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Fill Your Wedding With Beautiful Traditions

paper crane wedding ideas

Most weddings include one or two touching traditions but Jenny and Dave included so many more and it made for a beautiful day. They had a tribe, they jumped a broom, he washed her feet, she washed his hands and they even 'cut the cheese'. It was such a uniquely crafted wedding filled with friends, family, infectious laughter, and 1001 paper cranes. This is the day their love took flight!
From their nontraditional traditions filled ceremony to their morning after, when they showered each other with vibrant colors and trashed the dress, there is a multitude of ideas that you'll fall in love with. View them all in the full gallery here, wonderfully captured by Janet Moscarello Photography.

love takes flight chalkboard

secluded first look

green and orange wedding bouquet

from the bride

We researched wedding ceremonies across cultures, and identified ritual components that resonated for us symbolically. We wove all this in with our own theory that weddings are important because three things happen there: 1) families come together, and from their union a new family is made; 2) a community comes together to recognize and celebrate love and commitment; 3) a loving couple affirms their devotion to one another, and forever bind their lives together. These were the Three Acts to the somewhat theatrical-ized ceremony that we crafted. The ceremony we developed was truly transformative, for ourselves, our family, and our community.

paper crane ceremony backdrop

strings of paper cranes

hankies for your tears of joy

Since our marriage union came in a nontraditional format, it was important to preview the rituals that would be coming, and their significance. We were moved by the Quaker tradition, where all members of the community sign the marriage certificate. We had a beautiful certificate designed and printed, and all of our family and tribe signed in pledge to support us in our union.

The last step in what we considered the 2nd Act of our wedding was to Jump the Broom. We found the African American tradition of jumping the broom to be a beautiful symbol of transition from one chapter of life into the next, with the broom as a warm metaphor of the home we will build together. We worked together to create the broom out of straw and dried flowers that the Groom had given the Bride over the years.

the tribe signing the wedding certificate

jumping the broom

The last section of the ceremony was a series of very personal and transformative rituals between the Bride and Groom. First was a Cleansing Rite. The Evangelical Christian tradition of foot-washing carries a different symbolism for us than those who first started performing it at weddings. For us, it doubled as an opportunity to refresh and cleanse before the exchange of vows and rings, and an act of accepting each-others flaws and history.

It also alludes to marriage as an act of service to one another, which is lovely. The Exchange of Vows was a private exchange, without microphones and facing each other instead of the crowd. Most of the community in attendance found it moving to watch us make heartfelt commitments, without knowing what exactly we were saying. The last step in our transformation was an Exchange of Rings. After we put on the rings, we kissed—and at that moment, out of all of the various thresholds and rituals that made up our ceremony, we were wed.

ceremony washtub

traditional washing of hands and feet

ring exchange and private dance

Dave and I have been creative partners since we met, and together have developed and produced nearly a dozen plays, performance art pieces, and various artistic expressions. We approached our wedding as a capstone creative collaboration.

Part of this manifested in our DIY touches including 1001 paper cranes that decorated the alter and events grounds, the nomenclature we developed including dubbing our collective wedding party our “Tribe”, and the fact that we titled our wedding weekend (Love Takes Flight, or #lovetakesflight on social media!). We labored over our escort cards, hand-stamping and sewing little buttons or embellishments onto each one. We took the road-less-traveled in so many choices, such as opting for stacked wheels of cheese in lieu of a cake.

orange button escort cards

beautiful fall reception ideas

glitter table numbers

seed packets double as table numbers

yarn wrapped mason jar floral centerpieces

sweetheart table ideas

herb bouquets

wedding cake made out of cheese

wedding cheese cake

Love Takes Color:
We purchased environmentally friendly and hypo-allergenic Gulal powder (used in the Hindu religious festival, Holi, the festival of colors.) It’s a beautiful product—colorful powder that you throw in the air and onto each other. We went to the beach at sunrise the morning after our wedding to play with the powder, make some awesome photos, and destroy my dress. It was a fun way to spend our first morning as man and wife—supported by our die-hard friends and family who were dedicated enough to rouse at 6am after an all-night-party-of-the-century, and the artistic genius of our photographer who turned our half-baked idea into a visually arresting keepsake and memory for all time.

trash the dress after wedding

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