Wedding Traditions Unveiled

June 20, 2013

Did you ever wonder where we get some of the wedding traditions? There are some things we just ‘do’ on the Big Day that we don’t even question. Here are some interesting origins behind the habits.

–          Bouquet: Originally during the days of the plague brides would carry herbs such as garlic and dill with them down the aisle in hopes of protecting themselves from the diseases. (Usually carried over their mouths and noses). Overtime better smelling flora was added turning into what we know today as the bridal bouquet. Did you know there is an entire dictionary giving meaning to each flower?

–          Garter Tossing: Years ago in France guests would mob a bride at the end of the ceremony to tear pieces of her dress which were held as an item of good luck. At some point someone derived the garter to be thrown to pacify the mob of guests trying to literally attack the bride at the altar.

–          Bridesmaid’s Dresses: The first tradition of bridesmaid’s dresses was actually for them to MATCH the bride. It was said that by creating lookalikes the evil spirits could not target the bride herself. The trend then moved to white dresses with shorter veils than the bride allowing the bride’s long and elaborate veil to stand alone in the line of women. Once the concept of evil subsided and commercial dyes became more prominent the tradition of colored bridesmaid dresses arose.

–          White Dress: Brides all over the world dress in colors and design so why do we stick with white (or variations of). It wasn’t until 1840 when Queen Victoria wore a full white dress that the trend began to gain popularity. White was associated with mourning, believe it or not, and it was a huge controversy for it to be worn on a wedding day.

–          Giving away the Bride: Daughters used to be a high bargaining chip for fathers and in result they were commonly sold for land, social status or peace offerings. This concept of ‘giving away daughters’ also developed into giving away the bride- as many father’s agreed to marriages in exchange for the above.

–          Saving the Wedding Cake: It was said that a baby should be born within the year of a marriage therefore to save money the top of the cake, or leftovers, would be kept to use at the christening of the new baby. Of course this tradition is still holding strong, but not for the same intent.


Thank you to and for the interesting facts!