Wedding Traditions published April 2, 2010
There are many different customs and traditions that are associated with weddings but the one thing that remains the same from one part of the world to the other is the underlying meaning of them, which is to bring good fortune to the newlyweds.
At a time when there is a major change happening in the couple’s life, friends and family want to ensure happiness and prosperity blossom for the bride and groom. Many wedding traditions originate from superstitions and pagan rituals that evolved centuries ago, and in using these age-old traditions, many believe good luck and happiness will follow.
It is not imperative to include every single wedding tradition in your wedding ceremony, but important to choose those that are right for you and best accommodate your beliefs.
One of the most popular wedding traditions is for the bride to wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”. This originated in Victorian times, and the old, new, borrowed and blue is considered to be representative of the bride’s past and future, wishing her good fortune. “Old” is said to be the link with bride’s family and past, and has traditionally been an item passed on from a happily married woman the bride knows, to pass on her good fortune. “New” symbolises the newly-weds future life together, and is usually represented by the bride’s wedding dress. “Borrowed” is an item much valued by the family, which must be returned after use to ensure good luck, and “Blue” signifies fidelity and loyalty, and is quite commonly catered for by wearing a blue garter.
Many believe it is unlucky for the groom to see his bride-to-be’s wedding outfit before she arrives at the ceremony. White is the most popular colour for a bride to wear, symbolizing purity, truth and virginity. However, red wedding gowns have been quite commonly worn by brides in Europe for the past ten years, and are beginning to become a more popular trend in the United States. Red is said to signify vitality and passion, (you are fairly unlikely to find a bride who admits she doesn’t qualify for the white dress any longer!).
The bridal veil has been around for centuries as a bridal accessory, with its popularity being linked to the romantic impression it gives. It originated from Roman times, where they believed it would outwit evil spirits by disguising the bride.
Having chosen the colours of the flowers for your special day, it is common for the groom to wear a flower from his bride’s bouquet. Wearing his lady’s colours is what a knight would do in medieval times as a statement of his love.
When planning your bridal ceremonies, it is traditional for the maid of honour to throw a bridal shower, which should be fun filled and entertaining, with the bride receiving gifts and blessings. The gifts are not to be too serious and should be of a funny nature, possibly to be used on honeymoon! There is also another tradition often used at these parties, which is for a pink cake to be served to all guests, and within this cake a thimble is hidden. The guest that finds the thimble hidden in her cake is said to be the next to marry!
Wedding vows are taken to show a couple’s commitment to each other, and although many couples use the standard vows, it is becoming more common for couples to write their own wedding vow. This way the vows taken are unique to the couple, using their own words to express their feelings. At the sunset beach wedding ceremony of Matt Le Blanc and Melissa McKnight, vows they wrote themselves were exchanged.
Within Wedding Ceremony, the kiss represents the joining of souls, and rings are exchanged to symbolize marriage and a commitment to fidelity. It is considered lucky if the bride or a child sheds tears during the service, and a groom can increase his good luck by giving a coin to the first person he sees on the way to church.
On leaving the place of ceremony, it is customary for guests to throw confetti over the newlyweds. This stems from an ancient tradition of throwing rice, with rice being seen as a “life-giving” seed linked to fertility. Nowadays, many churches no longer allow the throwing of rice, and alternatives have arisen such as confetti, rose petals or even blowing bubbles. It is the guests’ way of saying congratulations and good luck.
The tradition of throwing the wedding bouquet originated in America. The female guest who catches the bridal bouquet is said to be the next one to marry. At the end of Wedding Reception it is therefore common for all unmarried female guests to gather today, and see who will be the lucky one! However the latest trend is for the bouquet to be given to someone special (a special friend or relative perhaps?).
At Wedding Reception, there are still many traditions which can be followed, especially with the wedding cake. The Romans believed the newlyweds should share the first piece of wedding cake to create a special bond between the couple. The cutting of the cake is now a popular part of modern day wedding culture, with the first cut symbolising the sharing of the future. Also some newlyweds have been known to save the top tier of their wedding cake for their first child’s christening, to pass on their good fortune.
The great variety of wedding traditions associated with bringing good fortune to the married couple means that you should have plenty of options to pick from, to ensure a good start to your life together! Traditions help to portray the romanticism of wedding ceremonies. Knowing what they represent, will help you to decide which ones to include in your own wedding celebrations.
by WebIdeas Co