Wedding traditions

2017-07-19 06:02

THE Wedding Expo in Durban has researched various traditions, which are followed on that special day.
If you refer to “tying the knot”, this is from cultures such as Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian when the hands of the bride and groom are tied together to demonstrate the couple’s commitment to each other.

Bridal showers started three centuries ago in Holland when, if a father did not approve of his daughter’s choice and refused to give her a dowry, her girlfriends would club together and shower her with gifts so she had a dowry and was able to marry.

Today we believe it is bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other the night before the wedding. Now it is a fun way of allowing both parties to prepare in peace, but in the early days, brides and grooms weren’t supposed to see each other until the last minute, so the groom didn’t have the chance of changing his mind.

It used to be considered bad luck if the couple were to see each other on the night before the wedding. In arranged marriages, the bride and groom often never saw each other at all before the wedding.

The bride was also supposed to not see herself — it was believed that if she saw her reflection she would leave some of herself behind in the mirror.

The tradition of bridesmaids wearing matching dresses dates back to Roman times when people believed evil spirits would attend the wedding in an attempt to curse the bride and groom.
Bridesmaids were required to dress exactly like the bride in order to confuse the spirits and bring luck to the marriage.

Don’t forget something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

It comes from an English rhyme where old represents continuity, new offers optimism for the future, borrowed symbolises borrowed happiness and blue stands for purity, love and fidelity.

Bouquets of flowers are always a beautiful feature of the bridal party, but the historical reason is not so.

In the 1600s onwards it was customary to have an annual bath only — usually in May — so the bride carried a bouquet to mask the smell of body odour.

As a bride was considered lucky, in the olden days guests used to tear off parts of her dress to get a good luck talisman for themselves. Obviously brides were not very happy with this so the tradition of throwing the bouquet came into fashion.

The sweetest part of your wedding day can be dated back to ancient Greece when couples shared crushed sesame cakes to ensure fertility.

In medieval England baked goods, from biscuits to scones, were piled high and the couple then attempted to kiss over the mound and were assured a lifetime of prosperity if they could manage the kiss without toppling the pile.

Another tradition was for guests to take home a wrapped piece of wedding cake.

Legend says that single women will dream of their future husband if they sleep with a slice of cake under their pillow.

After the wedding and honeymoon, arriving home for the first time, the tradition is to carry the bride over the threshold as an ancient belief that the newly married couple were susceptible to evil spirits and by carrying the bride over the threshold, there would be a protective layer between the floor and the bride, protecting her from the ground monster.

— The Wedding Expo.

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