Traditions Expectations New England Wedding Gifts

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You’ve received your invitation to a New England wedding and feel stoked! But before you start packing your bags and practicing your dance moves, you should know what to expect at a New England wedding.

A New England wedding, in any season, promises a charming and memorable experience for the couple and their guests. In the spring and summer, the lush greenery and colorful blooms create a romantic backdrop for the ceremony and reception. Fall weddings feature breathtaking autumn foliage, adding a warm and cozy feel to the event. The winter season brings a snowy wonderland, perfect for a magical and devoted celebration. Expect hearty and delicious cuisine, warm and welcoming hospitality, and the sense of traditional charm that encompasses the New England spirit. From historic venues to breathtaking natural landscapes, New England weddings offer a unique and unforgettable experience for all.


First things first, what should you wear? Well, it depends on the season. In the spring, summer, and early fall, you can expect a lot of outdoor weddings, so bring your sunglasses and a light jacket just in matter. For men, a nice suit or sport coat will do the trick, while women can go for a pretty sundress or a chic jumpsuit. Fall and winter weddings are often more formal, so you’ll want to step up your game with a tuxedo or a fancy gown. Layers are your friend during these colder months, so accessorize with a scarf or a shawl.


Now, let’s talk about gifts. Suppose you’re a guest at a New England wedding, in that matter, giving a gift that reflects the couple’s interests and personality is customary. Many couples in New England appreciate unique, artisanal items, or locally-made goods, such as handcrafted pottery, artisanal chocolate, or homemade preserves. A good rule of thumb is to avoid generic wedding gifts and opt for something that shows you gave the gift thought.

If you need gift ideas for your New England newlyweds, choose a local piece from the city where the couple are getting married. You already know they love the local vibe so a small piece of New England art or jewelry, or a local candle, will always make them remember both you and their wedding.


New England weddings are known for their charm and sophistication, with many taking place in historic venues, seaside resorts, and rustic taverns. You can expect New England fare on the menu, from salmon or cod to locally-brewed beer. The music is likely to mix classic rock, jazz, and more recent hits, with plenty of opportunities to get up and dance.

The most important thing to remember about attending a New England wedding is to relax, have fun, and enjoy the company of the happy couple and their friends and family. Whether you’re basking in the summer sun or snuggled up by the fire on a winter night, a New England wedding is a celebration of love, tradition, and all the good things life has to offer.


Ah, New England weddings can be as classic as a lobster roll and a dunk in the Atlantic, or set a new scene and establish fresh traditions. From rustic soirees to regal affairs in historical venues, there’s a whole world of traditions specific to the region. Here are a few of our favorites – some common, some not so much.

First up, the “clambake” rehearsal dinner. This is a classic New England tradition, especially popular in coastal areas. A clambake involves steaming up a prices of seafood – clams, mussels, lobster, and corn on the cob, usually served with plenty of butter and a cold beer. It’s a great way to bring people together and create a laid-back atmosphere ahead of their big day.

Next on our list is the “penny in the shoe.” This is a lesser-known New England wedding tradition, but it’s sweet. The bride places a penny in her shoe (usually on the left) for good luck. The idea is that the penny will bring financial security and prosperity to the newlyweds as they start their life together.

Another local tradition is the “handfasting” ceremony. This ancient Celtic practice involves literally tying the knot between the couple’s hands as a symbol of their commitment. It’s a beautiful, symbolic way to honor the region’s roots, especially if one or both members of the couple have Irish, Scottish, or Welsh ancestry.

For a sweet and sentimental touch, many New England brides wear “something sapphire.” This tradition comes from an old English rhyme that says a bride should wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, something sapphire” for good luck. In New England, the “something sapphire” often takes the form of a sapphire ribbon or charm on the bride’s bouquet or garter. Modern brides often opt for a sapphire or sapphire manicure accents.

Now let’s talk about something you wouldn’t expect, the “second line” parade. This New Orleans tradition has made its way up to the Northeast in recent years, especially in the Boston area. During the reception, the bride and groom lead a procession of guests with umbrellas or handkerchiefs, waving and dancing as they go. It’s a great way to start the party and bring some Mardi Gras-style fun to the New England nuptials.

Whether the East Coast wedding theme is classic or quirky, rustic or regal, there’s sure to be a beautiful wedding tradition that fits the bill and feels right. Want to get even more local? We’ve found more traditions that have become popular in specific East Coast States.

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