Wedding Customs & Traditions and Their Place in Modern Weddings | Wedding

A wedding ceremony occurs when a bride and a groom solemnly pledge themselves to one another for a lifetime, some say for eternity, in the presence of friends and family.Celebrated today, as it has been throughout history, even to Biblical days, marriage and a wedding have been considered a sacred and solemn yet happiest event. Every culture considers a wedding, when the bride and groom enter their marriage as two individuals and becoming inextricably a part of each other, creating a new family, as the highest of all celebrations.As the saying goes, Love makes the world go around.Most cultures celebrate the love, devotion and commitment called wedding, with unique customs and traditions. Because the wedding is a wonderful and touching event, brides and grooms want both ceremony and reception to be personalized and unique to them. Thus, they look for meaningful experiences and often adopt customs and traditions of cultures other than their own.The USA and recently to many other countries have become homes to people from all over the world. These people enrich the cultures with their Old Country customs, traditions and cuisine. Some traditions have become an integral pare of the modern wedding ceremony and reception.Aisle RunnerThe white aisle runner, signifies purity and a pathway into happiness. Sprinkled with rose petals the bride’s path lead her to a sweet and happy future.BibleIn many cultures, and religions it is traditional to give the bride and groom a keepsake bible as a wedding gift. It is also considered important that the bride carry one to the wedding ceremony to signify God as witnessing and blessing the marriage.Blue – Something BlueIn ancient Israel, brides wore a blue ribbon to signify love, modesty, purity and fidelity.Brides in many Latin-American countries wear a light blue slip beneath their dresses.Bread, Salt and Wine CeremonyAn Eastern European tradition calls for the bride and groom to partake in bread sprinkled with salt and drink a sip of wine.The interesting thing about this custom is that different cultures have different interpretations. So while according to Polish tradition the symbolism of the bread is hope that the couple will never go hungry, the salt that life will have its difficulties, and the wine is a blessing for health and happiness, – in Lithuanian tradition the symbolism of the bread is hard work, the salt tears and the wine joy. bridal BouquetWedding bouquets were originally made of such strong herbs as thyme and garlic, which were meant to frighten away evil spirits. Today most couples opt for flowers either because they are favorites, have special meaning or are in their wedding colors.

Bridal HandkerchiefEarly farmers thought a bride’s wedding tears were lucky and brought them rain for their crops. Later on in history, a crying bride meant that she would never shed another tear about her marriage. Today, the handkerchief that dabs away the tears of wedding joy and happiness is kept as a family heirloom, often in a frame or shadow box, until it is lovingly passed down from mother to daughter or to future daughter in law to use on her special day. She in turn is expected to continue the family tradition and pass it down to the next generation.In Belgium, the family of the bride takes a handkerchief embroidered with the bride’s name to the wedding. After the event, the handkerchief is displayed proudly in the family’s home. As subsequent daughters in the family marry, their names are added and then displayed.In Switzerland, junior bridesmaids carry colored hankies. Guests may “buy” the handkerchiefs by contributing a money to the couples “nest egg.”Bridal Shower
Prior to the wedding itself, it is traditional for the Maid of Honor to throw a bridal shower as part of the bridal ceremonies.It is customary to give the bride gifts to be used at the wedding such as wedding accessories, decorations, pew bows – bridal chairs decorations, gig type gifts of a humorous nature, gifts to use on the honeymoon.Bridal Car Cans Tied To The Bumper and – or Honking the HornOne of the Middle Ages wedding traditions was to bang pots, ring cowbells and generally make a lot of disturbing noise after the marriage ceremony in order to ward off evil spirits. This custom has been replaced with tying tin cans to the bumper of the car transporting the bride and groom and or and or honking horns at it while following the bridal procession to the reception to announce the marriage.Shoes on the Bumper:Either combined with the cans or on its own, the custom of Tying shoes to the bumper of the car has become quite popular.The shoes reflect a rather ancient tradition.In ancient Egypt it was customary for the father of the bride, that as he gave his consent allowing the groom to marry his daughter, he would also give him the bride’s sandals to show that she once married she belonged to him.GarterToday, many brides will wear two garters. The garter that coordinates with her wedding accessories will become a wedding keepsake and another, a Tossing Garter, to be tossed to be retrieved by one of the single men in attendance.Garter PouchAnother lesser-known Victorian wedding tradition involved small bags with a bit of bread, cloth, wood and a coin to protect the new family against shortages of food, clothing, shelter and money. Add a lump of sugar to bring them sweetness all their married life.IvyIvy symbolizes eternal fidelity & wedded bliss.A popular
Victorian tradition was for a bride to plant the ivy in her bouquet after the wedding
and watch it grow through the years, passing down sprigs from the same plant for
her daughters & granddaughters to use in their weddings.Money DanceOriginating from most European countries, the Money Dance has become so popular across all weddings that a special Purse – Money Bag is one of the items present with the wedding accessories collection. Called in the USA the Dollar Dance, is where male guests “pay” to dance with the bride. Various methods are used by different cultures. In some, the bride carries a Purse and the dancers place monetary bills in it, in others the dancers pin the bills on the wedding gown, yet in others, the maid of honor wears an apron and collects the money given by the guests to dance with the bride. In all traditions, the guests are expected to be generous when “paying” for a dance with the bride. since the money collected is to be used by the newly weds on their honeymoon and for setting a household.The money dance is so widely accepted as an integral part of a wedding, that most guests anticipate that it will be included in the celebration providing a way for brides and grooms to generate cash without requesting or even suggesting money as wedding gifts.NOTE: We at A-wedding Day have received many inquiries regarding the proper way to ask wedding guests to give money instead of gifts. The answer to ALL was the same. There is NO proper way. It is tacky if and in bad taste. DO NOT do it!!! Ribbon PullA wedding event called a “ribbon pull” is traditional to Victorian weddings. A charm is purchased for each of the bridesmaids and engraved with a wish for the future. Each charm is tied to a ribbon or a silver necklace chain. The charms are places between layers of the wedding cake as it is being assembled. Just Before the bride and groom share the first slice of cake, the bridesmaids gather so that each can pull one ribbon, claiming a “ribbon pull” that holds the promise of her future. Today, many couples offer the Ribbon pull with the rehearsal dinner cake, so the bridesmaids may wear the charms at the wedding.Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Lucky Sixpence

Something Old – Signifies a sense of continuity, tradition and represents the link to the bride’s old life and her family.Something New – Signifies the couple’s new beginning, new life together as well as their hope for the future.Something Borrowed – Borrow something from a happily married friend or family. To wish you that your married life will mirror the happiness in her marriage, Brides can borrow Jewelry or a handkerchief from a family member or close friend.Something Blue – Blue represents fidelity, love, and purity.Lucky Sixpence in her shoe- Signifies wealth both financial wealth and a wealth of happiness and joy. This is an ancient custom to appease Diana, goddess of chastity and unmarried maidens, so that the bride could lose her virginity and bear children. A lucky sixpence in your shoe will bring a life of fortune. The sixpence first became known as a lucky coin then introduced by king Edward VI of England in 1551 and later became part of bridal wedding traditions in the Victorian era.Wedding RingWe hear of wedding ring as early as the Bible. When Abraham sent his servant to bring a wife for his son Isaac, the servant gave her a gold ring and bracelets as he asked her to accompany him and marry Isaac.By its round shape, the wedding ring symbolizes the circle of life and its wholeness and since it has neither beginning nor end, undying, unending love. The metal symbolizes the permanence of marriage while gold with it’s lasting qualities stands for beauty and purity.In Jewish tradition, the ring must be plain with no stones and must belong to the groom.Unity Candles
The ever popular Unity Candle ceremony might have originated in the Philippine Islands. A part of their wedding ceremony presents a set of three candles. The bride lights one candle, the groom lights another, and together the bride and groom light the Unity Candle that signifies their union as husband and wife. Actually the Unity Candle ceremony in the USA took on an additional aspect. The candle not only unites the bride and groom, but their families as well. This is why it is customary to have the mother of the bride, not the bride, light one candle, the mother of the groom lights another, and the bride and groom light the Unity Candle itself. The Unity candle has a very profound meaning for blending family where each child lights a taper candle to signify the new blended family.