They say truth is stranger than fiction, and in regards to wedding tradition, the stories attest to that. So many of the rituals and ceremonies that we hold dear on our wedding day are deeply rooted in ancient superstition, historical significance and cultural beliefs. Today, they are simply traditions – but the accepted elements of a wedding ceremony are often anything but classic in origin.
- The Proposal – the groom rarely proposed in eras past; he instead sent family members to ask the bride’s family members for her hand. However, if they passed a pregnant woman, blind man or a monk on their journey, they turned around and the wedding was off.
- The Bride’s Dress – although we have come to understand white to mean purity and chastity, it wasn’t until the 19th century that it became common for brides to wear white. Traditionally they would wear their best dress, whatever color. It was Queen Victoria, in the 19th century, who challenged the royal tradition of wearing silver to be married, and instead chose white, inspiring others to do the same. The veil was first worn to protect the bride from evil spirits.
- The Bridal Party – In ancient warring cultures, bridesmaids and groomsmen were actually chosen to protect the bride from marauders who might kidnap her on her wedding day. Similarly, the best man was the groom’s most trusted fighting ally; and the tradition of the bride standing to the groom’s left originated so he could have access to his sword to defend her from attackers.
- The Wedding Ring – Long a symbol of eternity, the ring is placed on the fourth finger of the left hand because it is believed that a vein runs directly from this finger to the heart.
- The Wedding Cake – In some tribal cultures, the simple act of eating a wedding cake together is considered a marriage ceremony. In England centuries ago, guests brought small buns to the ceremony and piled them up. If the bride and groom could lean across the pile and kiss without upsetting the mound, it was considered good luck. The traditions of a tiered wedding cake, and the sharing of the wedding cake followed by a kiss, are derivations of this tradition.
Although flowers have always been a part of wedding ceremonies, they were less decorative and more symbolic. The type of flower was chosen for its meaning and underlying significance, such as fidelity, trust, love or passion. Today, brides and grooms choose floral bouquets, arrangements and centerpieces based on color, style, theme or preference – but whatever your choice of flower, the right choice of florist for your Fort Worth wedding is Bice’s Florist.
After all, your wedding is your time to start a few new traditions. And we are here to help.