Have you ever wondered how wedding traditions and customs came to be? It seems some customs have been around for centuries. They have been. From the bride’s veil and flowers to selecting bridesmaids and groomsmen to a father walking his daughter down the aisle are customs that have a special meaning that we still observe today.
You may, however, discover that you and your groom may want to start new traditions that you can pass down to future generations. Because the customs that are often observed in wedding ceremonies today, were once new too.
Here are some “old world” customs, traditions and meaning that have been passed down throughout wedding history. What ones will you continue?
White Wedding Dress: A symbol of celebration in Roman ages; wealth - since it could only be worn once and not washed; purity and happiness in 19th and 20th centuries. Today it is a symbol of a woman’s marriage - happiness and celebration of starting a new life.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue: This custom comes from an Old English rhyme. Customs range from the bride wearing something that has been handed down in her family such as a handkerchief, jewelry, or a hat pin fastened inside the wedding gown. New - usually the wedding dress, shoes or undergarments. Borrowed - from a happily married woman (like a bridesmaid, mother, mother-in-law, or close friend), meaning her happiness will “rub off” on the new bride. Blue - several meanings have been passed down through time, but most notably blue represents fidelity, purity and love. A blue handkerchief, lingerie, jewelry, a garter, etc. Blue does not have to be part of the visible bridal ensemble.
The Bride’s Garter: This comes from an Old English custom that wedding guests pilfered the bride’s dressing room, steal her stockings and fling them across the room called “flinging the stocking.” However, the tradition changed to only the groom retrieving the garter from his bride and throwing it to his single groomsmen (and later other single male wedding guests), and the one who caught it would be the next to marry.
Wedding Gown Train: The length of a bride’s train was an indication of her rank in the royal court. The longer it was, the better was her stature with the king and queen. Today, it is completely optional to include a wedding gown train; oftentimes, the train is pinned up before the wedding reception, so that the bride and other guests do not step on it.
Bride’s Maids Dresses: A superstition from centuries ago believed that if all the bridal attendants wore the same dress as the bride, then it would confuse the evil spirits as who was the real bride. However, thankfully, traditions changed and bridal attendants no longer wear the same dress as the bride, in fact, it is completely acceptable if the bridesmaids wear different dresses according to their likeness. The bridesmaids dresses are usually the same color, however.
There are many other wedding customs and traditions, which custom or tradition do you like the most? We’d like to hear from you!