How to Choose Wedding Traditions
Whether you’re having a traditional wedding or something quite modern, it’s always fun to include some familiar wedding traditions. What traditions will you include in your wedding? Here are the meaning behind some of the well-known traditions. Take a look and decide which ones you’d like to make them a part of your special day.
Brides often wear a veil with their wedding dress. Some see this as just a beautiful accessory, but the wearing of veils began in ancient Rome, where the bride used the veil to disguise herself from evil spirits. In modern times, the veil may sometimes be a symbol of modesty and innocence.
The bridal party also has a long tradition. Groomsmen originated in the time when men had to actually capture the woman they chose to marry. They picked the most capable man to help them – the “best man”, and others to assist. Bridesmaids originated as a technique of confusing evil spirits as to who the actual bride was. Today the bridal party is chosen from friends and family to share the couple’s happiness and aid with wedding day tasks. Much less risky than playing “capture the bride”!
The meaning and origin of the ceremonial kiss that traditionally concludes the ceremony has different interpretations. In the Roman era, a kiss was used to seal legal bonds and contracts. It was also believed that this kiss allowed the couples’ souls to mingle together. Today, the wedding kiss is primarily seen as a form of endearment.
Early Romans broke a loaf of bread over the couples’ heads for fertility, creating the first wedding cakes. Superstition says that a bride cannot bake her own wedding cake or taste it before the wedding, or else risk losing her husband’s love. If she keeps a piece of the cake after the wedding, she supposedly ensures that he will remain faithful. Legend says single women will dream of their future husbands if they sleep with a slice of groom’s cake under their pillows. This might not be the best use of a delicious cake and is certainly more of a mess than just enjoying a piece at the reception.
As a symbol of luck, the newly married woman traditionally throws her bouquet to the unmarried women at the wedding. The one who catches the bouquet is supposedly the next to be married. Throwing the bride’s garter to the single men is a similar tradition. The groom must remove the garter from his new wife’s leg and toss it to the single men at the wedding. This man will be the next one to marry.
An older custom involved guests raiding the bride’s chamber for stockings. These stockings taken from her room would then be thrown at the groom. Whoever landed their stocking on the groom’s nose would be the next one to marry.
Whatever traditions you use, and there are many more, be sure they symbolize something to you and your loved ones. Consider adding something completely new to make your wedding truly your own.