Have you ever wondered where the quirky little sayings and actions relating to weddings come from? As I do my research on getting married in Russell and the Bay of Islands, I am forever intrigued what I find out. There are of course many explanations to these traditions and a lot are traced back from historical evidence but according to my Dad, many are also classified as being ‘an old wives tale’ ….. I disagree Dad!
Please enjoy this list of ‘Wedding Lore & Traditions’ by Elizabeth Olson..
Giving Away the Bride
The tradition of the father giving away his daughter has its roots in the days of arranged marriages. Daughters in those times were considered their father’s property. It was the father’s right to give his child to the groom, usually for a price. Today a father giving away his daughter is a symbol of his blessing of the marriage.
Tossing the Bouquet
Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that stems from England. Women used to try to rip pieces of the bride’s dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Today the bouquet is tossed to single women with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry.
The Wedding Ring
The wedding ring has been worn on the third finger of the left hand since Roman times. The Romans believed that the vein in that finger runs directly to the heart. The wedding ring is a never-ending circle, which symbolizes everlasting love.
Wearing a white wedding gown
Prior to the 16th century this most important Western European Wedding tradition was not common. To this day a traditional Irish bride often wears a blue wedding dress, rather than a white one. This is because blue symbolized purity in ancient times. It wasn’t until the year 1499 that a white wedding dress began to symbolize virginity and purity when Ann of Brittany popularized the white wedding dress and the tradition became part of Western European wedding culture.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Sixpence in Your Shoe
“Something old” represents the bride’s link to her family and the past. The bride may choose to wear a piece of family jewellery or her mother or grandmother’s wedding gown. “Something new” represents hope for good fortune and success in the future. The bride often chooses the wedding gown to represent the new item. “Something borrowed” usually comes from a happily married woman and is thought to lend some of her good fortune and joy to the new bride. “Something blue” is a symbol of love, fidelity, and purity of the bride. A sixpence in her shoe is to wish the bride wealth in her future life.
The Best Man
In ancient times, men sometimes captured women to make them their brides. A man would take along his strongest and most trusted friend to help him fight resistance from the woman’s family. This friend, therefore, was considered the best man among his friends. In Anglo-Saxon England, the best man accompanied the groom up the aisle to help defend the bride.
Bride on Groom’s Left
Because grooms in Anglo-Saxon England often had to defend their brides, the bride would stand to the left of her groom so that his sword arm was free.
The Tiered Wedding Cake
The origin of the tiered wedding cake also lies in Anglo-Saxon times. Guests would bring small cakes to the wedding and stack them on top of each other. Later, a clever French baker created a cake in the shape of the small cakes and covered it in frosting. It is now known as the tiered cake.
Read more: Wedding Lore and Traditions | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/weddinglore1.html#ixzz2MX17Xjol