Wedding traditions and customs
8th July 2012
Heidi from Montville Lake Terrace - Wedding Accommodation and Shut The Front Door - Hand Made Wedding Fascinators & Bridal Accessories has been involved in the wedding industry for many years and a topic much overlooked is understanding where wedding traditions and customs actually come from.
Below is a bit of an insight into some of them and hopefully an interesting read :)
Why do we exchange wedding rings??
Being a continuous circle, without an ending, the ring represents a token of everlasting love, and a commitment. Historically, it was once believed that there was a vein running from the third finger of the left hand up to the heart. Thus the wedding band is usually placed on this finger. Egyptian men once regarded the gift of a gold ring as a symbol of proof that they trusted their new wives with their wealth.
What does the saying “Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue” mean anyway??
Something old - Usually taken from a parent or grandparent. To show the continuity of your old life into the new one and the continuity of the family.
Something new - The start of your new life as married person and success and good fortune.
Something borrowed - Chosen from a happily married woman - often a family member - whom you admire and this should bring good luck.
Something blue - Supposed to symbolise love and fidelity.
Why do brides wear white??
Anne of Brittany made the white wedding dress popular in 1499. Before that, a woman just wore her best dress. It should be noted that a white wedding dress is in no way indicative of "purity" white is not accorded as a symbol of chastity, but of joy.
Why do brides wear a veil?
The bridal veil was originally invented by pagans to ward off evil spirits who might try to take away the purity of the bride. The veils worn by brides at this time were brightly colored in red or yellow. Pagans believed that red and yellow were colors that could protect the bride.
Why do we have a bridal shower?
The Bridal Shower originated with the intent to strengthen friendships between the bride and her friends. In this gathering, the bride’s friends would give her moral support and help her prepare for her marriage. The idea to give gifts is fairly new; originating circa the 1890’s. At one shower, the bride’s friend placed small gifts inside a parasol and opened it over the bride’s head so that the presents would "shower" over her.
Why do we have a stag party?
Ancient Spartan soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would feast with his male friends on the night before his wedding. In this event he would say good-bye to the carefree days of bachelorhood and swear continued allegiance to his comrades.