This section is filled with fun and unusual wedding traditions, myths and superstitions that you may not have known about before planning your own wedding. Ever wondered why white wedding dresses are so popular? Or why the wedding ring goes on the forth finger of the left hand? Well heres all the answers you need.
The word ‘Wedding’
The word itself comes from the Old English “Weddian” to promise, to marry or a derivation of “Wedd” meaning a pledge.
Seeing each other before the wedding
This superstition dates back to the time of arranged marriages, when people believed that if the couple saw each other before the ceremony, it would give them a chance to change their minds about the wedding. Today, however, many couples choose to meet up and even have portrait sessions before saying their “I dos.”
Crying on your wedding day
It is supposed to be good luck for the bride to cry on her wedding day because it symbolizes that she has shed all her tears and will not have any to shed during her marriage. So go ahead and get teary-eyed. Just be sure to wear some waterproof mascara.
Bride on the grooms left
Since Grooms in early Anglo-Saxon England often had to defend their Brides during the Wedding ceremony, the lady would stand to the left of her future husband so that his sword arm would be free. It was also customary for the Groom to hold on to his Bride with the left hand. Thus, by association, the Bride’s family and guests sit on the left side of the church.
Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
The most expensive wedding was the one held in a purpose-built stadium in Dubai for a Shiek’s son. The wedding cost over £22 million.
The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake.
The custom of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over an ever-higher cake without knocking it over.
The wedding veil
The veil is a tradition that carries across a few different cultures, but in each one, it means something slightly different. In English weddings, a veil is a thin piece of netting, lace or material worn in the bride’s hair, with the idea being to cover her face until the ceremony is over (though not many brides wear the veil over their face today). This was originally done to conceal the beauty of the bride until she was married, as well as symbolising innocence and virginity, and as a barrier to ward off evil spirits. Today, many English brides view the veil as a beautiful accessory rather than a symbolic item. Funnily enough, the symbology and importance of the veil also tie into our next tradition.
Today, bridesmaids help the bride plan and prepare for her big day, but in previous years their jobs were been very different. An old English custom was to have a village maid dress as similarly as possible to the bride and accompany her as her protector on the way to the wedding ceremony. This would stop any rejected suitors from kidnapping the bride or attempting to steal her dowry. It was also an ancient Roman law that several witnesses had to accompany the bride and groom to the wedding, and this was supposedly to confuse the evil spirits trying to get to the couple. That’s why so many older wedding photos have bridesmaids dressed uncannily like the bride – it wasn’t seen as tacky back then, it was vital!
The tradition of throwing confetti over the bride and groom comes from Italy. Before paper confetti, there were flowers, petals, grain or rice thrown at the happy couple, to bestow prosperity and fertility. These days confetti comes in all shapes and sizes, colours and textures, and you can still buy natural petals, which remain the most popular type, and certainly the most Vicar- and venue-friendly! Many modern brides make confetti their DIY wedding project by drying their favourite flower petals before the wedding.
Something old …
‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky silver sixpence in your shoe’ is another sweet Victorian tradition that is now a rhyme we all know. Your ‘something old’ could be your grandmother’s ring, ‘something new’ could be your dress or tiara, ‘borrowed and blue’ could be family heirlooms and the lucky silver sixpence you can order from Confetti with our best wishes of good luck and everlasting love on your wedding day and for a long and happy marriage from that day forth!
White wedding dress
Queen Victoria was the one who popularized the white wedding dress in 1840, and ever since then, white wedding dresses have been the trend. Even though today dresses with splashes of color—blush, baby blue, lavender, even black—are gaining popularity, white is still the most traditional and popular color for wedding dresses.
Carrying the bride over the threshold
Earlier times believed that family demons followed the bride to her new home. To keep them from entering the home, the groom would carry her across the threshold the first time she entered the home. After that demons could not come in and the bride was free to come and go as she pleased.