Wedding traditions

Whether you are a modernist or traditionalist weddings still bring out all the old fashioned and sometimes outdated traditions in all of us. Your Great Aunty Flo really wants you to wear her wedding day garter as your “Something Blue”. You spend the night before your wedding away from each other, because “Bad luck to see the bride before the wedding”. For most couples they are somewhere between. Using some of the traditions and ditching those they are not so fond of. But do you really know how traditions started and what they mean? Let’s demystify some of the most popular wedding traditions.

Why does a bride wear a white dress and a veil?

Can you believe this tradition was started by fashionist of the 1840’s Queen Victoria? Prior to this white wedding dresses were not a big deal at all. So really this tradition is based on a fashion trend that has just continued through the decades. What a trendsetter!

As for the veil well traditionally, this was used to shield the face of the bride during an arranged marriage ceremony. Meaning her appearance was not seen by the groom and family until they were at the altar, giving him little time to make a run for it. It is also seen as a sign of modesty and obedience, traditionally signifying the bride’s virginity at the altar. Now days it is very much a fashionable accessory and adds a wow factor to the bride’s overall appearance. This also explains why most brides choose to not cover their face with the veil while walking down the aisle.

Why can’t the couple see each other before the wedding?

You may think it’s just a bad luck omen. Really the tradition started with arranged marriages and the fear that the groom may do a runner if he saw the bride prior to the wedding!! Thankfully for most of us we know very well what our future partners look like before the big day. We are seeing more and more couples looking to ease their nerves with a sneaky first look. No matter what direction you choose that moment he sees his bride for the first time will always be one of the best wedding moments.

Why Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue?

Such a beautiful tradition that started in Europe in the belief that if a bride carried all of this it wards off evil spirits. Modern day couples often use this ancient tradition to include special family members. Something old from a grandparent, something new from their bridal party, something borrowed from their mothers wedding day and something blue can often be included in floral arrangements as a highlight feature.

Why do brides throw their bouquet?

A wedding tradition starting in England because the bride was believed to be extra lucky on her wedding day. So, to avoid women ripping pieces from her dress to obtain her luck, she’d toss the bouquet to ‘pass on her good luck’ and run from them. Wow that’s extreme!! While it’s not as aggressive anymore (sometimes). It’s a fun belief that the single lady who catches it will be the next to get married.

Keep your real bouquet to preserve and ask your florist to include a throw bouquet. And remember don’t throw it too high!!! Chandeliers be warned!!!!

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Why does the father give the bride away?

Again, this goes back to the times of arranged marriages, the bride was considered their father’s property in which he was giving her away to the groom. From then on, the bride was the property of her husband, and the bride was given away in exchange for a dowry. Over the years while the reason may have changed the tradition stood the test of time.

While traditions hold a special place in our hearts nothing is more important than making sure your day is yours. Whether loaded with tradition or not. Some of my favourite weddings have been those who honour their cultural traditions. If you would like to learn more about how you can embrace your culture have a read of this incredible article from Brides. What traditions are you including in your special day? We would love to hear your thoughts. Jump on over to our Instagram feed and leave a comment or two.