21 March 2008

Tips for Brides 3 - Traditions

There are so many times that people tell me their wedding is different from everyone elses, and then you find that actually it's much the same, largely because of their own, or their mother's, desire for tradition to be followed.  So let's look at some of those traditions.

Did you know that white wedding dresses only became fashionable with Queen Victoria?  Before then brides would wear brightly coloured dresses to celebrate their joy at getting married.  When Queen Victoria wore a white dress, it was linked to what the christian church had taken on as a symbol of purity.  Poorer women would simply wear their best dress, whatever colour it was.  So go on, be brave, and add colour back into weddings, move on from the Victorian imposed 'traditions'!

Veils were originally used in the days when marriages were arranged for the joining of two families (often associated with land).  Quite often a painting (maybe a miniature) would be sent to the groom to show him what his bride would look like, but the painting would not necessarily be an accurate record of her looks (Oliver Cromwell is famously painted as he really looked because he insisted on being painted 'warts and all' at a time when paintings glorified people).  When the bride walked down the aisle she wore the veil to hide her real looks, and it wasn't until they were married that the groom would see exactly who he had married.

The saying 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' comes from Victorian times (those Victorians have a lot to answer for!).  The 'something old' signified the move from the old life for the bride, and the 'something new' relates to the new life that is about to begin.  Having 'something borrowed' is about borrowing something from a happily married woman to encourage some of the same happiness to rub of onto the bride's marriage.  And the 'something blue' is representative of fidelity, as blue represents purity.  The lesser known part of the same at the end is '... and a sixpence in her shoe.' and signifies wishing the bride financial wealth - it's said it should be in the left shoe, by the way. 

Throwing confetti originates from the throwing of rice, and rice is seen as being life giving, and so symbolises the bestowing of fertility on the couple.

The groom wearing a button hole flower comes from the days when he would wear his lady's colours to demonstrate his love for her.

The bride stands on the left of the groom at the altar to allow the groom to keep his sword hand free.

S you're not going to see the groom the night before the wedding?  Well that also links back to arranged marriages where the bride and groom couldn't see each other in case they realised they were not marrying who they thought they were.

I love traditions, but I also feel that you should do what you want for your wedding, which might be to follow tradition, and also could be about you setting tradition aside and doing your own thing, being truly different.

No comments:

Post a Comment