Oftentimes in a wedding you’ll see certain rituals and you’d wonder where they came from
Oftentimes in a wedding you’ll see certain rituals and you’d wonder where they came from and what they were intended for. Well, guess what, the origins of these traditions are as romantic as the act of tying the knot itself. Some traditions have started with, or adapted on hundreds of years’ worth of practice and habit. They may be performed in order to bless the couple with good fortune, or as a means for the couple to symbolically declare their commitment to each other. The following are wedding traditions with one recurring theme: that of enduring unity, bliss and blessing.
The early Romans were the first to observe the custom of having the couple share the first piece of the wedding cake
The early Romans were the first to observe the custom of having the couple share the first piece of the wedding cake. They believed that an intimate bond is made between the newlyweds with the act. The grains of wheat, used as the main ingredient in baking the cake, symbolize fertility, as wheat is the staple food during those times. The sweetness of the cake was intended to bring bliss to all aspects of the couple’s life.
The Romans also used the ceremonial wedding kiss
The Romans also used the ceremonial wedding kiss as a formal sealing of the agreement of the couple to a lifelong commitment, and is passed on to present time, with the added romantic meaning that the act symbolizes the union of the souls of the couple.
The tradition of showering the couple with rice after the wedding ceremony
The tradition of showering the couple with rice after the wedding ceremony is also an ancient one. A grain of rice is originally considered as a miraculous and life-giving seed, and the act of lobbing showers of it on a newlywed couple is believed to bestow that same fertility and fruitfulness on them, providing them with children.
The custom of including something old, new, borrowed, and blue in the bridal outfit…
The custom of including something old, new, borrowed, and blue in the bridal outfit is one which is straight out of a Victorian-era saying. ‘Something old’ symbolizes the bride’s bond to her family and life before her marriage, ‘something new’ symbolizes the newlyweds’ life together, and the wishes for a fulfilled future. ‘Something borrowed,’ which comes from a happily married female friend or relative, is intended to pass the same bliss on into the bride, and ‘something blue’ symbolizes her unwavering faithfulness.
The white bridal gown
The white bridal gown, which is the norm of today’s weddings, was originally meant as a way of defying a fashion trend; before the time of Queen Victoria, women wore their best gowns on their wedding day, and her majesty herself diverted from the usual royal custom of wearing a silver gown and opted for a white one instead. White is also a universal symbol for purity and chastity, so it is but natural that it should be the color of the dress the bride uses on her day of union.
The ancient Egyptians
The ancient Egyptians believed that the vein of love runs directly from the ring finger and into the heart, so they observed the tradition of placing the wedding ring on it to symbolize everlasting love. In the 17th century, the observed custom was for the groom to partly slide the ring up into the bride’s thumb, index finger and middle finger as the priest uttered the phrase ‘in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,’ and since the next free finger was the one following the middle, the ring was permanently placed there.