Wedding Traditions

You may be interested in the origins of some popular traditions included in observing your marriage.

Bridal gowns, for example, are white because the Greeks believed white embodied purity, innocence and joyfulness. Wedding veils have always symbolized modesty, privacy, youth and maiden hood. That way of
thinking still has a foothold; bridal etiquette authorities today advise second-time brides to skip the veil and
wear a hat or a less traditional headpiece instead.

Most are familiar with the poem about bridal attire: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a lucky sixpence in your shoe.” What’s not generally known is that if a bride borrows
an item from a happily married woman, the giver’s happiness is said to be passed on to the bride.
Something blue symbolizes constancy in a relationship.

The bridal garter originates from at least two cultures.  In ancient times, it represented the virginal girdle;
the groom’s removal of the garter symbolized her relinquishment of that status. The garter can also be
traced to the Old English custom of flinging the stocking. Wedding guests would sneak into the bridal chamber, pick up the newlywed’s discarded stockings and throw them at the couple. Whoever flung a stocking that hung on the bride or groom’s nose would be the next to marry.

Wedding bands, symbolizing eternal love by their lack of a beginning or end, grew out of an ancient tribal
custom of using circlets of grass to decorate a bride’s wrists and ankles. The Romans and Egyptians, with
their love of precious metals and stones, initiated the practice of using silver and gold. Rings are worn yet
today on the third finger of the left hand because ancient cultures believed that finger had a vein running
straight to the heart.

The “throwing of the rice” at fleeing newlyweds is a traditional way of wishing them many children.




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