Weddings are filled with traditions and folklore handed down from generation to generation, have you ever wondered how they all got started and what their significance means?
White Wedding Gowns
White has been the symbol of celebration since the Roman times, and a bride who wore a white wedding dress
was thought to be affluent. In the 20 century, white represents purity and virginity.
The circular shape of the wedding ring symbolizes never ending love, with the first wedding bands being made of hemp or braided grass. They were later replaced by metals, and diamonds were added about the 15th century to signify a valuable strong commitment, a tradition which most modern couples choose to keep.
Ancient peoples believed the vein from the third finger on the left hand ran directly to the heart - hence that is where the wedding ring is worn.
When grooms would "capture" their brides and or were afraid of evil spirits they would cover the woman's head to keep her from being recognized.
Throwing Of The Garter
After the wedding ceremony, villages would help
the groom remove the brides clothing, by breaking into the bedroom and ripping the clothes off her back. The tossing of the garter is a token way of removing her clothes.
Identical Bridesmaids Dresses
Long ago the brides friends wore the same exact outfit as the bride to confuse the evil spirits who wanted to destroy her happiness. It also helped to prevent the bride from being kidnapped by a rival suitor.
The Receiving Line
Developed from the ancient belief that on their wedding day, the bride and groom brought good luck to everyone they touched, the receiving line has been replaced with modern couples often preferring to "make the rounds" and greeting their guests during the wedding dinner.
You May Kiss The Bride
In ancient Rome the kiss was considered a legal bond necessary to seal all contracts. This is thought to be the origin of the present day custom of banging a spoon against a glass until the newlyweds kiss.
It is also believed than when a couple kissed, part of their souls was left behind in the other when their breath was exchanged.
Walking Down The Aisle With Dad.
Long ago, a woman was considered her father's property until she married, and then she was her husband's property. At the wedding the Dad would literally "give her away," transferring ownership to the husband.
In ancient Ireland, when a couple married, the parents would make sure they had a supply of a drink made from fermented honey called mead, that would last for a full cycle of the moon. It was believed they would be blessed with a son within a year.
Carrying the Bride Over The Threshold
When a bride could be forced by a captor to marry, the groom would have to carry her against her will into her new home. The Romans thought that it was bad luck, for a bride to trip over the threshold so to prevent that, the groom carried her.
Something old - continuity
Some thing new - optimism for the future
Something borrowed - borrowed happiness, fidelity and good fortune
Something blue - modesty, fidelity and love
A Coin in the Bride's Shoe
In England, coins were given as tokens of love, in Sweden, the bride's father placed a silver coin in her left shoe and her mother placed a gold coin in her right shoe so that she may never lack luxuries.
Throwing The Rice
Rice represents fertility, prosperity, and bounty, showering the couple with rice, or confetti offering them abundance and a large family.