It’s no secret that weddings today are more custom to the desires of the bride and groom than they have ever been. More than ever, we as planners and influencers in the wedding industry are stressing the importance of personality and uniqueness in weddings. From intimate affairs to first looks to after parties, weddings today are all about creating an experience that is unique to the couple. And while I love the individuality that each wedding brings, there are still a few wedding traditions that present themselves at every wedding you attend. So, I thought it would be fun today to take a look back at the funny (Not “haha” funny, but interesting funny) reasons why some traditions came to exist. Hope you enjoy!
Best Man and Groomsmen: In medieval times, close friends of the groom were sent to kidnap the bride from her family. Yes you read that right, kidnap. There was generally a large group of men who attempted this task because they had to fight off the angry relatives of the bride while the groom rode away with her. The one who was able to capture and kidnap the bride became the best man as he was the best at kidnapping.
Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids: The maid of honor and bridesmaids did not become common until wedding started to be planned. Their original duty was to assist the bride with planning the wedding and setting up on the day of. It was the maid of honors duty to attend to the bride leading up to the wedding day and help her get dressed the day of.
Matching Bridal Party Attire: In ancient Rome, groomsmen would dress in similar attire to the groom and bridesmaids in similar attire to the bride to confuse evil spirits who might be targeting the bride and groom.
Not Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding: This stems from the time when arranged marriages were common. The family of the bride would not want the groom to run away when he saw her, so they would keep the bride hidden until she arrived at the altar.
Bridal Bouquet: Bouquets started being carried around the time of the Plague and originally consisted of garlic and herbs to mask the smell and ward off evil spirits. Over time the bouquet began to include more fragrant blooms each with their own meaning for the couple’s life together.
Bouquet Toss: This fun tradition began in England because female guests would try to grab parts of the bride’s dress and bouquet to get some of her good luck. Eventually, the bride began tossing the bouquet and running away.
White Wedding Dress: While we all know white to symbolize purity, it was not a traditional for a bride to wear white on her wedding day until Queen Victoria commissioned a white lace gown to be made for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Before then brides would simply wear their best dress.
Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue: While it’s unknown when this actually started the items do have meaning. Something old is meant to represent a link to the bride’s family. Something new is to represent good fortune and success in her new life. Something borrowed is to remember that friends and family will be there when help is needed. And finally, something blue is to show faithfulness and loyalty.
Giving Away of the Bride by Her Father: This dates back to the time when women were considered property and the groom had to pay a price for his bride. The other theory is that it symbolized the transition of authority from the bride’s father to her husband as she moved from her parental home to her conjugal home. Now a day it represents a bride’s family’s approval of her groom.
Feeding of Cake & Champagne Toasts: Wine signifies life, vitality, love, and a life of plenty. The feeding of cake and wine symbolizes the wedding Eucharist nuptial where they are giving each other a sip of wine from the cup of love and eat from the bread of life and health.
Tossing of Rice and Grand Send Off: The tossing of rice as a couple left the reception was to see them off on their honeymoon as the rice was believed to help them have kids.
Honeymoon: This got it’s name because it used to be that couples were always married on a full moon. At the end of the wedding they would be given a gallon of honey wine (mead) and would go away for the life of a new moon with the intentions of conceiving a child.
*Picture of me “tossing the bouquet” to my dad at my own wedding. We skipped the traditional bouquet toss but my photographer, The Anti Bride, captured this funny shot!