Its has been quite a busy wedding season for Bish Bosh Becca. So it got me thinking about the traditions we all know and some we don’t, well at least I didn’t!
Lets start with the most well known: ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in your shoe’ is a Victorian tradition that is now a rhyme we all
Something old represents the link with the bride’s family and the past. A common solution used to be that brides choose is to wear a piece of family jewellery or their mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress.
Something new represents good fortune and success in the bride’s new life. The wedding dress is often chosen as the new item.
Something borrowed to remind the bride that friends and family will be there for her when help is needed. The borrowed object might be something such as a lace handkerchief or an item of jewellery.
Something blue symbolises faithfulness and loyalty and dates back to biblical times when blue represented purity.
A Silver Sixpence in her Shoe is to wish the bride wealth, both financial and happiness.
There are also lots of supersitions round jewellery and gemstones. The 2 most common are
Aquamarine stones are thought to ensure a long, happy marriage
A pearl engagement ring is supposed to be bad luck because the shape resembles a tear. However, to others, the wearing of pearls takes the place of the bride’s real tears, thus she’ll have a happy, tear-free wedded life. I like the second one but then I love pearls
The veil is meant to symbolise the modesty and chastity of the bride. Ancient Greek and Roman tradition states that wearing a wedding veil helps to ward off evil spirits intent on cursing the bride, with a veil over her head they couldn’t see her, and so couldn’t curse her. Another explanation is that during the times of arranged marriages the bride’s face would be covered until the groom had committed to the marriage. Not so romantic that one!
Brides and their bridesmaids have always held floral bouquets, for their scent as much as their delicate beauty. Rosemary is said to signify remembrance for someone no longer here. Although the meaning of flowers is whole new blog in its own right.
The flower in the groom’s buttonhole goes back to the days when a knight would wear his Lady’s colours to display his love. The bride throws her bouquet backwards over her shoulder for the group of unmarried girls to catch. It is said that the girl who catches it will be the next to marry.
The tradition of throwing confetti over the bride and groom comes from Italy. Before paper confetti, there were flowers, petals, grain or rice thrown at the happy couple, to bestow prosperity and fertility. For my daughter wedding we dried flowers from the garden, luckily the cherry blossom was out when she announced her engagement! And for the record rice hurts!!
The cake is another tradition that originated with the Romans, though they shared a wedding cake during the ceremony itself – they couldn’t wait for the reception! Their cakes were flat and round, containing fruit and nuts to symbolise fertility. The shape of the modern three-tiered iced cake is generally thought to be inspired by the shape of the tiered spire at the aptly named St Bride’s Church in the City of London. If you have a fruit cake, traditionally you would keep the top tier for the christening of your first child. Don’t keep a sponge cake, it won’t last!
Another version is that, as a game, brides and grooms used to attempt to kiss over their wedding cake without knocking it over, which is how tiered wedding cakes emerged
The tradition of giving guests something to remember the day by in the form of favours has been around for hundreds of years. The tradition has evolved to giving each guest five sugar coated almonds to symbolise health, wealth, fertility, happiness and long-life. Now favours some in all shapes and sizes and are as unique as the bride herself.
In ancient cultures, the threshold of the home was considered to be a hotbed of lurking, unattached evil spirits, and since a new bride was particularly vulnerable to spirit intrusion, (especially through the soles of her feet!!) The groom would traditionally carry the bride over the threshold to make sure his wife didn’t bring any bad spirits into the house…
Every culture also has its own traditions;
Middle Eastern couple’s adorn themselves with beautiful Henna patterns on their hands and feet to protect themselves from the “evil eye”.
According to ancient Greek culture, if you tuck a sugar cube into your glove it will sweeten your union.
Italian tradition calls for newly married couples to smash glass at their wedding. However many pieces the glass breaks into is supposed to represent how many years they’ll be happily married.
According to Hindu tradition, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck.
In Christian ceremonies the bride stands to the groom’s left so the groom can fight off other suitors with his right hand
Finally, don’t worry about the black cat, stay away from the nuns and monks! It is said that if a bride crosses path with a monk or a nun on her wedding day, she will be
cursed with a life of infertility and poverty. Hum, well, I think we will take this one with a pinch of salt as I was married by a monk and had some lovely nuns at my wedding!