Symbolism and stories are intertwined in wedding traditions. What may surprise you is that these traditions did not always start in the most charming and romantic of ways. After reading the stories behind these 7 traditions, you may be thankful for how far they have come!
If you are a bride or have been around bridal, the saying “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue” is probably no secret to you. For years brides have been using this tradition to incorporate four elements into their wedding. This saying comes from an old English poem. “Something Old” symbolizes continuity-displaying that your love will stand the test of time. “Something New” displays optimism and excitement for what is to come. “Something Borrowed” stands for borrowed happiness and borrowed heirlooms that can honor a loved one. “Something Blue” stands for purity, love, and fidelity. It is interesting to see how far these traditions have come!
Lucky Six Pence
What you may not know about the old English poem is that there is more to it! “Something Blue…and a Sixpence in Her Shoe!” This can be a weird statement when you do not know the history behind the six pence in England. The first six pence was minted in England in 1551, they were used for good luck. The father was to give the bride a lucky sixpence to place in her left shoe to bless the marriage and bring luck to the future to come. The sixpence was to be passed down from generation to generation as an honored heirloom.
Brides devote a large amount of their budget to getting the perfect floral arrangements and bouquets. Bridal bouquets are a stunning way to incorporate your color palette and create aesthetically pleasing moments for your photographer to capture. However, did you know that carrying flowers is a fairly new tradition? Until modern times, many brides carried garlic and dill as they walked down the aisle. Many researchers say this was to steer away the bad diseases that were around at that time. Can you imagine if brides today carried the such strong scents? We are happy that this tradition has changed into beautiful bouquets and greenery-much more pleasing to the eye and the nose!
The bouquet toss is the perfect time to get all of the single ladies out on the floor and see which girl will say “I do” next! In ancient times, the bride was seen as extremely lucky on her wedding day. Guests would often tear at her gown and save a piece as a sign of good luck. Tossing the bouquet was to bring good luck to the guest who caught it-this tradition has not changed too much over the years, as there is always a fight for the bouquet!
Are you worried about choosing the perfect bridesmaid dress for your girls? Well, be thankful for this option, because up until modern times, it was popular for your bridesmaids to dress exactly the same as you-in white and even with a veil!! This was not to be “cute” and all match, rather, it was to confuse the evil spirits so that they did not attack the bride. When society became less afraid of evil spirits, colors began to become popular. The meaning of wedding traditions have definitely changed. Now, choosing the color palette of your bridesmaids sets the tone for the entire wedding and creates an overall eye-catching look.
During the Roman Empire, cake was made of wheat and barely-not the most delicious combination! Traditionally, the cake was broken over the head of the new bride and groom as a symbol of fertility and luck. Guests would then scramble to grab a piece for good luck! Icing was later added as a sign of luxury and the cakes we see today were born. Perhaps the bride and groom feeding each other a piece of cake and playfully smashing them in each other’s faces was a sign of this old tradition.
It is said that the Egyptians started the phrase “without beginning, without end” to describe the significance of the wedding ring. Many cultures would make the ring out of different fabrics, metals, and stones based on status and the significance in the culture. The word “diamond” derived from the Greek word adamas, which means “the unconquerable”. The diamond ring was to symbolize an unconquerable love that is endless. The groom’s wedding band did not catch on in American culture until around World War II. Many soldiers did not know if they would return home to their loved one and the band served as a reminder of their love from across the world. Today, the exchanging of rings is an extremely important part of the ceremony as you dedicate your lives to one another in front of all of your loved ones.
Even if you do not consider yourself a traditional bride, traditions are woven throughout weddings from start to finish. Trends change and traditions evolve-it is fun to incorporate traditions that have been passed down for centuries but make them personal, beautiful, and fun! What tradition would you do?