Who says college doesn’t last forever? If you were part of a Greek organization, you may be familiar with the phrase, “it’s not four years, it’s for life,” and that can definitely ring true for some sorority and fraternity alums. If you’ve recently become engaged and are searching for ways in which to honor your chapter in small ways during the ceremony and reception, fear not: you have a few options!
Many Greek organizations have their own wedding and marriage traditions, so we recommend looking into those first. However, these rituals are often private and require a lot of secrecy, which is to say that they will not play a more central role in your special day. These options are much more general – but, of course, make sure you know the bylaws of your specific chapter before going forward with any of them.
It’s important to note that, while these customs and traditions might be very important to you, chances are, the majority of your wedding guests are not initiated members of your sorority and fraternity. With this in mind, be sure not to go overboard with allusions to your organization, as it could start to feel more like a weekly collegiate meeting rather than your nuptials. Keep it light, but meaningful – the perfect way to honor your chapter. See some ideas below:
- Pin your badge or lavaliere to your bouquet or boutonniere. Just be sure you remember to remove it after your vows, or it may be lost. Additionally, if your chapter has a certain gem, incorporate that into your wedding-day ensemble – pearl earrings, diamond bracelet, etc.
- Include the chapter’s flower in your floral arrangements. Some sororities and fraternities have a nationally recognized flower – or at least a symbol, which you can include as an emblem on ceremony programs and menus – that you can ask your florist to highlight in the centerpieces and other floral fixtures in your décor.
- Ask a few invited brothers or sisters do ceremony readings. The passages can be from religious texts, poems, books, or even from the literature of your chapter – that can be said in the presence of non-initiates, of course! It’s a sweet way to honor those not included in your bridal party.
- Sing a – quick! – chapter song. As mentioned above, don’t go for a long hymn or something that you chant: this could startle, and perhaps annoy, other guests. Select a short song or the first verse of a tune to sing during the reception.
- Set aside photo-session time for Big/Little snapshots. Chances are, you and your Greek “family” have developed signature poses over the years, so take a short amount of time to honor those precious traditions and have your photographer snap a few pictures of these poses and hand signs.
Additionally, if your entire bridal party is made up of your sorority sisters or fraternity brothers, you can spend as much time as you want on fun chapter traditions during pre-wedding events, such as bachelor and bachelorette parties!
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Opening photo by Laurie Bailey Photography