It’s the big day, everybody’s excited! The garden looks amazing, the cake is 100 layers and fabulous. But wait, did we check if the bride had something old, something new? Did she have anything borrowed, is she holding anything blue while walking down the aisle.
These are but a few traditions that we normally check off our list. A lot of people make an elaborate list, but others tend to just brush them off.
If you are one who sticks to traditions and doesn’t treat them lightly, here are the top 5 wedding traditions one should consider on the big day, and the rationale behind them.
Wedding Ceremony Traditions
1. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.”
This rhyme remains as a British custom, but has spread all throughout the world and have been practiced in a lot of weddings all over.
The allegorical meaning of the rhyme is: Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness, something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity; and a sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity.
2. Carrying a bouquet down the aisle
This universal tradition has always been at the top of every wedding planner’s list. Together with the killer wedding dress and shoes, the bride must ALWAYS carry a bouquet. Otherwise, it would look incomplete and awkward walking down the aisle with the bride’s hands without flowers. Of course she can do a royal wave, but even that won’t make up for the whole vibe of the ceremony.
The history behind carrying a bouquet, interesting as it may sound, is that in the Middle Ages, strong smelling herbs and spices were carried by the bride to drive away evil spirits, bad luck and any misfortune. Also, popular among those times was the herb dill, as it was the herb of lust. Its consumption by the newlyweds was thought to increase sexual desire.
Another origin of the bouquet during weddings dates back to ancient Rome, when brides carried flower garlands, as flowers signify new beginnings, fertility, hope and fidelity.
3. Exchanging wedding bands
Before the big day, the happy couple gets to choose the design of their bands or rings, as these will be worn by them all throughout their lives as a symbol that they have given themselves to their significant other.
As the phrase goes, ‘til death do us part’, these words are the very essence of the wedding bands. The bride has given herself to the groom and the groom to the bride – and no one except death can separate them.
Moreover, a ring symbolizes the eternity of their love. It has no beginning and end.
4. The wedding vows
The highlight of every wedding is the exchange of vows. In some traditions, the priest facilitates by guiding the bride and groom on their vows. In some traditions, the bride and groom can make their own solemn vows.
This part is the one that seals the deal as some couples have stayed together in a home, without the benefit marriage and without standing in from of one another in ceremony to let their love and vows be heard by their partner.
Tradition after Ceremony
After the bride and groom have finally tied the knot, we now go to the next event that all of the guests enjoy: the reception. And even during the reception, the traditions continue. This is because, ever since time immemorial, after a weddings comes a grand feast – a celebration of union, two souls joined as one to multiply and become a family.
5. Serving the wedding cake
Just like birthday celebrations and other events, a wedding will not be complete without serving the cake. It’s one of the highlights of any wedding, the other being the wine toasting.
Serving the cake represents fertility and prosperity — and cutting the cake and feeding one a another is a symbolism for doing things together as equal heads of the family, one needing the other.
6. The wedding toast
In the wedding toast, the best man, is entitled – or burdened – with the task of introducing the couple, sharing their history and wishing them well. Everyone hopes that the groom hasn’t drank too much before the toast so he could execute his job well.
Next to share is the maid of honor who seconds the motion in sharing the love between the couple. But, experience tells us that, the maid of honor also smoothens what the best man started.
As for the symbolism behind the toast, this symbolizes drinking from the cup of life and sharing all of the couples experiences together, bitter and sweet. In some countries, part of the ceremony asks the bride and groom to drink from the same cup as a symbol of sharing themselves with one another.