There is no doubt that getting married is a momentous occasion steeped in tradition. But, did you ever wonder where the wedding traditions came from? There are so many aspects of a wedding that have significance. We carry on customs such as the bride wearing a white gown, or the groom tossing the garter, but why? When planning your wedding these are the most popular wedding traditions and how they started.
What You Wear
White Wedding Dress
While styles and fashion have changed through the years, wearing a white wedding dress dates back to 1840 with Queen Victoria of England. Until that point royalty traditionally wore silver or gold gowns. This is probably the most timeless of all traditions.
There are two theories regarding the wedding veil. In ancient times arrange marriages were common. Often the couple met for the first time at the alter. The veil was worn to obscure the identity of the bride, which was revealed at the end of the ceremony. Others speculate the Romans incorporated the veil to protect the bride from evil spirits seeking to disrupt the union.
Beginning with the Egyptians, the bands symbolized a never ending cycle and the space inside was believed to be a gateway. The Sicilians popularized the addition of the diamond who thought the stones to be forged by the fires of love. Placing the ring on the fourth finger of the left hand originates in Ancient Greece. They felt the ring finger contained a vein that leads straight to the heart and called it the vena amoris, A.K.A. the vein of love.
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence for your shoe,” is an old English poem. It refers to good luck charms used by the bride on her wedding day. Modern brides love to interpret this one, and as a result, it will often carry the most sentimental value.
Today wedding flowers are an accessory that complements the couple’s personal style and them. In the olden days, brides carried aromatic bouquets made of garlic and herbs to ward off evil spirits. Brides also used them as a preventative measure against the plague. Thankfully today we no longer have to smell like garlic on our wedding night!
I hope you enjoyed this little history lesson as much as I did.
Now it’s time to start creating your own family traditions with your spouse!