Wedding Traditions: Where did they come from?
Something old something new, something borrowed something blue... We all know the rhyme right? But where did these quirky wedding traditions come from? In this blog I'll investigate wedding traditions and their history, and how they have evolved to still be a part of weddings today!
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe.
We've all heard the old rhyme; but what does it mean?
The old item provides protection for the baby to come (Quite the assumption - am-I-right?!). The new item offers optimism for the future. The item borrowed from another happily married couple provides good luck. The colour blue is a sign of purity and fidelity, while the sixpence — a British silver coin — is a symbol of prosperity or acts as a ward against evil done by frustrated suitors. (You fellow Bridgerton fans out there will know what I'm talking about!) Typically these items now take form in charms and jewellery - what bride doesn't want to be adorned on her wedding day?!
Whether you believe in the superstition or partake just for fun, get in touch to find out if I can be your something blue!
The tradition of throwing wedding confetti originates from Northern Italy during the middle ages and has certainly been around in the UK since Pagan times. Historically, guests threw flowers, petals, or grains of rice to bestow prosperity and fertility.
It's important to know that paper confetti or grains of rice can have detrimental effects on the environment and animals. To make an effort to be an eco friendly supplier, and comply with venue restrictions, I include eco friendly dried petal confetti in all of my photography packages! These day guests get so wrapped up in the day and showing their love, that they forget to bring along confetti - or bring along the £1 paper packs from the card factory (which is unlikely to comply with your venue). So I take care of it for you.
If you're looking for an eco friendly confetti supplier, I highly recommend Dollz Confetti! I use Dollz Confetti for all my packages. Check out some actions shots below...
Throwing the bouquet
This one was actually quite a sinister surprise! Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that stems from women trying to rip pieces of the bride's dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Today the bouquet is tossed to single women with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry. I don't know about you but I like the modern version more...
Of course, there are some other fab ideas of what to do with your bouquet after the wedding so that it doesn't go to waste! Sarah Ashleigh Designs creates G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S bespoke keepsakes and ornaments by preserving your beautiful bouquet flowers in resin!
If you'd like to check out her work or book her for your wedding bouquet you can get in touch with her here:
In the Roman Empire, flower girls were young virgins who carried a sheaf of wheat during the wedding ceremony; it was believed that this would bring prosperity to the bride and groom. During the Renaissance flower girls carried strands of garlic, based on the belief that garlic repelled evil spirits and bad luck.
However the Victorian flower girl most resembles the modern one; traditionally dressed in white, perhaps with a sash of colored satin or silk. The Victorian flower girl carried a basket of fresh blooms or sometimes a floral hoop, and since couples often embarked on arranged marriages for political reasons, a flower girl symbolising fertility for the couple was most important.
Giving away the bride
This one we all know... Way back when weddings were essentially a business exchange between families,
a female child was known to be property of her father and so the transferring of “ownership” to her groom on her wedding day was indeed a legality. The tradition of “giving away” would signify that the bride’s family would no longer have control over her or her possessions (dowry) and that her husband would respectfully take on the responsibilities and obligations that her father once boasted.
The tradition of taking his hand and placing the groom’s on the bride’s is symbolic of the “passing” of his property or duty. Not so sweet, eh? These days we tend to view this tradition as more of a union of families and a father's blessing rather than... ownership...
This one's my favourite! Dating as far back as Greek and Roman times, to hide a bride "from evil spirits who might want to thwart her happiness" or to frighten the spirits away. The veil also served to hide the bride's face from the groom prior to the wedding, as superstition says that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony.
Fun fact: The bridal veil became a status symbol after Queen Victoria wore a veil at her wedding to Prince Albert. During the Victorian era, the weight, length, and quality of the veil indicated the bride's social status! The bigger the better... right?
Speaking of flamboyant veils, I HIGHLY recommend checking out these incredible bespoke veils by Anne-Marie!
Nowadays, we pick and choose which traditions we want to keep. Some have come to be viewed as quite sexist and archaic while others have translated nicely through the ages. Which traditions do you like? Which ones do you hate? Which ones are you flipping the script on entirely? A bouquet of buttons? Hell yes! Your pet dog giving you away? I want to be there! I can't wait to see what you guys come up with for your big days!