Weddings these days are typically on a Saturday evening and usually have a reception that follows, where guests dance, dine, and drink. We think of these customs we see at most weddings as traditions, but a modern American wedding doesn’t look like the ceremonies from back in the day. Here are some wedding traditions that have pretty much disappeared today.
Traditional weddings were on weekdays - Over a century ago, there was a rhyme to help brides choose a date: “Mondays for wealth and Tuesdays for health, Wednesday the best day of all, Thursdays for crosses, Fridays for losses, and Saturday for no luck at all."
Weddings were early - The 1903 “White House Etiquette Guide” claims “high noon” was the most fashionable time to get married.
Receptions were optional - Even as late as the early 1960s, a lot of couples who got married in a church didn’t have receptions. It was common for couples to get married at home with just a few loved ones there.
Receptions were simple - If couples did throw a post-wedding party, it wasn’t like they are today, with bands, buffets, and centerpieces. Receptions were mostly just cake and punch, but it was fancy and probably served in a crystal punch bowl.
Parents didn’t always pay - The bride’s parents did cover most of the expenses, but not always. Through the 1920s it was custom for Italian-American grooms to pay for the reception, secure a home, and furnish it for his bride-to-be.
They focused on the honeymoon and the home - A standard wedding ring was a gold band, brides didn’t wear big engagement rings back then. And without a rock or reception to blow the budget on, couples spent their money on their honeymoon and house.