Have you ever wondered why every wedding you’ve attended has similar traditions or where they come from? Why do bridesmaids all wear the same dress? Why is there a garter toss? Why must the bride and groom feed each other cake? This is just what we expect at weddings, but have you ever thought of the origins of these customs? Here are 10 traditional wedding customs explained by me:
- Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue: It is customary for a bride to have a trinket of each of these descriptions on her person while getting married. They each symbolize something the bride and groom hope for for their marriage together. The something old represents the past, while the something new represents their future as a couple. A bride is supposed to borrow a special token from someone who is happily married in hopes that their good luck will rub off onto them. A blue something represents fidelity and love.
- Rain on your wedding day: Rain on your wedding day can represent fertility and cleansing
- Wearing a Veil: In ancient Rome, a bride would wear a veil over her face in order to confuse spirits who were jealous of her glee
- Not seeing each other before the ceremony: This custom is changing. Some couples choose to have a “first look” photography session before the wedding, but some people stay tried and true to this custom dating back from the time of arranged marriages. It was believed that the couple should not see each other before marrying so they couldn’t change their mind. Sounds an awful lot like the show, Married at First Sight.
- The “Ring Finger”: Wedding and engagement rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once believed that that finger had a vein run directly to the heart.
- Bouquet and Garter Toss: This tradition comes from across the pond in England. Wedding guests used to try to rip pieces of the dress and bouquet from the bride in order to gain some of her good luck. Brides started tossing their bouquets in order to get away from the crowd. Now this has become a tradition at most weddings in which a single woman catches the bouquet and then is believed to be the next to marry.
- Bridesmaids: Bridesmaids at one point were to dress exactly as the bride on the wedding day to confuse evil spirits.
- Giving away the bride: This tradition also comes from the days of arranged marriages. It was believed that a daughter was property of her father until she was literally given away to the man she was to marry.
- Feeding of the cake: In Christian weddings, feeding each other wedding cake represents giving everything they have and caring for one another.
- Throwing rice: This common practice represents the guests showering the newlyweds with abundance and fertility.
If you think some of these are weird traditions we’ve carried on for years, wait until you see what some traditions from other cultures are: