Explaining the traditions behind a conventional church wedding

If there’s one thing that you’re never short of at a traditional church wedding, its traditions and superstitions. And while some traditions such as the role of bridesmaids would appear on face value to be simply a way of giving the bride a hand on her big day, you’d be wrong to think so. Have a look below at some of the most common wedding traditions and see if you learn a thing or two.

Say what?

It’s one of the most common sayings associated with weddings – “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”. Fulfilling all of the above requirements is meant to bring a newly married couple luck in their life together. The something old is meant to be a link to the bride’s family’s past, and is often represented through a piece of precious family jewellery. Something new is usually taken to be the wedding dress and represents health and happiness for the future. Something borrowed represents the bonds between a bride and her family and the item must be returned after the wedding to ensure the good luck remains. Something blue, which represents fidelity, can be in the form of anything from a blue flower to a blue wedding garter.

Bridesmaids

Did you think bridesmaids were just there to make up the numbers and lift the bride’s train? Think again! Traditionally, bridesmaids were on evil spirit duty, their role being to confuse the devil and make sure that he was unable to tell which woman was actually getting married.

Blooming marvellous

Believed the flower in groom’s lapel was there just to look nice? Not a chance! Different flowers have different meanings, such as stephanotis which signifies marital happiness. The groom’s buttonhole is said to be linked to medieval times when a knight would wear his lady’s colours to signify his love and loyalty.

Pray remember May

When you decide to get married is of critical importance if traditional rhymes are to be believed. “If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember”. That’s how the saying goes, and for goodness sake don’t think about tying the knot in May. “Marry in the month of May, and you’ll live to rue the day “. Talk about getting things off to a bad start!

Let them eat cake

It’d be a pretty poor wedding without any cake, and when it comes to traditions, there is nothing more steeped in them than the wedding cake. Going back to Roman times, the wedding cake was actually in the form of lots of little buns made from wheat to symbolise wealth and fertility. After the ceremony the groom would break one over the bride’s head, again to ensure good luck and fertility. The cutting of today’s cakes is the first act that a bride and groom do together and this is said to represent the fact that they are now sharing their lives together. And of course the traditions don’t end there – the top tier of the cake should be saved until the christening of the couple’s first child.

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