It’s 2021, and brides are often ditching common wedding traditions, instead opting for their own family traditions or starting from scratch and making their own. Scroll down to find 11 of the most common traditions, and why they exist.
1. THE DRESS
Up until 1840, wedding gowns were not white. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria of England wore a white gown on her wedding day, that the traditional white wedding dress that we know today, became popular.
2. THE VEIL
The veil was used to hide the bride’s beauty from other men, and to ward off evil spirits. During arranged marriages, this would not have been taken off until the marriage ceremony was complete incase the groom didn’t like what he saw!
3. THE BOUQUET
Evil spirits were a huge concern for our ancestors. Back in the day, woman carried aromatic bunches of garlic, herbs and spices to ward off these evil spirits. Thankfully, this later evolved into bunches of flowers, with a slightly different aroma.
Evil spirits again. In past times, bridesmaids dressed similarly to the bride, in order to confuse and distract evil spirits trying to ruin the bride’s happiness.
5. THE BEST MAN
The best man was referred to as the quality of a man’s swordsmanship. The common duty of a best man was to help retrieve a run-away bride or fend off a bride’s family if they didn’t approve of the union. AKA ancient wingman.
6. SOMETHING OLD, NEW, BORROWED & BLUE
Old – This represented the bride’s family and past
New – This represented a new life between the couple
Borrowed – This was an item borrowed from someone in a successful marriage to pass on ‘good luck’
Blue – This symbolised faithfulness, loyalty and purity
7. RING-BEARER & PILLOW
This is more than a method to keep little boys out of mischief. A small child carrying the rings symbolised innocence, a good future, and new beginnings. The pillow symbolised the promise of your dreams coming true.
8. WEDDING CAKE
Often brides opt for cheese cakes, donut tiers and chocolate fountains in replacement of the traditional cake. However, the traditional “cake” was not originally made from cake, so here is some ammo if you’re trying to convince gran that you don’t need one. In medieval times, cakes were made of stacked wheat, and would have actually been thrown at the bride as a symbol of fertility and prosperity.
Confetti was originally rice, and was tossed to symbolise rain falling. This was a sign of prosperity, fertility, and good fortune.
10. BRIDE STANDING ON THE LEFT OF HER GROOM
Ever wondered why the bride stands on the left of her husband during the ceremony? Me neither, but here’s why! This was in order for the groom to protect his wife from being stolen. The groom would shield her with his left arm, and use his sword with his right.
The word ‘honeymoon’ dates back to 5th century, when cultures represented their calendar with moon cycles. Newlywed couples drank mead (honey-based drink) during the first moon of marriage, as it was believed to increase fertility. Honey + moon = trip to Maldives.