Wedding Traditions Around the World

Whether or not you’re into the traditions of weddings, they exist in every country and culture you can think of.  Here in the United States we have tossing the bouquet and not seeing the bride before the wedding, but what do a few other countries do to celebrate a day of love and fun?

 

China

In China, the date is not so easily set.  Most couples will consult a fortune teller to find a date for their wedding using their birthdays and traditional Chinese lucky numbers. On the morning of the wedding, the groom and groomsmen would make their way to the bride’s home where he and his friends would have to negotiate and haggle with the bridesmaids to enter the house.  This usually included using his wits and money to bribe himself in.  Once the offer was good enough the groom would join the bride’s parents for tea as a parting ritual.  Weddings in China are a way for a family to show their wealth, therefore meals are typically 10-12 courses with very expensive meal options.  Along with expensive food, the bride and groom would change from traditional Chinese wedding garb to a western style dress, and depending on the family’s wealth they may have several wardrobe changes after that.

Scotland

Weddings in Scotland are rich, colorful, and involve a lot more than just wearing a kilt.  Unlike our US bachelor parties, the groomsmen will capture the groom, cover him in feathers, soot, and flour then parades him through the village as they yell and make a scene.  This ritual is not as commonly practiced anymore but is still seen in a few rural areas of Scotland.  For the bride’s apparel, they wear a traditional white dress but keep a sixpence hidden in their shoe and a sprig of white heather in their bouquets to bring good luck to their marriage.  The groom traditionally pays for the wedding dress as the bride buys the “wedding sark” or shirt worn by the groom.  Before the ceremony it is tradition to do the wedding walk, this is where the groom accompanies the maid of honor with the bride and best man following.  After the ceremony, the newlyweds leave as a couple and the best man and maid of honor leave together.  For the wedding walk to yield good luck they must cross water twice.  At the reception, the traditional grand march is often the first dance to take place.  It begins with the couple marching to bagpipes followed by the bridal party, parents, and lastly the guests! Finally, the guests accompany the bride and groom to their house, a piece of cake is broken over the bride’s head, and the groom carries her over the threshold to protect her from bad spirits.  The minister then blesses the house, and the newlyweds, after this the ceremony is finished.

Egypt

Egyptian weddings have taken a lot of cues from Western traditions, but still, have some very interesting activities.  The night before the wedding the bride and all her friends and family will get together for a Henna party.  Henna is believed to be good luck, and in ancient times it was customary to dip your whole hands and feet in henna, now that is outdated and most time an artist is hired to work on the women.  In most weddings, there is a colorful procession to take the bride to the groom’s house.  Beautifully decorated cars take both families to the venue accompanied by a noisy parade.  The marriage is typically performed by a Maazon, and once the marriage certificate is signed the bride and groom will put their hands together and press their thumbs against one another’s to be covered with a white handkerchief and bound.  A reading from the Quran is read and the marriage is confirmed.  The handkerchief is then removed by the Maazon or a single man to be blessed for his own wedding.  Legally the couple is married but can not stay together until after the reception.  Unlike the US, Egyptian receptions can happen the next day, next week, or even a year after the ceremony has taken place! Most Egyptian receptions start around 10 pm and go on till the next morning.  At the end of the night, the couple retires to their bridal suite while the guests throw wheat into the air, which is a sign of fertility!

 

With all these difference between countries, a few things stay the same: a couple commits their lives together, everybody has a great time, and some serious dry cleaning is needed after! Let us take care of all your wedding needs no matter what traditions you put your clothes through!

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116 Year Old Heirloom Restored

Customer Heather MacLeod remembers seeing this dress for the first time when she was just a little girl. Pulling it from its box, she was immediately attached to its history and sentimental value to her family.  It’s typical for garments over 100 years old to be in less than ideal storage conditions, which can sometimes make cleaning/restoring much more difficult. This heirloom, dating back to 1899 was clearly in more favorable storage conditions making it easier to restore. The before and after pictures speak for themselves:

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What is the background story of the woman in the dress? Mary Ella McIntosh grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. On December 27, 1899 at age 27, she married British-born James Paris Scott (age 33). They settled in James’ home in Massachusetts, and later had one child – a daughter, Elaine, born in August 1914.

When was the first time you saw the dress? I remember my grandmotherMary Ella’s daughter, Elaine – showing me the dress when I was a young child; I was probably about six years old the first time I saw it. After that, she was willing to show it to me any time I asked (at least a few times a year). When she passed away in 1992, the dress was passed to me.

Why did you decide to get your great grandmothers wedding attire cleaned? The dress had been in the attic for many years, and fortunately remained in very good condition. But I realized that a dress that was 116 years old needed proper cleaning and packaging in order to prevent degradation.

Why did you bring your great grandmothers wedding attire to a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists? It was important to find someone who could be trusted to clean an antique dress without doing any damage. Treasured Garment Restoration did a fantastic job of cleaning the dress, and packing it appropriately so that it will last for many years to come.

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Duane, the Treasured Garment Specialist who worked on this dress, says “With older dresses that have oxidized so much over time, it’s sometimes a mystery what color the dress truly was, but with this dress we were able to really brighten it up and restore it. [You can see that this dress was constructed using 2 very different fabrics—1) cotton linen, which restored all the way back to its original color, and 2) silk (the trim) which will brighten a bit, but usually will not restore completely back to its original color.) ] Since this dress is over 100 years old we had to be careful to make sure we didn’t distort any of the fibers in the process. We carefully test all fabrics to make sure we’re using the right process with them. This is especially important to ensure the longevity of the dress for years to come.”

It’s truly an honor for our team at Treasured Garment Restoration to restore garments such as this dress.
We find joy in taking items that mean so much to our customers and restoring them to their original beauty. Our goal is to preserve garments so they last for years to come and can be passed down for generations.

If you have a wedding dress or other vintage garment you’d like us to take a look at– contact us!

 

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Kathryn’s Wedding Gown Preservation

Kathryn didn’t want her dress ruined over something as silly as not getting it preserved. In hopes of her daughter someday wearing it, she brought it to the experts at Treasured Garment Restoration. Read more about Kathryn’s wedding dress journey below!

When was your wedding and where did it take place?
My wedding took place in Woodstock,IL, the ceremony was at St. Mary’s Church and the Reception was at Bull Valley Country Club on June 20th 2015
When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one”
I went in knowing exactly what I wanted, Something that would be timeless, and still be popular in 20 years. The main style I wanted was A-line and because I had a religious ceremony it had to have some form of straps. I only had to try on 6 dresses before finding the one, it honestly made me look 6 sizes smaller then I was, it was definitely that timeless look I was going for (plus I knew it would totally make my fiance at the time cry when he saw me! Ha!)

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What is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?
Honestly, the fact that all my friends and family from all over the country were in the same place at the same time. You just never think that’s possible till it actually happens, and the fact that I’ve never seen Nick (my husband) so happy in his life, I always knew he’d be the guy I’d marry so it was awesome to finally get it done!
Why did you decide to get your wedding attire cleaned?
I literally love my dress, and I would hate for any hidden stains to ruin it in several years. Plus if I have a daughter I would want her to wear it or use some part of it in her dress. It’s one of the few parts of your wedding you can hold on to for a lifetime, and I wouldn’t want to ruin it just over not cleaning it.
Why did you bring your wedding attire to a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists?
It was recommended by my bridal salon in Madison that I need to get it professional cleaned after the wedding, Treasured Garments had the best reviews in the area so I knew it would be in safe hands there. I was definitely not willing to take a chance of my dress getting ruined, and I didn’t see that happening with the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

Kat_Nick_0681-625Photography Credit : http://wemakebridescry.com/

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Nichole’s Wedding Gown Preservation

A wedding dress is one of the most important purchases a bride will ever make. To kick off our Real Brides Blogs, we have an extra special interview with Nichole who had her dress redesigned prior to her wedding & preserved after by our specialists atTreasured Garment Restoration. Read more about Nichole’s wedding dress journey below.
Thanks Nichole!
Real bridePictured above is Nichole’s redesigned dress (left/middle) and her Mother in the original (right)

When was your wedding and where did it take place?
The wedding was at the Barns of Lost Creek in Beldenville, WI on June 27, 2015
When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one”?
The dress was my mom’s. My grandma (dad’s mom) made the dress for my mom 38 years ago. My grandma died when I was 14. So, I thought that it would be special to wear a dress that my mom wore and my grandma made.
Real brideWhat is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?
My favorite memory was having my friends and family to celebrate the wonderful day with us.

Why did you decide to get your wedding attire cleaned by Treasured Garment Restoration?
The lace on the dress had yellowed and need to be cleaned to appear white again. 
I wanted to have the dress restored and altered/updated a bit from the 1970’s look. Therefore, we had it restored and changed to be more in style.

bridePhotographer Credit: Studio 220

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Third Generation Dress

Here at Treasured Garment Restoration we’re lucky enough to hear
many great stories behind some of the garments we have coming in.
Recently, we received a third generation dress to redesign and
restore for a Twin Cities Bride.

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We had the chance to get the full story from the brides mother (pictured above on the right) who worked with Darcy Zeppernick, our Treasured Garment Restoration Wedding Alteration & Design Certified Wedding Specialist.

“Each generation has modified how the headpiece and veil were worn. In 1962, my mother said she never liked how far forward she wore the headpiece and the line of jewels that dangled on her forehead. In 1987 the veil was completely replaced (it didn’t age well). I had to purchase a hoop slip since it was not saved from ’62. This year (2014), my daughter removed the poof and reversed the direction of the veil so she could wear it backwards. She wore the same hoop slip that I wore in 1987. We both noticed how much larger the hoop must have been in 1962.

What I like is that even though it is a vintage (timeless in my opinion) dress, each bride was able to make it uniquely hers by modifying how the veil was worn. Although my mother’s parents bought the dress for her and they were able to see me wear it, they passed before they could see their great granddaughter wear the dress. I know they would have been very pleased!

We learned from Darcy that people used to dance differently compared to now-a-days. People didn’t use to dance with their hands and arms over their heads like they do today so our daughter had to keep that in mind when she wanted to “raise the roof!”

I have one more daughter that may want to wear the dress so it will be preserved for her and any future generations.”-Jeanne Giles

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We love to hear the history of the pieces we’re cleaning. If you have a piece you’ve been meaning to get restored, let us know! We can help make your item look its best and be preserved for years to come.

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Diamond Awards

Congratulations to our Treasured Garment Restoration team for winning the
Mpls St Paul Magazines Diamond Award for Outstanding Bridal Preservation
This is a huge honor for us and we would like to thank everyone that voted for us!

“The expertise with which this eco-friendly company cleans your gown was not lost on our panel of judges. Their museum-quality preservation process and impressive customer services were an added bonus. Said one judge: “Brides can rest easy knowing that their precious gown is in good hands.”

See other winners of the Diamond Awards here and visit our Treasured Garment Restoration Gallery page to click through a gallery of other preservations we’ve done in the past.

Diamond Award Judges Choice Diamond Award People Choice

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Mpls. / St Paul Magazine’s Diamond Awards

Voting for Mpls.St. Paul Magazine’s Diamond Awards – People’s Choice has begun, and we need your help to ensure that St. Croix Cleaners’ Treasured Garment Restoration is recognized!

Treasured Garment Restoration is St. Croix Cleaners’ premier specialty cleaning division, specializing in the cleaning and restoration of delicate, vintage and specialty garments, including wedding gown preservation and alterations. Treasured Garment Restoration has been recognized by the Pioneer Press, Mpls.St. Paul Magazine, Fox 9 and WCCO.

To cast your vote for Treasured Garment Restoration, follow these quick instructions:

  1. Go to http://mspmag.com/Weddings/Diamond-Awards/
  2. Click on “People’s Choice Vote Now”
  3. Click on “Outstanding Bridal Alterations” and “Outstanding Bridal Preservation” (two separate awards – voting is open for each)
  4. Click “Vote” next to Treasured Garment Restoration

Thank you for supporting St. Croix Cleaners and Treasured Garment Restoration. We hope to see you soon!

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Steps to Re-designing a Vintage Gown

This is such a popular topic these days, that we’re re-blogging this post from earlier this year.  Here’s our “8 Steps to Re-designing a Vintage Gown.”

 

So you’ve received the heirloom wedding dress from your mother and have thought about wearing it.  But wait.. it doesn’t fit!  Or perhaps the style is just a bit out-of-date for your liking? Don’t completely turn down the dress yet – you might still be able to wear it, and make it your own!

Many brides these days are turning to vintage wedding dresses from their mother or grandmother.  It’s become a big trend over the last few years, and only continues to increase!  Think about it – wearing a special gown that embodies the strength, wisdom and compassion of the women in your family down the aisle on one of the biggest days of your life.  But where do you even start if this is something you just *might* be thinking about?

We’ve put together 8 Simple Steps to Redesigning Your Mother’s Vintage Dress to give you a better idea of what the process looks like!  The entire process can vary in the time it will take to fully complete your dress, and really depends on the amount of changes you are wanting to make, but it’s a good idea to start around 9-12 months out.

1. Is There a Possibility?

The first step is to bring the vintage gown to us so that we can determine whether there is even a possibility for you to redesign and wear it!  We’ll examine the fabric, beading, lace, examine any stains, and how it has been handled and preserved through the years (ie, was it placed in a box, or in a pile on the floor of a closet?). Depending on the gown’s age, we may need to work with our vintage restoration department to clean and restore it before working with it.  Sometimes the entire gown can be worn, other times, only parts of the gown or certain fabrics are able to be used for your gown.

2. Let Our Designer Get to Know YOU!

Darcy, our Wedding Gown Designer, would love to learn more about you, your likes, dislikes, things you are drawn to, so that she can get a better idea of what you might like.  This step usually includes sending Darcy pictures of other dresses you like – whether it’s parts of a dress (ie. the neckline, or a certain type of beading).  It can also help to share a Pinterest board with Darcy and some of your overall ideas for the wedding, pictures of architecture or places, or any beautiful images that you really feel drawn to!  Darcy is then able to draw a few sketches and come up with some ideas for transforming the gown into something you would love.

3. Meeting #1 – Talk Design and Take Measurements

Next, you’ll set up a second meeting with Darcy to see what she has come up with.  She’ll usually have a few ideas and options for how she thinks you would love the gown to look.  You can then edit the designs from there and talk more about your preferences.  During this meeting, Darcy will take your measurements as well.

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4. Show Actual Changes on the Vintage Dress

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Once the final design is agreed upon, Darcy will use your measurements to mark up the vintage dress to show where changes will be made.  This could include safety pins, bits of fabric, or ribbon to show the changes.  At this time, the dress will be altered a little to fit your earlier measurements – this could mean the dress might get cut in certain areas, but not always.

 

 

 

 

5. Meeting #2 – First Fitting

You’ll set up another meeting with Darcy to come in and see the dress as it is marked up.  You will try on the dress to make sure the measurements are accurate and that everything is lined up in the correct locations.  This is the moment when you can begin to really visualize and see the dress becoming YOUR dress!

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6. Sewing

This is where Darcy begins to sew your gown – to place lace or fabric in different places, and to fit the dress perfectly for you.  Throughout this period, she may be in contact with you for minor tweaks or other measurements.  This is your dress, and you want it to be fabulous!

7. Final Fitting

At your final meeting with Darcy, you get to see the final result!  You are able to try on your dress, make sure it fits, and to show it off to all your best girlfriends!  If there are any minor tweaks to be made, we make sure to leave a little time to complete them.

8. It’s Wedding Time!

Once your gown is complete, we press it to perfection, and give it to you for your big day!  You are going to look beautiful!

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Bridesmaids Dress Themes

If you need help getting started on ideas for your bridesmaids dresses, start here! Bridesmaids are meant to compliment you on your big day. Having a fun theme among the girls can make the wedding day more fun, meaningful and of course, memorable. See if any of these ideas are themes you could use!

1.Different colored dresses in the same style
Different-Pastel-Shades
Having different colored dresses can be a unique way to satisfy all bridesmaids.
If you choose to do this you should pick a palette that makes sense together and compliments the theme of your wedding as well

2. Same colored dresses in different styles
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OR you could do the complete opposite and let everyone choose a style that better suites their body, but in a color approved by you.

3. Statement items
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Even if you do all decide on different dresses, you can pull all the looks together by having one common statement piece.
This could also serve as your gift to your bridesmaids. whether its a headpiece, necklace or even some kind of fancy footwear.

4. Have a common item among the bridesmaids AND groomsmen
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We’ve all seen the wedding party theme where they all have the same sunglasses or socks
Maybe you wont do this idea, but you can find your own way of bringing the entire party together.

5. Have an overall theme, let them choose the dress
20s
For example you could choose the roaring 20’s or maybe another decade.
This way everyone can find a way to represent themselves in a unique yet similar way.

 

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Buying a Used Wedding Dress

Weddings can be very expensive. A great way to cut some of the cost is to consider buying a used wedding dress.
Considering the dress is only worn once, you can often find great
deals on beautiful, gently used gowns.
Their are numerous sites and shops you can visit that buy and sell dresses.

However because they are used, be sure to be extra cautious
when ordering a used gown.
We have found some of these tips to be helpful with
brides shopping for a pre owned dress.

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Be sure to get thorough pictures or check the gown out yourself before committing. Stains or stags can often go unnoticed at the right angle. Make sure the images you’re looking at are of the owners album and not the model pictures you can find online. So when chatting with a seller, be sure you know what your buying.

Make sure you’re buying at the right price. A little internet research can go a long way. If you’re nervous about buying online, at least make sure you’re paying a fair price. Especially considering this dress has been worn before.

The dress you buy doesn’t need to be in your exact size. We’ve mentioned in previous blogs what when buying you’re dress its better to go to big than too small. We can always take a dress in but adding fabric is much more difficult. We have a exceptional team that can work with you and your dress to make sure it fits you perfectly.

Be aware of the sellers return policy. Ask the seller exactly what the return policy is. That way if you get it and its in way worse condition than they led on, you can send it back.

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