Wedding planning is–for lack of a better word–intense.
Why? Because there are so many essential details that go into a wedding. Getting the perfect white dress, a garter, picking the most gorgeous bouquet, adding that stunning veil, and orchestrating the details of the bridesmaids//groomsmen, plus more. Our time and effort is dedicated to these details during those crucial wedding planning months. Has this ever made you wonder why these traditions were ever started in the first place?
Well, today you are going to find out!
1. WHY BRIDES WEAR WHITE
This tradition starts all the way back from Queen Victoria’s reign. Before her, wedding dresses were actually red–believed to be romantic, with a “roses are red” notion. White, at this time, was seen to be a representation of mourning–or a color you would wear to a funeral. In fact, Mary Queen of Scots was scolded for wearing white at her wedding in 1558 for that reason. Queen Victoria must have worn that white dress real well to change the trends! In 1840, only 176 years ago, the white dress became a long-lasting trend–believed to represent innocence of a little girl transitioning into womanhood. But, as we now know, white was not the traditional wedding dress color–which may be why wedding dresses are now starting to venture out into pinks, reds, and even blacks.
2. WHY THE GROOM TOSSES THE GARTER
I’ve heard some of my friends who have recently gotten married converse and wonder about why the garter toss is a wedding ritual. After some research, the original superstition years ago was that taking a piece of the bride’s wedding attire was worth a lot of good luck. Rather than having everyone come and try to rip a piece off of the bride, it started to become a ritual that the groom would throw the garter (not a major piece of the bride’s attire) to the wedding guests. Now, we believe, or say, that the unmarried man who catches the garter is the next in line to wed.
3. WHY THE BRIDE TOSSES THE BOUQUET
Just like the garter toss, guests would try to steal flowers from the bride’s bouquet for good luck. Thus, the bride would just toss her bouquet so she could get away with her lucky dress. Interesting way to congratulate a couple, wouldn’t you say?!
Now, bouquets are tossed to bachelorettes (in an orderly–or at least semi-orderly–manner;)) for good luck.
4. WHY THE BRIDE EVEN HAS A BOUQUET
I was actually really surprised at the reason behind bouquets. Apparently, there were many reasons for the eloquent flowers back in ancient times, one being it was a sort of perfume. Unfortunately, smelling great back then wasn’t that easy, so the flowers were used first and foremost to mask any unpleasant stenches. Additionally, they were used to ward off evil spirits, as very strong spices and herbs would be added to the flowers as protectants. The bouquet also signified new life, fertility, and a sweet, romantic message from the groom (the best reason in my mind:)).
5. WHY THE BRIDE HAS A VEIL
Brides still often use veils today, but not necessarily for the same reasons as ancient times. Veils have been used for many different reasons over the years–again, to protect the bride from evil spirits, and also to keep the tradition that brides should not be revealed until the ceremony (especially for arranged marriages). Thus, veils would be worn over the bride’s faces until she reached the groom–today, the veil is more about the beauty and “crowning” it adds to the bride’s entourage.
6. WHY THERE ARE BRIDESMAIDS AND GROOMSMEN
If you have ever been a bridesmaid or groomsmen, the bride or groom you knew was probably someone you would want to protect over anything, right?! Well that’s where this whole bridal party thing started. Again, those evil spirits liked to work hard at weddings… Originally, the groomsmen and bridesmaids were dressed exactly like the bride and groom to confuse any evil spirits–essentially, they were protectors. Now, we are much more supportive of making wedding days special days for the two people we love most, so the bridal party is dressed differently from the couple. The bride and groom are now singled out and given the spotlight for their special union as husband and wife.
I hope you learned as much as I did about these interesting wedding traditions! If you have heard other reasons for these rituals, I would love to hear them in the comments below.
Happy wedding planning!