You throw the bouquet, you wear something blue, and you definitely make sure your groom doesn’t see you before the ceremony… but why? We all know and love popular wedding traditions, but do you know where each superstition, lucky omen, and traditional best practice comes from? We have the truth behind your favorite wedding traditions below.
Tossing the Bouquet
This wedding tradition comes to us from across the pond. In England, women used to try to rip pieces of the bride’s flowers and even her dress to steal some luck for themselves. To avoid such rips and tears, brides began throwing their bouquets into the crowd before running away. Today, the modern myth states that when a bride tosses her bouquet and a single woman catches it, she will be the next to marry.
The Bridal Veil
In some ancient traditions, it was believed the bridal veil would ward off evil spirts.
Seeing the Bride Before the Wedding
This tradition dates back to the time of arranged marriages when couples weren’t supposed to meet at all before the ceremony. Today’s couples, however, only have to go 24 hours pre-ceremony without seeing each other.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Sixpence in Her Shoe
You may be less familiar with that last part of the rhyme, but these beliefs have been around since the Victorian age. Each was believed to bring good fortune, and so to ensure the greatest luck, a bride would attempt to wear all five on her wedding day. Here’s how they break down:
Something old – Ties the bride to her family and her past.
Something new – Represents the bride’s new life with her new family.
Something borrowed – To find luck with this tradition, the bride had to borrow a token from an already successfully married woman.
Something blue – The color blue was a sign of purity, loyalty, and faithfulness, all desirable qualities in a new bride.
A sixpence in her shoe – This last item was meant to bring the couple good fortune.
The Wedding Cake Smush
Yes, even this quirky tradition has its place in history. Brides and grooms haven’t always smashed cake in each other’s faces, however, there was a time, before lavish tiered cake creations when the groom would bite off a piece of barley bread and the remaining loaf would be broken over the bride’s head, showering her with crumbs. Guests who managed to steal bits of the crumbs off the ground were said to receive good luck for their efforts.
Carrying Flowers Down the Aisle
Not just a lovely touch, brides historically carried bouquets, initially comprised of herbs, as a symbol of fertility.
Today, bridesmaids lend emotional support and assistance to brides throughout the wedding planning process, and on the big day. Traditionally, however, they were used as decoys. Dressed similarly to the bride, the female bridal party attendants were meant to confused evil spirits so that they could not harm the bride. Talk about the ultimate proof of friendship!
Our last tradition is the most romantic. Since the time of Ancient Rome, couples wore their wedding rings on the third finger of their left hand since it was believed inside that finger was a vein that led directly to the heart. We also know that the circular wedding ring represents that one, special love that has no beginning, and no end. That tradition gives us all the feels!