Wedding traditions are the fundamental corner stone of any wedding. Whether that is a veil, bridesmaid, standing under a chuppah or the speeches – each religion and culture have their own very special traditions.
Here we will explore some of them……more will come in future posts.
The wedding veil
The wedding veil was traditionally used to cover a brides head down to her toes. It represents the apparent delivery of an untouched maiden whilst hiding away evil spirits.
Although this tradition is in many religions nowadays some brides either attach the veil to a hair piece atop of their head without placing the veil over their face or do not wear a veil at all.
The wedding cake
The wedding cake was traditionally made to bring good luck to the happy couple and all of their guests and is eaten after the dinner at the wedding reception.
In the 16th & 17th century the cake was a savoury pie made by the bride.
The wedding cake then gradually evolved into a luxury item with sugar being easier to obtain.
In modern days the cake is a centrepiece of the wedding and is sometimes not given to the guests to eat or given as a thank you token for attending the wedding.
Tie the knot
The phrase ‘tie the knot’ comes from when a man and woman hold hands and ribbon is tied around their hands in the ceremony and some say originates from 7,000BC in Ireland.
This is traditionally referred to as ‘handfasting’ which means to formally promise or make contract and is still practiced today.
The wedding rings
The wearing of wedding rings can be traced back to the Romans and was the first signs of a wedding dowry and the promise of fidelity.
A ring is traditionally worn on the ring finger on the left hand and the ring has changed shape and size throughout the centuries but the meaning has remained the same.
In some religions both husband and wife wear a ring, whilst in some religions a ring is only worn by the bride.
The flower girl
The tradition originally stated that young virgin girls would carry wheat that would bring the happy couple good fortune.
Obviously over time the wheat has been changed to flower petals.
Bridesmaid are young women who are unmarried whereas the Maid of Honour is a woman who is married. Their sole purpose is to protect the bride.
Originally the bride and all the bridesmaids wore exactly the same dress and veiled their faces heavily, for the purpose of confusing jealous suitors and evil spirits.
As the rhyme goes;
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.
The first record of the rhyme was in Lancashire in a 1876 newspaper.
They rhyme is purely superstitious but it is still honoured today in the UK and other countries around the world.