zukav.

Holidays and Festivals Around the Equinox

Around the world, spring is celebrated in different ways. In North America, Easter is a rite of spring that is calculated based on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. This is why the date of Easter changes every year; it’s a lunar date. Another Abrahamic tradition of spring is the Jewish Passover, which generally falls on the first full moon after the spring equinox. In Mexico, visitors attend spring equinox in Teotihuacán, because legend says that portals of energy open at this place.

Burn Your Socks

In Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., the spring equinox brings in the boating season. Boat owners and employees celebrate by burning socks, because the boating community only wears socks through the winter. Astrologers see the vernal equinox as the beginning of the astrological year. They celebrate the day as International Astrology Day.

Ring in the New Year

In Iran, Nowruz, the New Year, occurs during the March Equinox, based on the Persian astronomical calendar. Jamshid, a mythological king of Persia, is said to have ascended to the throne on this day. He is remembered with two weeks of celebration. The day is a secular holiday for Iranians, but it’s a sacred day for Zoroastrians. Nowruz has also been added to the national calendar of Canada since 2007. It’s a time for spring cleaning, then decorating houses with garlands of roses and jasmine. New clothes are made for the celebration.

Honor Your Ancestors

In Japan, the spring or vernal equinox day, is an official public holiday. It’s a time to visit the graves of your ancestors and pay homage to them. Grave sites are cleaned. Offerings might be made to the ancestors. Homes are cleaned up. Many people use the spring equinox to make life changes. It’s also a day to celebrate nature after the long winter. Families get together, because many people have the day off.

See the Shadow Disappear

There are two days of the year when you can see a shadow disappear. Calculate the latitude of your location then subtract that number from 90. This is the angle measure you need when you put a stick in the ground. Using a compass, find south. Point a stick or ruler in that direction. Use a protractor to measure the angle to put the stick in the ground. At noon on March 20, the shadow of the stick will disappear. It won’t on any other day except the September equinox.

Tell Stories

March 20 is the day people around the world celebrate the culture of oral history. In 2017, the theme is “transformation.” The day had its roots in Sweden, but other countries picked up the tradition. It has taken time to become more common in Canada, but many organizations do recognize the day. Tell a story to your family as you await spring. Even if the trees aren’t budding or the flowers blooming, the spring equinox marks the time when you will soon see the first signs of renewal.

Choosing Your Wedding Venue
When looking for the right wedding venue, couples usually settle on a church. There are many other options available to choose from.

Choosing the right wedding venue can be essential to making your big day absolutely perfect.

The wedding venue accounts for a large part of the budget and the look of your wedding. You really cannot move forward with any of the planning until you choose a venue. However, it can be very overwhelming to look at all the options. Consider these questions when choosing your wedding location:

  1. What type of wedding do you want to have?

The style of your wedding is probably one of the most important considerations. If you are having a modern, elegant wedding, you want to look for places that give you those vibes. Maybe there is a place that is particularly meaningful to you and your partner, and you really want to go there. You need to think about what you want your wedding to look like.

  1. How many guests do you expect to attend?

Even if you don’t have budget restraints, most places have a limit on how many people the venue can hold. Most places are limited by local regulations and restrictions, not because they want you to keep your guest list to a minimum. You should also remember to consider the logistics of getting everyone to this place. Is there parking? Will you need to hire a bus or limousine to transport family?

  1. What are the budget considerations?

The wedding venue can be very expensive. You have to consider how much you want to spend on the venue for the ceremony and the reception. But your budget is not the only consideration. You should also think about your guest list. Are your friends still in school? Can your extended family afford to fly to a luxury resort? Of course, you can choose to have that expensive destination wedding, but remember that if you want people to attend, you might need to look at places that are accessible and affordable.

  1. How much planning do you want to do and how much control do you need?

When it comes to some venues, you may be limited on the approved vendor list. You may have to work with a caterer who doesn’t offer the food you want. Some destination wedding locations have package deals, which make planning easy. However, you may not have many choices.

On the other hand, choosing a unique destination where you have a stunning backdrop may have its own challenges. You may have to work with each local vendor yourself and piece together the things you need to make guests comfortable. You have a lot of control this way, but it will take time to find the right vendors to provide what you want.

  1. How much money do you have for vendors?

If you are planning a lovely wedding in the mountains of Banff, you may need to pay for flowers to be shipped in. You may also find that there are fewer local vendors to provide different services. Will you have to provide travel expenses for your officiant? You have to ask yourself lots of questions about your budget before nailing a location down.

Special Requirements to Consider Chile Choosing a Wedding Venue

Don’t forget to think about the weather. Even if you’re planning an indoor ceremony and reception, you should think about what the weather could do to your plans. When you get closer to choosing a venue, ask about the rules and regulations. Some churches may not allow alcohol to be served on site. You might also want to consider locations that accommodate guests with disabilities or children.

It will take time to choose the venue that fits your needs, but it’s worth the research. Don’t forget to check on deposits and contracts and make sure your date is locked in before you move forward. Confirm everything with the venue coordinator and check in with them about every other month to make sure you’re on the calendar. Have a great wedding by getting the venue right.

Wedding Locations and Choosing Yours Wisely
There are many beautiful wedding locations that can be found in Canada.

Niagara Falls is one of the most popular wedding locations in Canada.

CNN recently reported that a lawmaker in India wants to rein in the rising costs of weddings in the country. The bill, which will be introduced in March to parliament, would require families who spend more than 500,000 rupees ($9810CAD) to donate 10 percent of the overall cost of the wedding to a special government fund. The money in the fund would help poor families pay for wedding locations that they once only dreamed of. Although $10,000 doesn’t sound like much, consider that many families in India spend that much on one luncheon for the wedding.

Almost every bride and groom have to be concerned about expenses for their wedding. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a small ceremony in a church, a destination wedding or a lavish affair. But what many people don’t realize is that location can make a world of difference. In a recent article from the CBC, it was reported that getting married in Toronto City Hall can cost three times what it does for the same ceremony in New York City. It costs $265 for a service and license in Toronto, and the same service can be obtained in NYC for $78CAD.

Popular Wedding Locations in Canada

Here is a look at how much you would get charged in other popular cities in Canada:

  • Niagara Falls $125
  • Brampton $479
  • Sudbury $155.30
  • Ottawa $155.30

In Alberta, licenses are just $40, but B.C. and Manitoba each charge $100 for the license. The license fee in Toronto is $140.

Average Costs of Weddings

Civil ceremonies at City Hall are still much cheaper than a full-blown ceremony and reception. Wedding Bells estimates the average Canadian wedding is about $30,000, but according to Global News, the average cost of a wedding is about $350 per person. One wedding planner told the paper that many ceremonies cost $70,000 or more for only 150 guests. This is in bigger cities, such as Toronto or Vancouver. Windsor bills itself as a “budget wedding” location. Most couples save 30 to 50 percent by coming to Windsor to tie the knot.

Wedding coordinators are also talking to couples about destination weddings and the low cost of some locations versus a wedding in Vancouver. Couples can host a 150-guest wedding in Antigua, St. Lucia or Costa Rica for about $24,000. Wedding cruises are also very popular with couples who are on a budget. The cost can be as little as $5,000. The cruise will keep all guests busy, which alleviates your responsibilities for entertainment. It might be a great option for you.

Think About Your Guests, Too

Unfortunately, with a destination wedding, you are offloading some of your costs to the guests, which means you should consider that when you’re planning. Doing a little bit of research can help you choose a location for your dream wedding that is affordable. Traditional wedding locations, such as Tuscany, Hawaii, Jamaica or Rome, are typically more expensive. Look outside the bigger cities and popular destinations for small towns that have facilities to host a wedding. With some resort sites, you might even find all-inclusive options that are affordable and reasonable, especially when you choose a not-so-popular date.

Budgeting is always difficult during a wedding, but when you look at some of the unhidden costs you and your guests might have, you can find ways to save money for the bigger picture. But remember, the real meaning of the wedding isn’t about the party, the money you spend or the number of guests who attend. It’s in the memories you make in the joining of two families.

Don’t feel as if you have to spend thousands of dollars on your wedding just to keep up with your best friend’s ceremony. Make it your own and stay within your budget by choosing the location of your wedding carefully.

Lent – A Season of Fasting
Lent is a time for religious people to give something up for their religion for a set amount of time.

During Lent, religious artifacts, such as this crucifix, will be covered for the entire duration of the fast.

One common thread between most Christian religions is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, or Easter. The weeks leading up to Easter are often used as a time of remembrance of Christ’s ministry and what he went through before his death. In Christianity, the season of Lent is the 40 days before Easter. Because the date of Easter is based on a lunar, rather than solar, calendar, the beginning of Lent changes each year. Traditionally, the first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday, which in 2017 falls on March 1.

Traditions of Lent

On Ash Wednesday, Christians attend a worship service in which the minister or priest makes the sign of a cross with ashes on the forehead of the worshipper. This symbolizes the sinfulness before God and human mortality. In the Bible, in both Hebrews and Numbers, the ashes of a red heifer would sanctify the ceremonially unclean. Ashes were thought to be purifying.

Human sorrow is represented by ashes. In the book of Esther, the Jews “lay in sackcloth and ashes” as a way of mourning the edict of the King that allowed for the destruction of the Jews. Job used dust and ashes as a symbol of repentance.

Fasting is one of the most common ways that Lent is observed. In older times, the tradition would be to have one full meal per day, with smaller meals allowed. The idea was that a person should have enough food to sustain strength, but never enough to feel full. Each community would have their own traditions, but generally, animal products were forbidden. Fish and fowl might be allowed on Fridays.

On Sundays, the fast would be suspended, but during Lent, Christians would refrain from saying “Alleluia” or the “Gloria in excelsis Deo” rite. These rituals were associated with joy. Because Lent was a time of sorrow, the words would be replaced with another phrase or simply omitted during the season.

During Lent the religious objects such as the cross, statues and pictures might be veiled for the entire 40 days. However, Anglican and Methodist churches traditionally only cover the objects on Good Friday. In more progressive churches, the liturgy of Lent might not be observed at all. Instead, the emphasis is on Easter Sunday, rather than penitence.

Fasting for Social Change

One current trend seen around Lent is that of a positive fast. People don’t just give up food or pleasure, but instead contribute to environmental stewardship. At Greenanglicans.org, people are remembering the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness by doing one thing every day to be more environmentally conscious. For example, have dinner by candlelight and then talk and play games together.

Charisma House, a Christian publisher, is suggesting a 10-day word fast from complaining, criticism, sarcasm and gossip. According to Isaiah 58:6: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” The study asks you to watch what you say for just 10 days, to help you change a pattern of discouragement and negativity.

Another interesting concept is taking on atheism for Lent. For 40 days, a Christian examines literature that speaks to who God is and his or her beliefs in God. It’s a time to examine ideological structures of religion.

You do not have to honor Lent to celebrate Easter, but respect those who do. It’s a Christian tradition that means a lot to those who do partake in the season.

 

Alternatives to Diamonds for Engagement Rings
Diamonds are beautiful, however there are many beautiful stones that exist.

Though diamonds are a girls best friend, there are plenty of other beautiful stones out that are more budget friendly and will surely stand out.

Wedding and engagement rings have a long history, probably from Roman customs where a woman would wear rings attached to small keys, which demonstrated her ownership by her husband. Women were considered property for many years, and we’re fortunate that this has changed. The first rings with diamonds were recorded in the late 1400s. Maximilian I, the King of the Romans and Holy Roman Emperor, commissioned a diamond ring for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy.

Maximilian is responsible for the diamond engagement ring trend, but it was the Victorians who popularized the ornate designs and beautiful settings that we know today. However, diamonds were largely inaccessible to the masses until De Beers began mining in the late 1800s. The demand for diamonds dropped during the Depression, but De Beers Company fought back by using the movie stars of the time to advertise the diamonds.

Are Diamonds Really a Girl’s Best Friend?

In the 1953 film, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Marilyn Monroe sang:

“The French are glad to die for love.

They delight in fighting duels.

But I prefer a man who lives

And gives expensive jewels.

A kiss on the hand

May be quite continental,

But diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”

Diamonds might be considered traditional, but not everyone can afford these rare gems. Some people don’t want to support the industry. There are a lot of other gemstones that can be made into beautiful rings. Here are some of the best alternatives.

Alternative Stones

  • Garnets come in shades of pink and red most commonly, but you can also find them in other colors. Although garnets aren’t as hard as other gems, only a 7.0 on the Mohs scale (a diamond is a 10), you’ll be able to get a bigger gem for a fraction of the cost.
  • Sapphires are most commonly a blue gem, but you can find them in other hues. The best part is that sapphires are generally one-third of the price of diamonds. You can get a larger stone, but make sure it’s well cut.
  • Emeralds come in beautiful shades of green, and although they aren’t one of the more popular gems these days, they can look chic and timeless in a ring setting that will last forever.
  • Pearls are an iconic look, but they do tend to scratch and tarnish easily. You can find very elegant pearls at a good price, but don’t plan on wearing the ring every day to make it last.
  • Opals can reflect the entire rainbow as they move in the light. No two opals look the same, but they are in the middle of the Mohs scale. Opals don’t stand up to daily wear like a diamond might, but they still make a beautiful ring.
  • Onyx is generally black in color, but it can come in a variety of colors for fine jewelry. The black stone pairs with anything you wear and it looks timeless and chic.
  • Sunstones are a very abundant gemstone and come in a variety of shades including peach, red, orange and green. Many are found just south of the border in Oregon.
  • Amethyst is a pretty, purple gem that is durable but less expensive than diamond. The gem is beautifully paired with gold or silver for a classic look.
Fascinating Traditions in Canadian Weddings
Catching the bouquet is one of the oldest marriage traditions.

One of the most common wedding traditions practiced to this day is the catching of the bride’s bouquet.

The idea of getting married is nothing new. In fact, weddings are some of the oldest ceremonies to have been documented across all civilizations. There are a lot of traditions that have persisted through the years even if the mentality behind a wedding has changed. In Canada, for example, there are plenty of unique ways of going about the process of marrying your partner.

Common Wedding Traditions

Planning for a wedding requires time and research. Here are a few wedding practices that appear often in Canadian rituals in the current day and age, as well as in other cultures across the world.

Catch the Bouquet

One common tradition found in many weddings is the tossing of the bouquet. Traditionally, this is an act by the bride, who tosses the flowers backwards over her shoulder toward a crowd of single friends and relatives. It is customary for this part of the ceremony to only include women, but shifting attitudes have shown that single men can also get in on the fun if the married couple so wishes. The history behind this act is a bit more interesting than might be first believed.

In older cultures, it was common for single women to tear away a piece of the bride’s dress. This was meant as a gesture of good luck for the women holding the strip of garment. As wedding dresses became more expensive, brides found that it was a bit much to have their families and friends tearing away at their beautiful gowns. The bouquet toss was a custom introduced to ward away women who wanted a piece of luck and provide them with a competitive chance for their wishes.

Eternal Love

Some traditions are so ingrained in the cultural sphere that it’s hard to imagine another way of going about the process. Rings, for example, are the cornerstone of an engagement and subsequent wedding. There have been many different approaches to the exchanging of rings over the years. Essentially, experts have traced the tradition of the ring back to Egypt in its earliest days of civilization.

The Egyptians would trade rings as a sign of eternal love and commitment. Eventually, due to the conquests of the Greeks and Romans, the tradition was adopted. As civilization expanded through Europe, the custom became more widespread until it reached the height that it exists at now. The custom of wearing a wedding ring on a specific finger can also be traced back to the Egyptians. They believed that the third finger on the left hand was the one most closely connected to the human heart.

White Wedding

A common practice in the modern age is for a woman to wear white on her wedding day. This is actually not as old of a tradition as many might believe. In Western culture, the custom of wearing white began as a way of symbolizing the purity of the bride. This started during the Victorian Era in England and has persisted to the modern day in many countries. What’s more fascinating is that brides across the world wore a multitude of colors on their wedding day before this practice began.

White was a rare color to be seen during a ceremony in earlier traditions. It has lively and vibrant colors being more closely associated with the passion and beauty of shared love. Though it seems that most brides wear white in the current age, the trend is being pushed against. More women are wearing dresses that match their personal tastes rather than taking part in a tradition that holds no meaning for them.

As you plan your wedding, consider the meaning behind current customs. You may want to break from tradition or go with the flow – the choice is yours.