In my last post I went over various wedding attire traditions and where they came from. In this post I am going to share with you some history on “What you do and with whom” at a wedding and why.
What you do...
Tossing the Garter
Beginning in England and France, guests would try to nab a piece of the wedding gown for good luck. This would leave any bride nervous that her dress would get ripped up. To pacify guests, the groom would throw a piece to the crowd as a distraction as the newlyweds made a quick escape from the reception.
Rice, considered a life-giving seed, thrown at the newlyweds, would bestow fertility and prosperity upon the couple. As safety issues, many venues nowadays do not allow for the tradition. We should also note, that it’s been proven that throwing rice is not harmful to birds. However, it will make for a slippery surface, hence the safety issue.
An old Irish tradition, the ringing of bells before and after a wedding was for good luck and for warding off evil spirits.
Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold
Originating in Medieval times, this was yet another tradition meant to ward off evil spirits. Europeans believed the bride was vulnerable to evil through her feet. Therefore, the groom carried his new wife into their home to prevent spirits that may have lingered at the threshold from entering the house.
Since medieval times marriage celebrations have included wedding cake. Once part of fertility rites, the cakes, made of wheat were a symbol of prosperity. The cakes were thrown at the bride to promote fertility. Since then, wedding cakes have evolved and can be quite extravagant. The tradition of the bride and groom cutting the cake together symbolized their first joint task in married life. The top of the cake was saved to be eaten on the couple’s first child’s christening and meant for good luck.
Who is There...
One of many wedding traditions based on superstition. Bridesmaids would dress similarly to the bride to confuse evil spirits.
Back in the day, weddings were more of a business union, than that of wedded bliss. Therefore, there may have been those who opposed the marriage. The best man served as the groom’s swordsman at the ceremony and his role was to either retrieve a runaway bride or fend off protesters.
Today Brides and Grooms are all about creating a unique experience for their guests. When planning your own wedding think about ways to incorporate your own family traditions that may set your wedding apart from the rest.
This will not only create new and wonderful memories for you and your guests but maybe it will be a tradition that will carry on for years with the family the two of you create!