Posts Tagged ‘wedding traditions’

The bride walks down the aisle, wearing her fancy dress and carrying her glamorous bouquet.  Her fiancé awaits her at the altar, along with her bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and the officiant who is waiting to join the happy couple in the long-honored tradition of matrimony.

Surprisingly, many wedding traditions we observe today have origins during ancient times when marriage had a very different purpose.  Here are our favorites!

wedding traditions

The Bouquet

Nowadays, it’s almost unheard of for a bride to walk down the aisle without an elegant arrangement of her favorite flowers!

Believe it or not, this tradition most likely originates around the time of the great plague, when arrangements of herbs, spices and even garlic were used to ward off disease and evil spirits.

For the ones who survived this devastating era, a bouquet of pungent herbs became a symbol of good luck and protection against evil. Over time, these were replaced with more appealing scents and the traditional wedding bouquet was born!

The Veil

Originated to protect the purity of the bride, the veil was once again made to ward off evil spirits.

As everyone knew during ancient times, brides were especially vulnerable to enchantment! A veil would hide the bride’s face and identity, making it more difficult for spirits to find the one they were looking for. The Romans took this a step further, shielding their brides in flame-colored veils in order to intimidate or frighten away those evils.

During the Victorian era, veils took on a new role: to display a bride’s status.  The larger and grander the veil, the higher the bride’s ranking in society.  You can still see this tradition observed today in grandiose royal weddings.

The Honeymoon

The tradition of the honeymoon dates back to Norse times when women were literally abducted from neighbouring villages.  The woman was given to a single man, and the couple would remain in hiding until the woman’s family would give up their search for her.  Unfortunately there weren’t a whole lot of all-inclusive beach front resorts back then. So during this time of hiding, friends and family of the groom would visit them daily, bringing them mead and honey wine.  Thus, the “honey moon” period!

The Rings

Common opinion among historians states that wedding rings once again originate during times when women were abducted to become the property of a strapping young man or warrior.

The woman would have her hands and feet bound together with braided grass, until it was certain that she would not attempt to escape.  Once she had settled into her new life, she was freed and a rope was tied around her finger only, as a symbol (or reminder) of her captivity.

Rings are also known to have existed in ancient Egypt and during the Roman Empire, used as a symbol of ownership. It wasn’t until the 1200’s when a Bishop declared marriages with rush-rings to be legally binding, thus giving birth to the modern tradition of exchanging rings during a wedding ceremony.

What are your favorite wedding traditions? Have you heard different stories of origin for the ones mentioned here? Let us know!