Wedding Traditions

wedding traditions
Why Diamond Engagement Rings ?

Medieval Italians started this tradition because they believed the diamond was created from the flames of love.

Why is and Engagement Ring Placed on the Third Finger of the Left Hand in most Western Cultures ?

A brides engagement and wedding rings are traditionally worn on the third finger on the left hand (next to your little finger). This dates back to Egyptian belief that the “ring” finger follows the vena amoris, that is the vein of love that runs directly to the heart.

Where does Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue come from ?

Something Old – Represents the link with the bride’s family and the past.  A popular choice is a piece of antique
Something New – Represents good fortune and success in the brides new life. Often the wedding gown is chosen as
the new item.
Something Borrowed – Serves to remind the bride that friends and family will be there for her when help is needed. The borrowed item could be a lovely lace handkerchief or a piece of jewellery.
Something Blue – Is the symbol of faithfulness and loyalty, often the blue garter.
And a Sixpence in Her Shoe – This is to wish the bride wealth (any silver coin)

Why does the bride carry a bouquet of flowers?

The carrying of flowers by the bride has its roots in ancient times.  It was believed, strong smelling herbs and spices would ward off and drive away evil spirits, bad luck and ill health.  During Roman times, the bride and groom wore floral garlands to signify new life and hope for fertility. The bridal bouquet symbolised a woman in bloom. Victorian times brought a different meaning, as lovers would send messages to each other using different flowers, each flower having its own meaning. These associations were adopted for the bride’s bouquet and are still used today by many brides.

Today some of the most popular flowers to include in  wedding bouquets are roses, tulips,  and lily of the valley.   The significance of the flowers in the bridal bouquet and their meanings are:
Red Roses – Love
White Roses – Worthiness
Roses (other colours) – Love and Beauty
Tulips – Love
Lily of the Valley – Return of Happiness

Why does the bride throw her bouquet?

It is traditional for the bride to throw her bouquet backwards and over her shoulder towards unmarried female guests when she leaves for honeymoon.  The one who catches it is meant to be the next to be married.

Why do the guests throw confetti at the bride and groom?

The word ‘confetti’ is Italian for confectionary or sweets, which is what was formerly used and symbolised wishes for lots of sweet experiences.  In Britain, real flower petals or rice were often used until the introduction of confetti.  Rice and grain were used because of their symbolism with fertility.  Sometimes the grain was in the form of small cakes
which are the origin of our own wedding cakes. Fruit and nuts are also used in some cultures, again symbolising the
wish for fruitfulness and richness.

Why does the bride wear a garter?

Throwing the garter began in France when pieces of the bridal attire were considered lucky. The bride would throw the garter to the guests at the wedding and whoever caught it could expect good luck.  The garter is worn on the bride’s left leg, just above the knee. Often the bride chooses to wear both a garter to throw as well as a garter to keep.


Horseshoes must be stored upright ‘to keep in the luck’.  Shoes at one time were thrown at the newly married couple for luck!

Cutting the Cake

It is traditional for the bride and groom to make the first cut in the cake together. The groom places his right hand over the right hand of his bride, her left hand is then placed on top, and she places the knife point at the centre of the bottom cake tier and slowly cuts the cake helped by the groom. Bridesmaids keep their slices and place them under their pillow that night in the belief that they will then dream of their own future husbands.

Why does the bride wear a wedding veil?

The origin of the wedding veil is unclear, but, it is thought that it predates the wedding dress by centuries. One explanation is that it goes back to the days when a groom would throw a blanket over the head of the woman of his choice when he captured her and carried her off!  Another explanation is that during the times of arranged marriages, the bride’s face was covered until the groom was committed to her at the ceremony, so it would be too late for him to run off if he didn’t like the look of her!!

Why does the bride stands on the left of the groom?

During the wedding ceremony, the bride stands on the left and the groom on the right. This tradition goes back to the days when a groom would kidnap his bride. If the groom had to fight off other suitors, he would hold his bride with his left hand, this allowed his right hand to be free to use his sword.

The Best Man

The best man was traditionally the best fighter you could get to fend off the father and brothers of the bride, and any other suitors while you took your bride to the church to be married if the parents were not agreeable to the marriage. The best man was generally a feared warrior or even a mercenary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.