Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Origin of Wedding Traditions

Photos courtesy of Krystal G. and
Have you ever wondered just how our wedding traditions got started? Why do women wear white dresses. Why do guests throw rice? And why do couples save wedding cake for their one year anniversary? Read on to learn about the origins of some of our most popular wedding traditions in America.

The White Wedding Gown

In "The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions"Jenn Grabenstetter explains that women used to simply wear their best outfit to their wedding just to convince her future husband that her family was wealthy. It wasn't until Queen Victoria came along wearing a pale wedding dress that white caught on. Apparently every girl dreamed of looking like a queen on her wedding day.

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

Hollee Actman Becker explains the tradition of the bride wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue in her piece for The Knot titled, "Wedding Customs: Tracking Tradition." These items are supposed to by symbolic:

  • Old = Continuity
  • New = Optimism
  • Borrowed = Happiness
  • Blue = Love and Fidelity.

Keep the Bride and Groom Separate Before the Ceremony

In that same article, Becker explains why some brides insist that the groom not see them before the ceremony. Apparently this tradition originated from the superstition that it if the groom saw the bride before the wedding she would not be "pure and new" and it would mean bad luck for the couple.

The Wedding Bouquet

If you've ever wondered why the bride carries a bouquet, Rebecca Fairley Raney has the answer over at How Stuff Works in her article, "10 Wedding Traditions with Surprising Origins." Raney explains that this tradition likely got started around the time of the Plauge when people believed herbs would help them survive.

What is your favorite wedding tradition? Do you know how it got started?

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