For hundreds of years we have been following and implementing many wedding traditions without really knowing the reasons behind these deeply instilled rituals.What traditions you want to accept and what to reject is up to personal preference but to help you decide here is a list of the most commonly known traditions and the fascinating facts behind them.
Giving away the bride
This very popular tradition of the father giving away his daughter is a very antiquated tradition dating back to the days when women were their father’s property until they get married. Christians also viewed this tradition as fulfilling the verse in Genesis 2:24. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one” Today a father giving away his daughter is a symbol of his blessing and support of the marriage.
For many reasons it is not necessary for anyone to give the bride away. Why not walk hand-in-hand down the aisle together or the bride can walk down the aisle by herself.
The Wedding Ring
The wedding ring has been worn on the third finger of the left hand since Roman Times. The Romans believed that the vein in that finger runs directly to the heart. The wedding ring is a never-ending circle, which symbolizes everlasting love.
As an alternative, a love letter exchange is a romantic ceremony, that will serve as a lasting reminder of the commitments made to one another. Heartfelt letters, encapsulating your thoughts and feelings are symbolic – locked away during the ceremony in a wine box to be revealed several years into your marriage.The letters describe the good qualities you find in one another, the reasons you fell in love, and the reasons for choosing to marry.The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and the couple does not see what the other has written.You have created your very own “romantic” time capsule to be opened on your 5th wedding anniversary.
Tossing the bouquet
This tradition stems from England. Back in the day, women were known to rip pieces from the bride’s dress and flowers in an effort to obtain good luck. To escape from the crowd, the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Today the bouquet is tossed to single women with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry
There are lots of alternatives to this tradition but one of my favourites is the idea of the Anniversary dance. Instead of forcing your single friends to fight for your bouquet, why not consider honouring the couple that has been married the longest at the wedding. The DJ invites all married couples to the floor to dance. The DJ will then eliminate each couple one by one starting with “if you have been married less than a day, leave the dancefloor (obviously the bride and groom are the first to leave). Through the process of elimation, the couple that has been married the longest are presented with the bouquet.
Not all wedding traditions are necessary or meaningful. Today, most couples seem less focused on adhering to tradition, expressing their individuality and creativity through different elements of their wedding. The most important thing with a tradition is that it means something to you. You do the things that feel right and make you happy on your wedding day.