BEST MAN: There are legends of prospective bridegrooms kidnapping their brides from
neighboring villages. His friend or "Best Man" would help with the capture.
BRIDAL SHOWERS: When
a bride's father did not approve of the husband to be, he would not provide her with the necessary dowry. The bride's friends
would then "shower" her with gifts so she would have her dowry and marry the man of her choice. Today, bridal
showers strengthen the ties between the bride and her friends and family.
CAKE TRADITIONS: The ancient Greek custom of breaking
loaves of bread over the couple's heads to symbolize wealth, happiness and fertility, has been replaced with the bride and
groom cutting a wedding cake.
They cut the
cake together, his hand over hers, symbolizing their unity.
The cake is traditionally white, for purity,
and the cake topper is often a bride and groom standing together as a symbol of togetherness.
often choose a cake topper that reflects their personalities and their wedding theme.
Sharing the first piece of wedding cake is
a Roman wedding tradition based on the belief that eating the wedding cake together would create a special bond between the
couple. The wheat used to bake the cake was symbolic of fertility, and the sweetness of the cake was believed to bring sweetness
to the couples new life.
Guests eat pieces of the cake for good luck.
And folklore says that if a single woman sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, she will dream of
her future husband.
late 19th century, couples often save the top tier of their wedding cake to enjoy on their first wedding anniversary. the
idea behind this tradition is for the couple to remember the happy memories from their wedding day.
The Groom's Cake is a gift from the bride to the groom and is usually "masculine"
in design. It should be the groom's favorite flavor of cake and may be decorated according to his hobbies or interests. It
is generally served along with the wedding cake, or it can be boxed up and sent home with guests as favors.
The Charm Cake is sometimes served at the bridesmaids luncheon. Each guest pulls a ribbon
from the cake with a charm dangling from the end Charms might include a heart for true love, a coin for good luck, or a telephone
for good news.
THE BRIDE OVER THE THRESHOLD: Traditionally, the bride had to enter her new
home the first time through the front door. Since tripping or stumbling was considered bad luck the groom would carry the
bride over the threshold.
ENGAGEMENT RING: An engagement ring symbolizes the promise of marriage, sealed with the giving and accepting
of a ring. Diamonds are the most enduring gems and so they symbolize an engagement and marriage that would endure forever.
From the earliest times, brides have worn flowers in their hair and carried bunches of flowers. Flowers symbolize
fertility, purity, new life and never ending love. In Victorian times each type of flower had a special meaning. For example,
daises symbolize loyalty, violets modesty, and red roses signify true love.
The groom's boutonniere, worn on his lapel, usually matches one of the flowers in
the brides bouquet. This tradition goes back to the medieval times when a knight wore the colors of his lady in tournaments.
GARTER AND BRIDAL
BOUQUET TOSS: Since a piece of the bride's clothing was thought to bring good luck, brides began throwing
their garter belts and their bouquets to their guests. Current tradition is that singles who catch the garter or the bouquet
are the next to marry.
AWAY THE BRIDE: Young women were considered to be the property of their fathers. When it came time for
the daughter to marry, the father was transferring ownership of his daughter to the groom. Today it is seen as a blessing
and support of the marriage.
There are several legends about the origin of the honeymoon, but one legend is after kidnapping his bride, a groom
would take her and go into hiding where her relatives couldn't find them. They hid there for 30 days, while the moon went
through all its phases, and drank a wine or a brew made from honey.
KISS THE BRIDE: The ceremonial "you may kiss your bride" at the end
of a wedding ceremony represents the couple sharing and joining their souls. Also from Roman traditions, the kiss "seals"
a couple's agreement to join in a life long commitment.
LOUD NOISES: Loud noises were believed to chase away evil sprits, so during
the ceremony guests would make loud noises to keep the spirits away. Today it is traditional for the bridal party to honk
their car horns while leaving the ceremony site.
LOVE KNOTS: Bows or love knots look similar to the infinity
symbol and symbolize eternity. To add this tradition to your wedding, ask your florist to hang ribbons from your bouquet and
tie several knots on each one.
ON THE WEDDING DAY: While most brides don't want it to rain on their special day, it's good to know
that, if it does, the rain will symbolize good luck, abundance, and fertility.
RICE: Rice is a symbol of fertility and a wish for prosperity and a full pantry.
Birdseed, flower petals, confetti and bubbles are often used today instead of rice.
RING: From early Rome, a gold band symbolizes
everlasting love and commitment in marriage.
RING FINGERS AND WEDDING RINGS: Engagement rings and wedding bands are worn
on the third finger of the left hand because the ancient Egyptians thought the "vein of love" ran from this finger
directly to the heart. Wearing the wedding ring on this finger then speaks of eternal love.
The wedding ring is placed on the finger first with the engagement ring worn above it so that the
wedding ring is closest to the bride's heart.
SEATING: This goes back to the ancient days, when daughters could be a peace
offering to a warring tribe. The warring families sat on opposite sides until the ceremony was over and the families united.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING BORROWED,
SOMETHING BLUE...AND A SIX PENCE IN YOUR SHOE: The
tradition of items that are "old" , "new", "borrowed" and "blue" comes from Victorian
Something old signifies continuity of the brides
love for her family. It could be a piece of family jewelry or a locket with a family photo.
Something new represents hope and future happiness for the bride and groom. It could be new clothing
the wedding gown or a wedding ring.
Something borrowed from
a happily married woman represents future marital happiness. Also borrowing symbolizes that friends and family will be there
when help is needed.
Something blue symbolizes fidelity
and love (it is often the garter)
A six pence in the shoe
symbolizes good luck and prosperity.
TIN CANS: The tradition of tying tin cans to the back of the newlywed's vehicle
originated it was thought that the noise from tying items to the back of the couple's carriage would scare away evil spirts.
TYING THE KNOT: Hand
fasting is a wedding ceremony in which the couple's clasped hands are tied together by a cord or ribbon and so the phrase
goes "tying the knot"
Red or yellow veils were worn in ancient times as protection against evil sprits. Veils once symbolized the brides
virginity, innocence, and modesty or signified submission. In some cultures with arranged marriages, veils hid the bride's
face until after the ceremony was over.
Nellie Custis, the
daughter of Martha Washington, wore a white veil because her husband thought she looked beautiful behind the filmy curtain.
This made white veils popular the the U.S.
WHITE AISLE RUNNER: The white aisle runner represented God's holiness, and
walking on holy ground.
WEDDING DRESS: In various cultures, white is a symbol of the bride's purity and her
worthiness of her groom, or a symbol of a joyful celebration.
WHY THE BRIDE STANDS TO THE GROOM'S LEFT: The groom placed his bride on his
left to protect her, leaving his right hand free to wield a sword in case of a sudden attack. The best man would stand on
the groom's right as his right hand man.
WHY IT'S "BAD LUCK" FOR THE GROOM TO SEE THE BRIDE BEFORE THE CEREMONY: Back
when marriages were arranged, the marriage of an unattractive woman was often arranged with a prospective groom from another
town without either of them having ever seen their prospective spouse. If seen ahead of time, an un attractive bride might
be left at the altar.
Today, many brides prefer to
stay in hiding in order to surprise the groom.