I love things like this, the history behind what we take for granted at weddings. I've had a look around the 'net and found the background to some of our most well known traditions. If you've any to add, including any traditions that have been handed down through your family, I'd love to hear them! Bxx
"Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue... & a silver sixpence in her shoe"
Did you know the full version of this saying? I thought it was 2 different elements, so I've already learnt something new! The phrase dates back to Victorian times, & each part has it's own meaning.
"Something old" - Represents the link with the bride's family and the past.
"Something new" - Represents good fortune and success in the bride's new life.
"Something borrowed" - Represents good fortune and success in the bride's new life.
"Something blue" - Symbolises faithfulness and loyalty and dates back to biblical times when blue represented purity.
"& a silver sixpence in her shoe" - This is to wish the bride wealth, both financial and happiness.
The bride's wedding veil - The wedding veil hides the bride's beauty and wards off evil spirits.
Where to stand during the ceremony - The bride stands on the left of the groom during the wedding ceremony to allow his sword arm to be free ready to fight off other men who may want her as their bride. Thank goodness sword fights at weddings are now few & far between!
Confetti - it used to be rice or grain that was thrown, rather than petals or paper confetti. The rice was thrown at the couple to encourage fertility.
Bride's bouquet - I found SO many traditions & facts about the bouquet!
Throwing the bouquet - whoever catches the bouquet will be the next to marry.
Why does the bride carry flowers? - This tradition has its roots in ancient times. In Ancient Rome, brides carried or wore flower garlands, believing that flowers signify new beginnings, fidelity and hope of fertility.
In the Middle Ages, strong-smelling herbs and spices were thought to ward off and drive away evil spirits, bad luck, ill health and help mask the smell of body odour (of course in these times, people were only able to bathe a couple of times a year, so the more fragrant the flowers the better!). Often composed of herbs, not flowers, dill was especially popular since, being the herb of lust, its consumption by the couple during the reception was thought to increase sexual desire. Oo-er!!!
Seeing the bride - It's good luck for the groom not to see the dress before the wedding day. It will bring more luck if he doesn't see the bride walking down the aisle... so keep those eyes forward guys!
Wedding cake - The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride's head for fertility's sake. It's also traditional to save the top tier of your cake for first child's christening
Carrying the bride over the threshold - The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below.
Wedding dresses - Queen Victoria started the Western world's white wedding dress trend in 1840—before then, brides simply wore their best dress.
Rain on your wedding day - this is actually considered lucky! For so many reasons...
Rain on your wedding day is good luck because it signifies that you will have children.
This belief came about since rain ultimately waters the ground and lends to fertility, thus allowing growth of plants and vegetation. This was always a big deal in communities based around agriculture.
It also signifies the cleansing of sadness or tough times from your past.
Rain on your wedding day is good luck because it signifies that your marriage will last. As you know, a knot that becomes wet is extremely hard to untie – therefore, when you “tie the knot” on a rainy day, your marriage is supposedly just as hard to unravel! We can thank Hindu traditions for this belief.
A chimney sweep - remember that scene in Mary Poppins? Good Luck is sure to rub off when the groom shakes hands with a Lucky Chimney Sweep who will have a "Lucky Kiss" for the new bride. With the power vested in him by King George II, following a tradition that started about 200 years ago when a London chimney sweeper saved the life of King George II. The sweep had been the only person brave enough to stop the King's out of control horses and carriage.
I'm a qualified wedding planner dedicated to designing & creating weddings for alternative couples. Because everyone deserves a wedding as unique as they are