Wedding planner Charlotte Hill has been researching her socks off to provide us with today’s guest blog post, all about wedding traditions. It’s so interesting to find out the origins! Over to Charlotte…
There are many wedding traditions out there and many we choose to incorporate in to our day, but why?
If you are a bride-to-be then you may be thinking that some of these traditions are right for you, or perhaps you want to be daring and break them!
Something old, new, borrowed, blue & a sixpence in your shoe.
This saying comes from Victorian times to wish the new bride good luck and prosperity in her new life with her husband. ‘Something old’ would be a token of your past (normally from an older relative who has a long and happy marriage), ‘something new’, be it a new dress/ piece of jewellery etc, could represent the start of a new life, ‘something borrowed’ would be an item from a relative to offer up their happiness for your day, ‘something blue’ comes from purity, fertility and love. A sixpence in your shoe is all about a wish for good fortune and prosperity.
We ask guests to throw confetti on us to create a lovely photo opportunity these days, but originally this tradition stems from Italy and started with rice, seeds and grains. Throwing confetti to shower the bride and groom with well-wishes of fertility and prosperity was the norm.
Gathering your single guests (traditionally all your female guests) and throwing your bouquet over your shoulder is a really fun tradition as the lucky guest who catches it is said to be the next to marry…very sweet indeed!
This could possibly be one of the oldest traditions, a newly wed couple would literally run away from family and friends after the ceremony and remain hidden for a full cycle of the moon while celebrating by drinking honey wine.
Wearing a veil comes from Roman brides, when the veil was to hide the brides face from evil. The bride would be revealed once she was safe in the presence of god!
The bride would choose a group of her closest girl friends to help protect her from evil spirits, traditionally they would all wear the same dress as the bride to ‘confuse’ any evil spirits trying to steal her happiness.
This is one of my favourite traditions as it is one of the craziest! A bride would hold a bunch of the smelliest herbs in order to hide her own dirty smell! As baths were few and far between in the olden times the bride’s bouquet would have to be pungent enough to mask the stench. These days we choose a bouquet to show a level of delicate beauty which smells lovely too! A buttonhole goes on the left hand side of a man’s lapel and would match the colours of his lady’s bridal colours to show his love, a tradition that is very similar today.
A fruit cake was the tradition and the couple would save the top tier for their first born’s Christening cake. These days a wedding cake can come in so many flavours, shapes, sizes and colours. They can be as adventurous as you could possibly imagine and the sky really is the limit.
We all think we have to have a white dress and back in the day wearing light colours would be only for the rich (as it would be hard keeping it clean). Wedding dresses were usually other colours until Queen Victoria changed the game and wore white.
Queen Victoria came up with an interesting poem when choosing the colour of your dress:
Married in white, you will have chosen all right. Married in grey, you will go far away. Married in black, you will wish yourself back. Married in red, you’ll wish yourself dead. Married in blue, you will always be true. Married in pearl, you’ll live in a whirl. Married in green, ashamed to be seen. Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow. Married in brown, you’ll live out of town. Married in pink, your spirits will sink.
Bad luck traditions.
- Do not see each other on the day of your wedding – until the ceremony.
- Do not spend the night before the wedding together.
- Avoid the month of May and 13th date.
- Do not drop the rings! This is to doom anyone who is present at the wedding.
- Receiving knives a gift.
- Do not look at your ‘full look’ in the mirror just before your ceremony as it is to be said a part of you would be left in the reflection and you would not be able to give your ‘whole self’ to your partner.
Good luck traditions.
Some of these traditions are so bizarre while others offer a very sweet sentiment… which are your favourites? Which will you ditch and which will you incorporate into your day?
- A groom to carry his bride over the thresh hold to protect her from any evil spirits.
- Rain on your wedding day.
- Finding a spider in your wedding dress.
- Wednesday is the ‘best day to marry’ according to traditional English Folklore.
- Church bells ringing would scare off evil spirits.
Happy planning! x
By Charlotte Hill