There are many wedding traditions that are followed just because it was always done. What many do not realize is that some of these started as superstitions. Whether you plan to follow these wedding traditions or not, it is important to understand why you are doing them; or at least why they used to be done. Here is a list of wedding traditions that began as superstitions.
1. Veil: The bride wears a veil as it was considered to be bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. Traditionally, the groom never laid eyes on the bride until the veil is lifted.
2. Handkerchief: A wedding handkerchief has always represented tears. First it was thought that a brides tears brought rain for crops. Later a crying bride meant she would not cry during the marriage. These handkerchiefs are to be passed from mother to daughter.
3. Matching outfits: To avoid having a curse placed upon the bride or groom from a rejected suitor the couple would have their friends dress like them so they could not be recognized as the bride and groom.
4. Bouquet: bridal bouquet : The bridal bouquet has evolved over the years. Primitive brides carried stinky garlands to ward off evil spirits (still used in some cultures). Now different flowers are used to represent different virtues. For example, roses are for love, and Lilies are for virtue.
5. Carrying the Bride: The tradition continued to prevent the family demons from following the woman into her new home.
6. Wedding Toast: This wedding tradition of toasting the bride and groom with speeches comes from the custom of placing bread in the bottom of the bride and grooms drinking glasses. Whoever could drink the contents of their glass the fastest would be the ruler of the household.
7. Rice: Rice is considered to be a ‘life giving’ seed and throwing it symbolizes fertility.
8. Throwing garter: The garter is thrown as a substitute for days when guests would invade the bridal chamber, and fling the brides stocking over the couples head trying to get them to land on their noses. The person who accomplished this task first was the next to get married.
9. Throwing the bouquet: The bouquet is thrown as a substitute to chasing the bride down and ripping pieces off of her dress for good luck.
10. Wedding cake: Wedding cake is shared by the bride and groom as it represents the bond between the couple. Traditionally a wheat cake symbolized a ‘fruitful union’ and a sweet cake brought sweetness to the couple’s life.
11. Grooms cake: Grooms cakes was traditionally taken home and placed under the pillows of young unmarried women. It was believed that she would marry whomever she dreamed about that night.