Most of our wedding traditions and rituals that we follow today, date back to our ancient ancestors. Here’s a look at how some of these traditions originated and what they mean…
Ringing of the wedding bells after the ceremony. This was meant to scare away the evil spirits that could destroy the couple’s happiness.
Throwing rice (or birdseed) as the couple departs. The birdseed was thrown to promote fertility.
The white bridal gown. In ancient times, the traditional color of bridal gowns was red or other bright colors. The wife of Napoleon III, broke the tradition and wore a white gown. Then, brides began wearing white gowns (that were worn only once) as a symbol of their wealth.
Bride and Groom’s attendants. In ancient times, the attendants would wear clothing similar to the bride and groom so the evil spirits would be unable to recognize the couple and cast any evil spells.
The Bridal Bouquets. In ancient times, the first bridal bouquets were made of not only flowers but special herbs and spices. This was done to ward off the evil spirits. They also used particular herbs that symbolized fertility.
Garter Toss/Bouquet Toss. In the 14th century, it was customary for the bride to toss her garter to the men, but sometimes the men got too drunk, and would become impatient and try to take the garter off her ahead of time. (Eventually the groom got into the act and saved his bride from the unruly mob…we hope). All the same, it got to less trouble for her to toss her bridal bouquet instead.
The bride’s family is seated on the left side of the church and the groom’s family on the right. The bride walks down on the left arm of the father and the bride’s family and guests also sit on the left side. In medieval times, the men wore their swords on their right side and they needed that side free in case they needed to draw their swords and protect!
The Wedding Ring. The circle is the symbol of the sun, the earth and the universe, of wholeness and perfection, continuity, and love. It is worn on the third finger because of an ancient Greek belief that a vein from that finger goes directly to the heart.
The Receiving Line. In ancient times, it was believed that the bride and groom were blessed. Those who touched them would have good luck.
Bride and groom cut the cake and then feed each other. Feeding each other the cake symbolizes how the couple will “feed” and nourish the relationship for the rest of their lives. Now, this was meant as loving and caring symbol for each other. As for the “smearing” and pushing cake into each other’s faces? No one knows how that started… Hopefully, that’s a “tradition” that will die out!