Traditions de-mystified. When it comes to weddings, there are a bewildering number of traditions and superstitions that people may ask if you’re upholding. However, the reason behind some of these may have been lost in the mists of time. Why shouldn’t you gift a bride knives? What’s the point of being carried over the threshold? Well, I love this sort of stuff, so I have put together the most common ones for you to decide whether they fit in with your wedding ethos.
This is probably the most well-known tradition of them all. Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. But why?
The something old represents the bride’s old life and the something new means… you guessed it, her new life.
The something borrowed is supposed to come from a happily married friend so some of their marital joy rubs off on yours.
Blue is the colour of love and fidelity. What more can you want from a marriage?
Don’t look at each other
Why can’t you see each other before you get married? Chances are you’ve been living together for ages anyway, if you had a problem you wouldn’t have gotten this far. Well this superstition dates back to a time when other people arranged your marriage, so the wedding day was the very first time you met. Ensuring the couple didn’t meet until the ceremony meant they didn’t have time to change their minds. Nice!
Warding off evil spirits plays a big part in the superstitions about weddings. Brides were considered very susceptible to attacks from evil spirits that were jealous of their happiness.
The tradition of wearing a veil began in Rome to protect brides as they walked down the aisle.
Bells are supposed to keep evil spirits away, which is why we ring them at weddings.
In medieval Europe it was thought spirits could easily enter a bride through the soles of her feet, so carrying her over the threshold prevents this from happening.
So why shouldn’t knives be a wedding present? Apparently, they symbolise a broken relationship and are therefore bad luck to give as a wedding present. Not the luck you want to start your wedding with.
In some cultures, peonies represent shame and are bad luck for wedding flowers. This is one tradition I’d definitely ignore. If it was up to me, I’d have them in every room of my house. Peonies are too beautiful to leave out of your bouquet.
Apparently, it’s bad luck for the bride or groom to bake their own wedding cake and I completely endorse this one. Quite frankly, you have enough to organise without the added pressure of making the perfect cake as well. Unless of course, this is your day job in which case you should go all out for yourself.
Take a look at our Wedding cake partners / suppliers.
This is a funny one. Garters. Why do you need a piece of lace around your upper thigh? It symbolises mystery and virginity. It can also hold your stocking up if you’re wearing them, so it does have a practical function.
Another tradition is that if you give your garter away then whoever receives it gets good luck!
A superstition that popped up quite a bit was not wearing pearls because they represent the tears the bride will shed during her marriage. From an ethical standpoint, pearls are not vegan-friendly, so maybe it is better to choose crystals and diamonds which bring good fortune because of their transparency and purity.
We all know this one. You throw your bouquet and whoever catches it is the next to get married, but how did it get started? Well it seemed that people used to want a piece of the bride’s dress for good luck and would follow her around trying to rip bits off! Throwing the bouquet was a way of distracting them and making a clean get away.
So, there you have it. The explanation behind some of our most well-known traditions and you can make an informed decision about whether you want to go along with them as part of your wedding, or whether you want to ditch them for your own symbols of good luck.
A date for your diary. Why not come along to our next Wedding Fair on Sunday 19th January 2020.