Wedding traditions and what they mean
While it is true that weddings follow trends, there are some traditions that have stood the test of time and date back thousands of years. The wedding ring being viewed as a symbol of eternity has been around since Egyptian times. A band of hemp or rush was worn on the third finger of the left as it was believed that the vein in this finger led directly to the heart. For a Forest of Dean Wedding Hotel Venue, visit http://www.thespeechhouse.co.uk/weddings/.
And it was the Romans who created the bridal party and the wedding veil. It is thought that the veil protected the bride from evil spirits and the bridesmaids and groom were to act as bodyguards against jealous demons. What has changed is the practice in the Middle Ages of guests tearing the bride’s dress and taking a piece. With the beautiful and costly dresses worn today, not many people would appreciate this tradition. It is thought that the act of tossing a bouquet was an alternative to the dress ripping!
The tradition of something old dates back to the Victorian era and represents the link between the bride’s family and the past. This is why it is usual for a bride to wear a piece of her mother’s jewellery or even her grandmother’s wedding dress sometimes.
Something new represents good fortune and success in the coming years and there are many new things bought for the day that can cover this part of the tradition.
Something borrowed is to remind the bride and groom that friends and family will be there for them as traditionally married life started off with not owning very much together at all.
Something blue is a symbol of faithfulness and this dates back to biblical times as blue stood for purity. It is normal to add a cheeky little bit of blue on to the bride’s garter.
The diamond ring entered the wedding tradition during the Renaissance period. Wedding vows that we use today were first used by the Anglican Church in 1500’s and a hundred years later the European nobility brought a box of sugared almonds to the wedding and this was the birth of wedding favours.
It was Queen Victoria who made the white wedding dress popular and it was also this monarch who introduced fresh flowers into a bridal bouquet when previously brides had carried dried herbs to ward off evil spirits. Traditionally the bride stands on the left during the vows so the groom can keep his sword arm free! Just in case he needs to fight off other suitors – how romantic!
Weddings are much more complicated affairs now. Colour schemes were unheard of, everything was white apart from the bridesmaids and you were likely to be photographed by the only photographer in your town. The Mother-in-law organised the party which would take place in the late afternoon after a church ceremony and the father of the bride paid for it all. During the afternoon, the bride would change into her smart ‘going away’ outfit and guests would wave off the happy couple as they departed for their honeymoon. Of course, these days the day has cost so much that the bride and groom stay and celebrate the whole day with their guests.