The History of Wedding Traditions

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Throwing the bridal bouqouetDid you ever wonder where some of those crazy wedding traditions came from?  For example, rituals like throwing the bridal bouquet, removing the garter belt from the bride, and saving the wedding cake top to eat on the 1-year anniversary immediately come to mind.  And there are many other examples as well. 

What follows are some interesting factoids regarding the origin of some of the more common wedding rituals.

The Origin of Some Common Wedding Traditions

One of the most tear-jerking moments of any wedding is when the father of the bride walks his daughter down the aisle.  But sadly, this tradition actually goes back to the days when men used their daughters as bartering tools to pay off debts!  Knowing this little tidbit of information, I’d have to say that this is one ritual that is clearly outdated!

Throwing rice on the newly-married couple as they exit the church is another long-standing wedding tradition.  In this day and age, it’s just something fun to do, but originally it was done by well-wishers hoping the couple would be blessed with good fortune and fertility.  Back in the day, it wasn’t just rice being thrown – it included oats and corn as well!

Another popular ritual is the throwing of the bridal bouquet.  Believe it or not, this tradition actually started as a way for the happy couple to distract the room and sneak away to ‘consummate’ their marriage!  Seems a little extreme to me; I guess people weren’t too bright 150 years ago!

The wedding cake top bit always seemed a little ‘out there’ to me, but I know plenty of people who have actually saved the top of their cake for a whole year and then ate it on their first anniversary.  This tradition was actually done in the olden days for the couple’s offspring.  Specifically, the cake top would be saved and consumed as a treat for their first born on the baby’s first christening.

How Today’s Traditions are Different

Today’s world is all about individualization and personalization, and as such many people view old-school wedding rituals as optional.  Some rituals, like the tossing of the garter belt, are omitted by a large percentage of couples.  Even the wedding cake is optional – I’ve seen wedding cupcakes in lieu of a full-blown, tiered wedding cake.  It really doesn’t matter – it’s the bride and groom’s big day and they are allowed to follow whatever traditions they want.

Some rituals are widely performed but customized, and doing this is now an accepted practice even by old-timers.  One example is the walking of the bride down the aisle.  Today, it doesn’t have to be the father.  It is perfectly acceptable for anyone important in her life to do this, such as the mother of the bride or her best friend.  Heck, it’s even acceptable for the groom to be walked down the aisle in certain situations.

The bottom line is that you do not need to be shackled by old school wedding traditions.  Today, it is perfectly acceptable to change or omit some or all of the old-fashioned wedding rituals from back in the day.  So, do what you want to do…after all, it’s your day.

Speak Your Mind