Today's popular wedding traditions have evolved over
hundreds, even thousands of years of people joining together in some form of
matrimony. Some wedding traditions that have endured are based on blessing the
couple with good luck; others are a means for the couple to convey their
feelings for one another. Regardless of the wedding tradition itself, all
wedding traditions share the same essential symbols of unity, happiness and
prosperity; messages that stand the test of time.
Old, New, Borrowed, Blue
"Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” is a
popular rhyme that has been used since Victorian times. The "something old"
represents the bond to the bride's family and her old life; "something new"
represents the couple's new life together and their future hope for happiness,
prosperity and success; "something borrowed" from a happily married woman is
meant to impart similar happiness to the bride; and "something blue" represents
fidelity and constancy.
White Bridal Dresses
Wearing white also
dates back to Victorian times when Queen Victoria abandoned the usual royal
tradition of wearing a silver gown, instead choosing to wear white. Before that
time brides simply wore their best gown, rather than a special wedding dress .
The popularity of white can also be attributed to it symbolizing purity and
virginity. White was also thought to ward off evil spirits.
Showering the couple with rice
is an ancient tradition. As rice is considered a "life giving" seed it is
thought that by throwing in on the couple they will be bestowed with fertility
and have many children. Many churches now forbid it on their property but there
are some safe alternatives to throwing rice such as blowing bubbles.
First Piece of Wedding Cake
first piece of wedding cake is a wedding tradition with Roman roots. The Romans
believed that by eating the wedding cake together a special bond was created
between the couple. The wheat used to bake the cake was symbolic of fertility
and a "fruitful union", while the cake's sweetness was thought to bring
sweetness to all areas of the couple's new life.
The ceremonial kiss that
concludes the wedding ceremony is said to represent the couple sharing and
joining their souls. In Roman times the kiss "sealed" the couple's agreement to
join in a life-long commitment.
The wedding tradition of the
groom wearing a boutonniere originates in medieval times when a knight wore his
lady's colors (through flowers) as a statement of his love.
Flowers and bouquets have long been
used in weddings. In addition to adorning the bride with flowers to promote good
luck and good health flower meanings allow the bride to express her feelings for
the groom. Orange blossoms signify purity, daisies loyalty, violets modesty and
red roses signify true love.
Wedding Ring on Third Finger
wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand has two possible origins;
ancient Egypt or 17th century Europe. The Egyptians believed the "vein of love"
ran directly from the ring finger to the heart, therefore the ring was placed
there to denote eternal love. During a 17th century wedding ceremony the groom
would slide the wedding ring part way up the bride's thumb, index finger and
middle finger as the priest said "In the name of the Father and the Son and the
Holy Spirit". As the ring finger was the first free finger, the ring was placed