A wedding is a special time and a day that will be forever remembered.
There are a lot of wedding traditions that can be followed, depending on your preference and your heritage. Many traditions are followed without even realizing them, such as picking out engagement and wedding rings and proposals.
So, it makes sense that many people continue to follow traditions throughout the wedding day, the reception, and even into the honeymoon.
Many traditions have stemmed from North American roots.
1. Bridesmaids dresses are typically colorful
The bridesmaids at a wedding are supposed to distract any evil spirits or entities away from the bride. The bridesmaids would wear bright colors and stay surrounding the bride dressed in white, so the spirits could not get to her. It was also thought to keep any bad luck from happening to the bride.
2. Kissing the bride at the end of the wedding
This is also a tradition that almost every couple follows. It stems from an ancient Rome custom of sealing every bargain and contract with a kiss.
Those who enter into the contract of marriage seal the deal with a kiss at their wedding, as well.
Flowers are another wedding tradition, yet most people do not realize their symbolism.
Flowers are the symbol of new life and fertility.
They were traditionally meant to ensure the bride could get easily pregnant. While many flowers may be seen as simply decorative, certain ones hold specific meanings.
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4. Bride should wear something blue
Many people wonder why a bride should wear something blue. This stems from ancient Israel, when the bride-to-be would always wear a blue ribbon to signify the hope of fertility.
Today, many brides choose to discreetly wear something blue, even undergarments, to continue this tradition.
Wedding reception traditions
North American traditions are not just limited to the church, they can also continue well into the reception and honeymoon.
1. Ropes of tin and aluminium cans tied to the back of a newlywed’s car
For years, people have tied long ropes full of tin and aluminum cans to the back of a newlywed’s car.
This has been a very popular way to see the newly married couple off. Also, it is yet another tradition meant to keep any evil spirits well away from the couple by scaring them off with the noise.
2. Tossing rice
Tossing rice was an old tradition that was followed for decades at millions of weddings.
Traditionally, throwing rice at the couple would be done as they walk out of the church together to start their new life. It symbolizes the hopes of fertility and an abundance of food for the new couple.
However, in recent years, it has been deemed dangerous to throw rice because of the risk to birds and small animals that eat it. Many wedding parties now blow bubbles at the couple or throw handfuls of confetti to replace rice.
3. Wedding cake
There are still many traditions that can make your wedding special, even well into the reception hall.
The wedding cake tradition of sharing the very first piece between the newlyweds also comes from the Romans. They believed that those who shared cake together would create a unique bond.
Additionally, cakes were to be made from wheat, another symbol of fertility and union. Also, since cake is sweet, this symbolized the hope of sweetness in a couple’s life together.
4. Throwing the garter
Throwing the garter is another tradition that can help make your wedding day very special.
This is thought to be one of the oldest traditions from the Dark Ages when it was normal for friends and family to accompany the couple to their marriage bed to ensure their safety.
Before they left, the bridal party would take turns throwing the garter at the nose of the groom. Whomever it landed on would be the next to marry.
This tradition eventually ended up being played out during the wedding reception, except only the bride throws it over her shoulder to those behind her.
Wedding night traditions
The night of the wedding is another time that many wedding traditions come into play.
1. Carrying the newly-married woman over to bridegroom’s place
Most of the readers are pretty much aware of the common tradition that involves carrying the newly married woman over the threshold of the home. This is now done to welcome the bride into the home, and as a romantic gesture and promise of love on the groom’s part.
The tradition stems, however, from the groom stealing his bride from whatever tribe she was in, and was many times forced to carry her away kicking and screaming.
2. Salmon Leap
A lesser known wedding night tradition is known as the “salmon leap.”
Supposedly, this was the way that a man joined his new bride for their first night in their marriage bed. The groom started out by crouching on the floor and then springing into the bed with his wife in one single leap.
The point was to imitate a spawning salmon that fights and swims his way up the stream in order to spawn.
Last, but not least, the honeymoon is one tradition that will help make your wedding as memorable as possible.
An old Irish tradition is said to have been one where the bridal party and guests were permitted to harass the newlyweds long into the night, so they did not get any time alone.
Some stories say this went as far as to “kidnap” the bride away from her husband.
The honeymoon may have developed as a way to get away quickly to a place where the couple could relax and enjoy one another’s company alone. Today, taking a honeymoon is a well-followed tradition and one that can be easily tailored to every individual couple’s wants and desires.
People are following a few traditions along the way
There are many ways of getting married.
Whether you choose a traditional church ceremony, marriage at a friend’s house, on the beach, or even a quick civil service, you are undoubtedly following a few traditions along the way.
Make your day special by researching the ones that mean something to you, your partner, and your heritage, and have the wedding of your dreams.