Not many modern brides are caught up in all of the traditions and superstitions that surround the wedding day, but just in case you are in the minority that wants to assure that you’ll have the best of luck throughout your marriage, here are some age-old traditions you may want to heed.
Most everyone is familiar with the saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” It’s like a mantra that bride’s say as they check off the list:
- Something old – it is best if this is something that was owned by a happily married woman. It is believed that this will ensure the transfer of happiness.
- Something new – this can be anything, but is usually the gown, shoes or bridal bouquet.
- Something borrowed – traditionally, future wealth and fortune will follow if the borrowed item is made of gold.
- Something blue – this color is symbolic of modesty, fidelity and love. Blue flowers can be part of the wedding bouquet, or perhaps the garter that the bride wears can be blue.
About the garter…why is it tossed following the ceremony? The garter is worn on the right leg of the bride, just above the knee. There are often two garters worn, one for tossing and the other as a keepsake. After the bride tosses her bridal bouquet, which will be explained shortly, the groom will sit the bride down in a chair and remove the garter. Depending on the personality of the groom, or on how much he’s had to drink, this can be done quite seductively. Many grooms actually remove the garter with their teeth! In ancient times, the removal of the garter by the groom symbolized the bride’s relinquishment of her virginity.
The groom then tosses the garter into the crowd of single men at the reception. The lucky one to catch it gets to place it on the leg of the woman, or girl, who caught the bouquet. Those who catch the garter and the bouquet are said to be the next to marry, often to each other. The tossing of the garter, like the tossing of the bouquet, symbolizes good luck for the couple.
Tossing the bridal bouquet to the single women at the reception is a popular tradition. Most times the wedding bouquet that is thrown is actually a “throw away” bouquet that is made especially for this purpose. When silk wedding flowers are used, the bouquet can be treasured forever!
Other traditions include:
- Throwing rice – this represents wishes for fertility for the couple.
- Unity candle – with two flames becoming one, this is symbolic of…well, unity.
- The wedding kiss – when the groom finally gets to kiss his bride, this symbolizes the swapping of their souls.
- Wearing the ring on the third finger of the left hand – wedding rings are placed on what’s known as the “ring finger” because ancient Greeks believed that there was a vein in this finger that led directly to the heart.
Of course, the tradition of carrying a bridal bouquet is one that will always be in style! And with today’s exquisite silks, carrying silk wedding flowers is gaining in popularity! With all of the advantages of silks, using fresh flowers for wedding bouquets may someday become a thing of the past!