23 June 2022

Wedding Traditions and How They Started!

The mere mention of a wedding and ‘traditions’ (or some may say “old wives’ tales”) will be on the tips of everyone’s tongue!

“Don’t forget the something blue……”

“The wedding couple aren’t supposed to see each other the night before the wedding….”

The list goes on, and whether you embrace these or decide to break away from the traditions, they do have some interesting meanings behind them.

Here are five wedding traditions and where they all started……
Why does the bride wear white?

To kick off the list, let’s start with the white wedding dress! It is recorded that Queen Victoria was in fact the first person to wear a white wedding dress when she married Prince Albert in February 1840! The Queen wanted the best Honiton lace for her dress and although many traditionalists think that the white dress represents “purity”, it was in fact used as the best colour to show off the lace used to make her dress. Orange blossoms trimmed the dress which was a symbol of fertility, and she wore a wreath instead of the traditional tiara!

Cans tied to the car bumper!

Essentially this was to ward off evil spirits in a French custom. The custom was historically held the night before the wedding and called a “charivari”. People would walk through the streets banging pots and pans to scare the spirits away! Later down the line this was simplified to tying cans to the back of the car!

Why Bridesmaids?

How many will there be? Who will it be? Will there be a conflict of interest? And of course, what will their dresses be? However, the meaning behind this tradition stems back to Ancient Rome when the bridesmaids were there to protect the bride and confuse the evil spirits. While this tradition has changed and lessened over time, the idea of bridesmaids providing support and protection to the bride will be a natural emotion for any bridesmaid and will likely be a long-standing matter!

The honeymoonThe well-earned break after months (sometimes years) of planning a wedding…. generally, this is the next question after “where will the wedding be taking place?” This tradition dates to the 5th century when cultures represented the calendar time in moon cycles. Happy newlyweds would drink an alcoholic beverage made from honey and take place during the first moon of marriage… think most people will stick to booking a holiday in the sun these days though!

And finally… that little rhyme that majority of us know…
Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue.

This is a very common tradition, but in a way this is more of a superstition of marriages gone by. Something old, is a reference to your life in the past that is coming to an end, while something new is looking to the future of your new life. Something borrowed should come from a long standing happily married couple and symbolises happiness and good fortune! The something blue is said to represent the three essentials for a successful marriage: love, fidelity, and purity! Now, you just need to hope the blue matches your colour scheme! Whether you are superstitious or not, the topic of tradition will always crop up in conversation when talking about the big day and they can be a lot of fun.

There are plenty to choose from if you’re looking to bring a little bit of tradition to your special day, whether one of these 5 or the many more that exist. However, it is also lovely when attending a wedding to witness new and fun traditions that families have started themselves. This is a great way to add your own unique spin on your special day.