There are many Bridal Traditions that span over hundreds of years, some which have faded with time but others that have stayed true to their roots and carried through the ages. Most of us include some Bridal traditions in our big day, however not many of us know the history behind them and what they signify.
With this guide we will take you through both popular, and some unpopular trends and traditions leaving you educated on why and how they where formed, letting you make the decision on whether you should or should not include them, there are no rules in planning your big day... do it your way!
Once you're married, tradition dictates that your engagement band be moved back to the third finger on your left hand, on top of your engagement ring. This is so the wedding ring remains closest to your heart, and in the position it was placed on your finger on your wedding day!
Traditionally a garter is worn just above the knee and can be placed on either leg. Where the bride would toss the bouquet to the single guests to determine who would be the next to get married, the groom would do the garter toss to the bachelors. If you're going to keep this tradition make sure you are not too precious about your garter - some brides have a second garter for the toss. For most the garter is now seen as keepsake of the day or something that can be passed down through generations.
Apparently the Veil is the oldest part of the bridal ensemble - used to "hide the bride from evil spirits who may want to thwart her happiness" It's been through it's fair share of popularity over time but was cemented when Queen Victoria was the first modern monarch to be married with a cascading veil down her back, paired with a white dress, the image of 'the bride' was born. Now still a popular choice for many a bride, and let's face it when else will you get to wear a veil! For those who don't feel comfortable in a veil, fear not, there are now many other alternatives to create your perfect bridal ensemble!
A tradition which is definitely still a firm favourite with most brides, the bride selects a number of her closest friends, this was in the past to protect her from evil spirits on her wedding day. However, in general the modern bridesmaid now has a number of tasks to complete for the big day, and their by the brides side to support her on the run up to the wedding and on the big day itself.
Best Man and Ushers
The best man/woman and ushers are there to support you and your partner on the big day, (contrary to their popular belief they are not just there to organise the 'stag/hen/hag' do). Pick your best man and ushers wisely and assign them roles on the day to make everything run smoothly, they are the first people your guests will generally see, tradition dictates that they will look after the guests and any issues that arrive prior to your arrival.
A tradition which originated in Italy - where grains would be thrown to bestow prosperity and fertility on the newly wed couple. As I'm sure you'll all agree petals, either paper or dried, is now a preferred and much nicer product to have thrown at you on the big day!
Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that began in England, and is still very much a part of the wedding day and a great photographic opportunity, however, traditionally this was not the main event, women guests used to try and rip pieces off the brides dress and flowers (yes you heard that right) in order to attain some of her good luck, the bride would toss her wedding bouquet to distract the guests so she could run away! Maybe it's best this tradition evolved to just the bouquet toss!
British wedding tradition states that the bride would stand to the right of her father, she would walk in first and the bridesmaids and pageboys would follow. Now it's extremely common for the bridesmaids and pageboys to walk first leaving the bride until last. This is all personal choice, you may have your brother, sister or mother walking you down the aisle, or you may just want to ride solo!
It is believed the wedding favour originated in France from the French Aristocracy who gave these gifts to their high class guests as a thankyou - these would typically be a small box filled with sugared almonds or sweet treats, sugar at this time was a luxurious delicacy, thus it was seen as a luxury gift to receive. Modern day favours are still popular and come in many a different form of gift.
The main purpose and tradition of a receiving line is so the hosts of the wedding can greet each and every guests, it's a tradition which is less popular amongst the modern day couples and for some can feel quite formal at a relaxed wedding. Many couples now tend to circulate accordingly throughout the wedding breakfast.
A part of the day which most people look forward to, or dread! The first wedding speech is traditionally given by the the father of the bride, followed by the groom, then finally best man. Speeches are such a personal thing and you should do whatever you feel comfortable with... traditions should be well and truly out of the window for this one!
The First Dance
For some as daunting as the speeches! Traditionally after dancing together, etiquette dictates the groom should also dance with both mothers, the bride should dance with both fathers, the mother of the bride with the father of the groom and the father of the bride with the mother of the groom and lastly the best man and the maid of honor (breath) - lots of 'rules' on this one! At the end of the day this should be about the two of you and what you feel comfortable with... just dance!
Made to bring good luck to you and all your guests this tradition is seen in some form at almost every wedding! Whether it be a showstopping single piece, a simple number or in the form of full dessert tables.
It's All About You
Don't let traditions dictate your day, or overwhelm the experience. If we got caught up in all the traditions of the big day, there would no time for all the fun bits! Make your wedding day about the two of you, as that's all that really matters, it can be easy to forget with all the planning put into a wedding day. If you like the idea of some of the traditions use them, but don't feel like you have to. Your wedding day should be as unique as you are!
'Be the Perfect You'