Wedding traditions and customs love’em or hate’em, use’em or forget’em; the story behind their meanings makes for fun reading.
These words are taken from an old English rhyme. Meanings of this phrase may vary, but this is the one we like.
Something old and borrowed represents past traditions.
Something new will bring you luck in the future.
Something blue is a symbol of fertility and modesty.
Your guests throw rice at you because rice symbolizes fertility. Whatever your guest chooses to throw on you can represent that they are showering you with the good things in life. In Asia throwing rice symbolizes a “full pantry”.
The original purpose for an engagement ring was a sign that a woman was purchased and belonged to the groom-to-be. The first people to use rings in a romantic way were the French. In the sixteenth century they used gimmal rings. These rings are intertwined, but had a little slit in the gold so that during the engagement each person wore one of the rings. On the wedding day the groom would take his ring off and give it to his bride and that was her wedding band (the two rings together).
The wedding band itself has always symbolized love, right from ancient Egyptian times. The ring is placed on the third finger of the left hand because it’s believed that one vein from the finger runs straight to your heart.
Ancient Romans believed that jealous demons where out to get the married couple. That’s why we have bridesmaids and groomsmen, for protection. The wedding party would all dress similar to the wedded couple so that the demons couldn’t tell who was getting married.
The Romans also carried the bride over the threshold so that the demons couldn’t trip her and spoil her day.
Brides used to be captured and held hostage until her family called off the search. A friend of the groom had the job of fending off and stalling the bride’s family until their escape, that’s where the best man started. The term “honeymoon” comes from the time that followed the capture. The bride and groom would hide for 30 days (one full moon) and drink mead. Mead is made from fermented honey and water, which is still used today to toast the happy couple.
This is an old British ritual called “flinging the stocking”. After the couple was married the guests would rush into the couple’s bedroom and take their stocking, and the first guest to throw the stocking and hit either the bride or groom on the nose was the next to wed.
DECORATING THE VEHICLES
The noise from the cans dragging on the ground is meant to chase away evil spirits. Tying shoes to the car comes from an Irish ritual. Way back when, a bride would give the groom one of her slippers. This symbolizes the fact that he would take care of her now and not her father.
Veils were not always made of tulle. They used to be made of a heavier cloth so that if any other man was in love with her he wouldn’t try to kidnap her on her wedding day, because no one could see who was under the veil.
Yes, you’re right, it means purity, but the colour also symbolizes celebration.
The tears of a bride are good luck and must be caught. Farmers used to think that if a bride cried, there would be rain to water the crops. Also, it is said that if you cry on your wedding day, you’ll never have a reason to cry in your marriage.
STEPPING ON THE GLASS
We have heard many different meanings to this one. Here’s the origin of why a Jewish groom steps on a wine glass wrapped in cloth. This ritual symbolizes the destruction of The Holy Temple in Jerusalem and that even during a festive ceremony a Jew can never forget all the hardships his ancestors had to bare.
In early times, a loaf of bread was broken over the bride’s head and the guests would scramble to pick up the crumbs for good luck. Later on it was tradition that the couple kiss over a pail of cup cakes. Thank God none of us have to get cracked in the head with bread. Pieces of wedding cake are packaged and sent home with your guests so that they can bring home a piece of your good fortune. It is said that any single woman who puts a piece of the groom’s cake under her pillow will see the face of her future husband in her dreams.
When a red slipper is placed on the roof of a house, it means that a honeymoon is taking place, so stay away!
Married in white, you have it right
Married in blue, your love is true
Married in pink, your fortune will stink
Married in green, you’ll never be seen
Married in red, you’ll wish you were dead
Married in yellow, ashamed of your fellow
Married in brown, you’ll live out of town
Married in gray, you’ll live far away
Married in black, you’ll wish you were back
REPRESENTATION OF EACH DAY OF THE WEEK
Monday – Health
Tuesday – Wealth
Wednesday – The Best Day
Thursday – Brings Crosses
Friday – Losses
Saturday – No Luck At All
And to think, everyone gets married on the weekend. Hope you enjoyed these tried and true traditions.