Wedding Traditions and Their Origins
We all know the traditions of wedding but we don't know where they originated or even why we still practice them. It seems like it is just the thing to do for a wedding, and that is the way that it has always been done. Well it is time we fixed that. I feel that educating yourself on all thing wedding while planning your wedding is the best course of action. Learn where the traditions came from. Maybe it will give you some insight as to why we still practice them
The White Dress:
Now it is very common for a bride to wear white or even off white on her wedding day. Queen Victoria is the reason the white dress became the "norm". She wore one on her wedding day in 1840 and they rest they say is history.
This was used often in arranged marriages, to cover the bride's face, as a way of sealing the deal. This also kept the groom from backing out of the wedding as this is the first time he would be seeing his bride.
It is also said to have been used in the times of the ancient Romans as a way of hiding the bride from evil spirits that wish to harm the bride due to jealousy of her happiness.
There are also those who say the veil is a symbol of the brides virtue.
Now it is mostly used as a fashion statement or accessory.
In ancient times brides would carry bouquets of flowers, garlic, herbs , and spices to ward off evil spirits. Now they are chosen to match colors or themes.
Also rooted in superstition as most traditions are. The Bridesmaids would dress similar to the bride to confuse any evil spirits who wish to disrupt the joyous event.
The Best Man:
The best man was also a swordsmen and it was his duty to chase after the bride if she were to run away. It was also his duty to ward off any family members who may not approve of the wedding.
Something old, Something new, Something Borrowed, Something Blue:
Something old: This represents the ties the bride has to her family and her past.
Something New: This is representive of the life to come with her new husband.
Something Borrowed: This is a token of "good luck" from someone who is in a successful marriage.
Something Blue: This stands for faithfulness, loyalty, and purity.
The Ring Bearer and His pillow:
It has become customary, and tradition for a small child to be asked to be the ring bearer. This is because children are viewed as innocent, new beginnings as well as and the future. The reason the ring bearer carries a pillow is to symbolize that the dreams that you have at night are now coming true. Now the saying "man/woman of my dreams" has a whole new meaning.
The Wedding Cake:
this dates back to medieval times when cakes were made out of wheat to symbolize fertility and prosperity. They would even throw cake at the bride as a relic of fertility.
oday they are usually white, symbolizing purity.
The reason behind the joint cutting of the cake is meant to be their first joint task as husband and wife and when they feed each other the cake it is meant to show the commitment that they are making.
The Engagement ring:
Engagement rings have been around since the ancient Egyptians. it was just a simple band then, but they believed that it was to symbolize the never ending cycle and the space inside was a gateway. It wasn't until the Sicilian's that diamonds were added. They believed that diamonds were stones forged in the fires of love.
We have the ancient greece to thank for the placement on the 4th finger of our left hand. they said that that was the finger that contained the "vena amoris" or the vein of love, which was said to flow straight to the heart.
Saving the top tier of your cake:
I'm sure we have all heard to save the top tier of your cake and eat it on your anniversary. it is not as widely practiced today but couples would save the top tier of their wedding cake to eat at their future child's christening. Then it was expected the they would have a child within the first year of marriage.
The reason they used to throw rice was to symbolize rain. Rain is said to be a sign of prosperity, fertility, and good fortune. People say that you souldn't throw rice as birds will eat it and it will expand and cause them to explode. This is total myth. Now it is common to see people throw birdseed, or use sparklers or bubbles when saying good night to the bride and groom.
The Garter toss:
Rooted in England and France, guest would try and rip the brides dress in order to obtain a piece of it for luck. This often left the bride terrified throughout the ceremony in anticipation of her dress being ripped to shreds by a mob of wedding guests. In order to distract the guest the groom started tossing a piece of the bride's wedding attire so they could make a quick escape form the reception.
Wedding bells originate from Ireland and were rang to ward off any evil spirits and ensure a happy family life for the newlyweds.
The Threshold carry:
in medieval times they believed that the bride was vulnerable to evil spirits through her feet. So to keep any spirits that may be lingering by the door of the newlyweds new home the groom would carry his bride over the threshold and inside.