Wedding Traditions

Traditions have a way of becoming rules of etiquette, and fewer human rites are more imbued with tradition than weddings.  It is interesting to see the origin of customs and while ever- evolving with society; curious brides love to know where the roots of these customs began.

Bridal gowns, for example, have been white because the Greeks believed white embodied purity, innocence and joyfulness. This also implied that the bride was a virgin. In more recent societies, the white gown has come to symbolize the celebration of the wedding itself, although other colours are now being worn. Your wedding veil has always symbolized modesty, privacy, youth and maidenhood. That way of thinking still has a foothold: bridal etiquette authorities today advise second-hand brides to skip the veil and wear a hat or one of the new beautiful hair accessories available.

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Most are familiar with the poem about bridal attire: ” Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a lucky sixpence in your shoe.” What’s generally not known is that if a bride borrows an item from a married woman, the giver’s happiness is said to be passed on to the bride. Also, the something blue symbolizes consistency in a relationship.


The bridal garter originates from at least two cultures. In ancient times, it represented the virginal girdle; the groom’s removal of the garter symbolized her relinquishment of that status. The garter can also be traced to an old English custom of flinging the stocking. Wedding guests would sneak into the bridal chamber, pick up the newlyweds discarded stockings and throw them at the married couple. Whoever flung a stocking that hung on the bride or groom’s nose would be the next to mary!

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Wedding bands, symbolizing eternal love by their lack of beginning or end, grew out of an ancient tribal custom of using circlets of grass to decorate a bride’s wrists and ankles. The Romans and Egyptians with their love of precious metals and stones, initiated the practice of using silver and gold.  Rings are worn yet today on the third finger of the left hand because ancient cultures believed that finger had a vein running straight to the heart.

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And, traditionally speaking, may we wish you happiness, health and prosperity in your new life together.

“In love, the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.” Eric Fromm 1900-1980