The wedding season is underway, and beaming brides-to-be are getting ready to walk down the aisle. The celebration of a wedding – whether simple or elaborate – is a special time for a couple, their families and friends. Ring the wedding bells this month, and enjoy some activities that will evoke favorite wedding-day memories. Some suggestions are listed below.
- JUNE BRIDE: Listen to the song “June Bride” from the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Speculate on why June is such a popular month for weddings. Ask if anyone in the group married in June (or another summer month) and why they chose that time to marry. Invite a bride-to-be to share details on planning a summer wedding.
- WEDDING GAMES: Play a game of charades, Pictionary, or bingo, using words or sayings related to weddings. Serve wedding bell cookies and punch.
- WEDDING CUSTOMS: Talk about old-fashioned weddings. Read excerpts from the chapters on wedding preparations in Emily Post’s Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage, published in 1922. Ask: How have weddings changed over the decades? Have they become too elaborate? Have any new traditions replaced old ones?
- PROPOSALS: Ask group members what they remember about proposing or receiving a proposal of marriage. Was the proposal unexpected? Did the prospective groom ask for the hand of his bride-to-be? How was an engagement ring chosen? How long was the engagement?
- SAYINGS: List sayings related to weddings/marriage. (Examples: pop the question, tie the knot, get hitched with, take the big plunge, walk down the aisle, settle down, to say I do, set up housekeeping, marriage made in heaven)
- DISCUSSION: Talk about the mixed emotions surrounding a big family wedding, including pre-wedding jitters, cold feet, stress, second thoughts, excitement, joy, anticipation.
- WEDDING MUSIC: Play some traditional wedding songs – “Here Comes the Bride,” “Wedding March,” “Oh, Promise Me,” “O Perfect Love,” and “Because.” Ask the ladies: Which wedding songs did you use for your special event? What do you remember about walking down the aisle?
- WEDDING TALK: Ask the participants if they have a keepsake or picture from their wedding, honeymoon, or early marriage that they could bring to the group to share. Ask: What year were you married? When is your anniversary? Who helped plan your wedding? Where did the wedding take place? How large was the wedding? What kind of reception did you have after your wedding? Where did you go for your honeymoon?
- MOVIES: Show a classic movie: June Bride, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Father of the Bride, I Was a Male War Bride, or How to Marry a Millionaire.
- FASHION: Hold a vintage wedding dress fashion show, featuring gowns, veils, and trains from the 1940s – 1970s. (Staff members or family members could show or wear their wedding dresses.) Examine the dress fabrics – lace, silk, satin, tulle, chiffon, organza – and talk about the best fabrics for summer weddings. Ask the ladies in the group to describe their own wedding dresses and whether they were handmade or store-bought.
- DISCUSSION: Comment on the following quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Husband and wife come to look alike at last.”
- WEDDING IN THE 1940s: Reminisce about 1940s wartime weddings. Ask if anyone married while the groom was on leave from the military. Talk about how the rationing of silk and other materials impacted the design of bridal gowns/dresses. Share a World War II wedding cake recipe.
- ELOPING: Discuss reasons why some couples choose to elope. Ask if anyone in the group eloped and how they surprised family and friends. Highlight one of the most popular places to elope: Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- ADVICE: Listen to the song “Love and Marriage.” Encourage participants to share advice to the newlyweds on their marriage. (Example: Learn to listen.)
- QUILTS: Display keepsake wedding quilts with hearts, rings, and doves. Try to find out the wedding stories behind the quilts.
WEDDING TRIVIA QUIZ
- On which finger and hand do brides-to-be wear an engagement and wedding ring? Third finger of left hand
- Brides used to bring money or property to a marriage. What was this called? Dowry
- What is the traditional color for a bride? White
- What are nuptials? The marriage ceremony
- Which member of a traditional wedding party is responsible for bringing the wedding bands down the aisle? Ring bearer
- According to the old rhyme, a bride should wear or carry something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence…? In her shoe
- What do the bride and groom throw at the wedding reception? Groom throws bride’s garter; bride throws her wedding bouquet
- What is usually tossed at the newlyweds as they leave for their honeymoon? Rice or bird seed
- On which side is the bride’s family seated during a church wedding ceremony? Left side facing the altar
- Finish this proverb: Marry in haste, and repent…. At leisure
THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH
“There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.” ~ Martin Luther
“Brides” written by Sue Hansen. Copyright 2014 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.