The Truth Re-Veiled: Wedding Traditions Explained
From proposing with a diamond ring to donning a white gown, weddings are often associated with various customs. However, in recent years, couples are seen moving away from these traditions. For instance, an increasing number of newlyweds-to-be are seen opting for engagement and wedding rings with alternative gems. This begs the question of what other wedding “must-haves” are actually not that crucial? Today, we find out the origins of some common wedding traditions which might change your mind about having them on your big day.
Re-Veiling the Truth
With its seemly sole decorative purpose, it’s hard to see veils as anything but the fashion statements that they are today. However, in the past, veils were often used to conceal the bride’s face from the groom. Back in the day, the couple may have their first meeting at the wedding and in order to prevent the groom from breaking the union based on the bride’s looks, the veil was only lifted after they exchanged their vows! In other cultures such as Chinese dialects, the veil was meant to ward off bad luck, which is why the material was often dyed red in hopes that the auspicious colour would help to redirect negative energy.
White is the New Black
The general assumption is that the bride wears white to symbolise her purity. Yet, the original wedding dress was never white as white fabric was incredibly difficult to come by. Only in 1840, when Queen Victoria decided to wear a white dress to her wedding did white gowns come into fashion. Brides would emulate her choice of colour so as to display their supposed wealth and status.
Bouquets have evolved to include innovative options such as fruit, cotton candy and even fried chicken. Even then, bridal bouquets were not always just a handful of pretty blooms to carry down the aisle. In fact, the bouquet tradition was sparked by brides carrying an assortment of herbs and spices believed to ward off evil spirits. Although, it was also thought that at one point, the mix of herbs carried would also have been thought to prevent the bride from catching the plague.
Over the Threshold We Go
The bridal carry has been romanticised into oblivion, with it being used for photographs and even outside of weddings. What was so important about carrying the bride over the threshold of the house was that this put more distance been the bride’s feet and the evil spirits on the floor – slightly strange but sweet all the same. Other variations include the notion that were the bride to trip while crossing the threshold, the marriage would have bad luck, hence simply carrying her over was the safer option. It was also said that it was disrespectful for the bride to simply walk away from her family and so, her husband would be the one to carry her over rather than having her make the move on her own.
The Supporting Cast
The wedding party is always a great aspect of the wedding, with your best friends as bridesmaids and groomsmen as well as a maid-of-honour and best man. While the best man offers the groom support in recent weddings, he used to be literally the best in terms of fighting and capability. This was because the bride’s family may not have approved of the match or the bride herself might not have been willing to marry the groom, in which case the best man was to fend off her family or abduct the bride.
On the other hand, bridesmaids were often dressed in similar dresses so that they could act as decoys for the bride and potentially direct any negative energies or evil spirits away from her on her special day!
Now that you know all this, you might want to think twice about wearing a veil or having your bridesmaids in matching outfits. At the same time, you might also be more comfortable with breaking these traditions now that you know their backgrounds, opening up more options for you to plan your day the way you want it to go.