Traditions are funny little things are they? Crafted from centuries of repetitive behavior, we all exercise traditions every day without even realising. Saying "Bless You" after someone is an example of a tradition that has been worked so much into our daily lives, that we do it without thinking. The same thing goes for wedding traditions - a lot of them are obvious - like the "Something Old, Something New" saying or the bouquet toss. But there are others, like the bride always standing to the left of the groom, that we don't even realise come from events that happened in the past.
So instead of just blindly following these traditions without even knowing where they come from, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the obvious and not-so-obvious traditions and explain a little about where they came from and why they exist!
We all know how it goes -
"Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue...
and a sixpence in her shoe".
Ok maybe not the end bit. Here's a breakdown of what this little rhyme actually means:
Something Old - Represents a link with the bride's family. Think antique jewellery or a portable family heirloom that has been passed down through generations.
Something New - Represents the good fortune to come to the bride as she starts her new life with her husband. Generally the wedding gown represents this part of the rhyme.
Something Borrowed - This reminds the bride that her family and friends will always be around if she needs them. It must be returned for good luck.
Something Blue - This colour symbolically represents loyalty and faithfulness. Add a touch of blue to your outfit with a ribbon in your hair, on your garter or even paint your nails in a shade you like!
A Sixpence in her Shoe - This is a wish of wealth for the bride. If you want to be uber traditional, tape it to the bottom of your shoe, near the heel.We think simply slipping in your shoe will do (if you are wearing closed heels)
In the past, brides were not treated very well at their own weddings. People believed that the bride carried a lot of luck on her wedding day, and so they would rip pieces of her dress off her to keep as a lucky charm. *Shame* To avoid this unhappy ending to her wedding day, the bride would toss her bouquet to the crowds and run away. The tradition has developed to include an item of the bride's clothing - the garter - which the groom removes and tosses to the men at the wedding. Whoever catches the the bouquet and garter are considered lucky and will be married within a year. (Has that actually come true for anyone in the history of bridal bouquet tosses?!)
This is my favourite tradition simply because I love collecting images of bridal bouquets - done correctly and with taste, they can be absolutely stunning. See our pinboard for our crazy collection! Interestingly, the tradition of bridal flowers actually began with brides carrying a bouquet of strong scented herbs to ward off evil spirits. During Roman times, the bride and groom would wear flower garlands - which represented fertility and new life. Flowers became the popular practice for brides to carry in the Victorian times when they held certain symbolic meaning. Courting couples would send messages to each other through flowers. How sweet!
Living back in the day was tough and there seemed to be a lot of suspicion around warding off evil spirits. That's where the bridesmaids step in. These lovely ladies were there to act as decoys and fool the evil spirits by walking with the bride and being dressed similarly to her. Nowadays they are there to support the bride leading up to and on the day of her wedding.
If you thought getting bits off your dress pulled off of you was tough for brides to handle, then you'll quiver at the sound of this tradition. In the past, marriages weren't always done with the family's blessing. Often, if there were not enough women in a man's village or town, he would ride into the next town to capture his bride. In order to successfully do this, he would need a strong and good fighter by his side to help him - essentially, his best man. Thus, the best man would be at his side to not only help him capture his bride, but to also fight off other men on the groom's wedding day. This is also the root of why the woman always stands to the left of her groom. The groom would have to hold his captured bride with his left arm, while using his right sword arm to fight off potential suitors or the bride's family. How charming! ;)
The bride and groom's wedding bands are traditionally worn on the left hand, third finger. This tradition stems back from Ancient Egypt as the Egyptians believed the ring finger led directly up the path of the body to the heart. Men have the Italians to blame for starting the tradition of diamond engagement rings. They believed that diamonds were formed and created from the flames of love and were a symbol of unbreakable love.
The tiered wedding cake stems from the tradition of guests bringing small cakes to the wedding and stacking them on top of each other. This led eventually to three cakes being stacked on top of one another and then frosted all over.
We've armed you with a bunch of interesting facts about weddings - now go tell everybody why the bride never stands on her man's left hand side! :)
Sources and Picture Credits:
Article sourced from here
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Labels: Ruby and the Swallow Design Collective, Things to Know, Wedding, weddings, weddingtips