One of the first things I learned during my event & wedding planning courses was the meaning and importance of all the traditions. It’s always interesting to know why we repeat things. In ancient times, people believed in evil spirits and knights were literally capturing the bride to marry her. The best example of this idea is the famous legend of ‘ Tristan & Yseults’. Societies decided to protect the vulnerability of these poor women by creating a few tricks that became the traditions we are all very familiar with today.
The very first bridesmaids used to dress exactly the same as the bride in order to fool any troublesome spirits who wanted to cast an evil spell upon the bride. The veil was added for a similar reason, and later also became a sign of humility and respect before God during religious ceremonies. Until modern times, brides were carrying garlic and herbs in their bouquets. The practice took its origins from the time of the plague, when people protectively clutched the herbs over their noses and mouths in a effort to survive. Over time, we added pretty flowers to the arrangement to create a more decorative version.
Snagging a torn piece of the bridal dress was considered a sign of good luck for a single man. A wedding always ended with battles at the altar, while the bride was sobbing in despair. In order to prevent a disaster, brides started tossing their garters to please the single men and settle things down! Can you believe that guests also used to go into the wedding chamber to check the bride’s stockings for signs that the marriage had been consummated?
Rice was thrown over the newlyweds in hopes that the couple would be prosperous and have plenty of children. A little seed may grow into a big plant, an appropriate symbol of fertility for a newly married couple. This practice is still common in France, although more and more couples choose to replace the rice with rose petals, a slightly more glamorous choice.
Another tradition that comes from the North is the honeymoon. The groom took the bride off to a remote land to hide from suspicious, jealous strangers for the duration of one complete moon cycle.. During each day, a family member would bring the couple a cup of love potion made of strong wine & honey. This sweet beverage also helped the newly married couple loosen up and relax sexual inhibitions. After the 30 days, the bride would definitely fall in love with the groom.
The tradition of attaching cans to the back of the newlywed limo first began as a way of protecting the marriage by warding off any evil spirits with a lot of noise. As the couple was starting their journey together they left in a cloud of noise to frighten off any negative energies. Did you know that in Russia couples tie a teddy bear to announce if they want to have a little boy or a doll of they wish to have a girl ?