There are so many traditions handed to Brides and Grooms throughout generations. Everything and Wedding got interested to learn WHY Brides and Grooms use certain wedding symbols and traditions. Here’s what we found:
- An engagement is a promise to wed. In the 1300’s the Groom will have usually given the Bride a nose ring. However in more recent years, the Romans believed that a circle or ring signifies the endless love and commitment between the Bride and Groom. The wedding ring is usually worn on the 4th finger of the left hand because the 4th finger was believed to be the beginning of the ‘vein of Love’, the vein that leads to the heart.
- Bridesmaids are of the Bride’s party in a wedding and traditionally a Bridesmaid was selected as a young woman, often a close friend or sister to the Bride and they were chosen from unwed young women of marriageable age. The Bridesmaid takes care of the Bride on the day of her Wedding and provides solid support in the preparation of the wedding too. The chief Bridesmaid is the Maid of Honour if she is unmarried, or the Matron of Honour if she is married. Historically, the Bride and Groom are accompanied by their bridal teams because no person of status went into public unattended.
- You might have heard that it is not good luck to see your Fiance’ on your wedding day, before the ceremony. Traditionally, many marriages were arranged by families and so the bride and groom were not allowed to see each other before the arranged wedding.
- During the wedding ceremony, the Bride and Groom wash each other’s feet. This is a symbol of devotion and humbleness between husband and wife, derived from Jesus washing His disciples feet.
- The size of the Bridal party was intended to be fitting to the family’s social status.
- The veil during the early teen hundreds, one of the beliefs was that the bridal veil was to ward off unkind spirits. A Bride and Groom would likely meet for the first time on their wedding day at the altar. Some historians say that Ancient Romans were the first to bring the veil into the wedding ceremony, believing the bride may bring with her evil spirits.
- In the early 1400’s there was a belief that owning a piece of wedding dress would bring good fortune, so guests would rip off a piece of the Bride’s wedding gown. The traditional ripping of the wedding dress has been replaced by the Bride wearing the garter on her upper leg.
- “Something Olde,Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe” is the traditional phrase for the four good-luck objects, which the Bride should carry with her or somewhere in her outfit. Something old characterises continuity, something new offers future optimism and something borrowed symbolizes happiness. The blue signifies purity, love and fidelity. The sixpence in your shoe is to bring prosperity.
- Bridal Jewellery: Folklores believed that unkind spirits could enter the body through openings and so ornaments on the body were said to prevent that, hence earrings became the ornament. Bangles signify fertility and prosperity. A necklace symbolises that the love is alive between Bride and Groom.
- A white wedding is a tradition from Great Britain. It first became popular because Queen Victoria, during the Victorian era, wore a white lace dress to her wedding. White also signifies purity of the Bride.
- Tossing the bouquet is a tradition introduced from England. The lady guests would try to rip a piece of the Bride’s wedding dress and bouquet of flowers to gain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd of guests pulling at the bride, the bride would throw her bouquet and run away.
- Flower bouquets are a way for the Bride to express herself. Roses represent everlasting love, lilac is for first love, Stephanotis are for good luck, ivy says fidelity and the list goes on. A Bride’s flower bouquet speaks quietly through expressing herself.According to tradition, a knife symbolises a broken relationship and is is considered bad luck to give as a wedding gift.
- Traditionally, the wedding cake is broken over the bride’s head to pursue fertility and bring prosperity to the couple. Also, some guests thought that eating the crumbs of the wedding cake would give them good luck because the wedding cake symbolizes happiness and a blessed and good life to the newlywed couple. In Greek tradition, the Greeks would bake round cakes to honour their goddess of the moon. Some historians believe that round cakes actually started in Germany, where a candle was supposedly placed on the cake to represent “the light of life”.
- The month of June derives its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. It was thought that couples who married in the month of June would be blessed with prosperity and happiness.
- Rain on a wedding day means good luck! In some cultures, rain on your wedding day is thought to bring good luck, symbolizing fertility and cleansing.
- Confetti is a delight which originated from Italy. Confetti offers the symbolic purpose for guests to throw prosperity and fertility onto the Bride and Groom.
An interesting read. We enjoyed understanding certain wedding traditions and symbols.