Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wedding Etiquette Wednesday - Wedding Customs and Traditions

It's fun to look back and see where wedding customs and traditions originated. We get asked all the time so here are some answers- more to come!
Something Old represents the link with the bride's family and the past. Many brides choose to wear a piece of antique family jewelry or a mother's or grandmother's wedding gown or handkerchief.
Something New represents good fortune and success and her hopes for a bright future in her new life. The wedding gown is often chosen as the new item.
Something Borrowed is to remind the bride that friends and family will be there for her when help is needed. "Borrowing" is especially important, since it is to come from a happily married woman, thereby lending the bride some of her own marital bliss to carry into the new union.
Something Blue is the symbol of faithfulness and loyalty.
A Silver Sixpence in her Shoe is to wish the bride wealth. Some brides still place a penny in their shoe during the marriage ceremony.

Bride On Groom's Left
Because the early Anglo Saxon groom so often had to defend his bride from would-be kidnappers, she stood to his left, leaving his sword-arm free. The "best" warrior in the tribe stood by the groom and was responsible for helping defend the bride, thus the placement for the modern day best man.
First Kiss
No ceremony is complete without the kiss. In fact, there was a time when an engagement would be null and void without one. Dating back from early Roman times, the kiss represented a legal bond that sealed all contracts. The kiss that seals the wedding is much more than a sign of affection. It has long been a token of bonding - the exchange of spirits as each partner sends a part of the self into the new spouse's soul, there to abide ever after.
The Wedding Cake
Beginning in early Roman times, the cake has been a special part of the wedding celebration. A thin loaf was broken over the bride's head at the close of the ceremony to symbolize fertility. The wheat from which it was made, symbolized fertility and the guests eagerly picked up the crumbs as good luck charms. This tradition evolved and spread to England in the Middle Ages where the guests of a wedding would bring small cakes and stack them together. Later, a clever baker decided to amass all these small cakes together, covering them with frosting. Thus, the modern tiered cake was born. The bride and groom make the first cut of the wedding cake to signify sharing their life together. Every guest then eats at least a crumb of the cake to ensure good luck.
Tossing The Bridal Bouquet
Tossing of the bridal bouquet is a custom which has its roots in England as it was believed that the bride could pass along good fortune to others. In order to obtain this fortune, spectators would try to tear away pieces of the bride's clothing and flowers. In an attempt to get away, the bride would toss her bouquet into the crowd. Tradition says that the single women who catches the bouquet is the one who receives the bride's fortune and will marry next.

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