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Todays blended families bring a vast array of heritage and traditions to the newly weds.

Family Wedding Traditions

The world is changing so rapidly now, and traditions give us an anchor. Traditions make you feel good as a family. These indelible memories bring character and texture to our lives.

Family traditions define who we are and where we came from. From the simple Friday night pizza party in the living room to the elaborate wedding celebration, family traditions are the bedrock of society -- bringing order and predictability into our lives and emotionally nourishing us by building bonds with family both near and far. They make the mundane and everyday special, and they make the special occasions and milestones even more meaningful.

Weddings are catalysts for inspiring traditions. Traditions handed down over the generations, as well as new traditions, are all part of the mix.

In Germany guests lay fir boughs in front of you as you leave the ceremony, to pave your way with hope, luck, and fertility.

In a few regions in Italy, the couple shatters a vase or glass into many pieces. The number of pieces represented the expected number of years they'll be happily married to one another.

The Greek bride tucks a sugar cube in her glove to "sweeten the union."

According to Hindu beliefs rain on your wedding day is good luck.

Some western cultures believe rain is unlucky.

In Holland it is traditional to plant a tree outside the newlyweds home as a symbol of fertility. Finnish brides traditionally carried a pillowcase door to door, collecting gifts. An older married man went with her, symbolizing a long marriage.

Korean brides wear red and yellow outfits for their weddings.

Danish brides and grooms used to confound the evil spirits by cross-dressing.

Egyptian parents traditionally do all the cooking for a week, so that the couple can relax.

In many cultures including Hindu, Egyptian and Celtic, the hand of a bride and groom are tied together as a symbol of their new bond and commitment to the marriage. This is the origin of the expression "Tying then knot".

In Roman mythology the god Juno rules over childbirth, marriage and the hearth. This is believed to be the reason for the popularity of June weddings.

African-American weddings often hold to the tradition of "jumping the broom". Slaves in the United States were not allowed to marry, so they would exhibit their love by jumping over a broom to the beat of drums. It now is symbol of the couple's intention to set up a home together.

Japanese couples become man and wife when they take the first of nine sips of sake.

In Irish tradition once the bride and groom were in the church, the guests would lock the doors to make sure the groom couldn't back out. It was also important that a male not a female be the first to wish joy to the newly married bride.

If you will have children at your reception you might want to borrow the Puerto Rican idea of pinatas, even the adults might enjoy that one.

There is an old English rhyme that brides have been obeying for years. "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." The actual rhyme also included this line "and a sixpence in your shoe" Relatives usually offer the something old, like great grandmother's antique cameo, or your mom's gown. These items provide continuity from generation to generation. The "new" symbolizes home for the future and can include your gown or veil , a strand of pearls, bouquet of silk flowers, or a new coin to tuck in your shoe. The choices here are endless. Borrowed happiness is symbolized by the something borrowed. It should be something that brought happiness to the owner. Some possibilities are your mother in law's ruby brooch, your dad's silk handkerchief, or your parent's wedding song. The blue something symbolizes fidelity, love and good fortune. Often, there is a blue ribbon on the garter. Other ideas are blue flowers, delphiniums, or irises in your bouquet, sapphire earrings and necklace, or even your lingerie.

More wedding planning tips.