wedding traditions & symbols

wedding traditions & symbols

Welcome to hitched traditions & symbols. There are all sorts of wedding traditions and symbols and each family seems to have their own version too! Here are some of the more popular ones with explanations behind their reasoning and origination. If you have any to add, please let us know - visit our feedback form.

Preparations for the day

This saying dates back to Victorian time and the full version is 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe:

Something Old:
Represents the link with the bride's family and the past. A common solution many bride's choose is to wear a piece of family jewellery or their mother's or grandmother's wedding dress.

Something New:
Represents good fortune and success in the bride's new life. The wedding dress is often chosen as the new item.

Something Borrowed:
To remind the bride that friends and family will be there for her when help is needed. The borrowed object might be something such as a lace handkerchief or an item of jewellery.

Something Blue:
Symbolises faithfulness and loyalty and dates back to biblical times when blue represented purity. Frequently the bride's garter is the blue item.

A Silver Sixpence in her Shoe is to wish the bride wealth, both financial and happiness.

The Ceremony

Wedding Veil:
The wedding veil hides the bride's beauty and wards off evil spirits. Another explanation is that during the times of arranged marriages the bride's face would be covered until the groom had commited to the marriage.

Where to stand:
The bride stands on the left of the groom during the marriage ceremony to allow his sword arm to be free ready to fight off other men who may want her as their bride.

Immediate celebrations

Confetti:
Confetti has replaced rice or grain in modern times, the rice was thrown at the bride and groom to encourage fertility.

Wedding bouquet:
The throwing of the wedding bouquet was introduced from America and it is said that who ever catches the bouquet will be next to be married.

Wearing pearls:
To some, pearls represent future tears and are a bad sign. However, to others, the wearing of pearls takes the place of the bride's real tears, thus she'll have a happy, tear-free wedded life.

Dropping the wedding ring:
This is a contradictory wedding myth. The positive myth is that dropping the wedding ring during the ceremony shakes out the evil spirits. The negative aspect, is that whoever drops the ring is said to be the first to die.

Time of day to get married:
The couple should exchange vows as the clock's minute hand is "ascending towards heaven" (i.e. upwards).

Seeing the bride:
It is good luck for the groom not to see the dress before the wedding day. It will bring more luck if he does not glance at the dress as the bride walks down the aisle.

The Guests

Wedding gifts:
Wedding gifts are bought by the guests have replaced the custom of bringing fruits that used to encourage fertility.

Favours:
The tradition of giving guests something to remember the day by in the form of favours has been around for hundreds of years. Today, the tradition has evolved to giving each guest five sugar coated almonds to symbolise health, wealth, fertility, happiness and long-life.

After the ceremony

The threshold:
Carrying the bride over the threshold protects her from any evil spirits that may be lurking in the new home.

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