Wedding Traditions & Where They Come From

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Your big day, your special day, your wedding day; whatever you want to call it. It's a big deal, or at least we think so. Some make it a bigger deal than others, but there's no denying that it's a day filled with memories that will last a lifetime. Every wedding is different, but there are a few traditions we always see. Does anyone really know why we add them to our wedding planning checklists? Or what they even mean? We didn't, so we looked into six of the most commonly seen wedding traditions and dug a little deeper to figure out where they come from.


Wedding Cakes

Before there were four-tiered extravagant wedding cakes, there was just a simple piece of bread. Yep...just bread. The tradition was for grooms to take a bite of bread and then crumble the rest over the bride's head for good luck. The guests would then race to pick up the fallen crumbs so they could absorb some of the good luck. Over the years, the tradition transformed to the bride pushing pieces of her cake through her ring to the guests for them to take home and put under their pillow, believing it would bring them good luck. I think I speak for everyone when I say I feel lucky enough to get a slice of cake on a plate, not the ground and not out of a tiny ring.


White Gown

Nothing makes me giddyer than thinking about strolling down the aisle in a white ball gown. But until the mid 1800s, brides actually wore red on their wedding day. Queen Victoria started the now ongoing tradition of wearing a white gown when she married Prince Albert around 1840. She chose white because the color symbolized wealth, but today a lot of people see it as a symbol of purity. We just think it looks good!


Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

Why does a bride always have to have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue? It's a catchy little saying, but I had to know why it was a thing. Something old represents the bride's ties to her family and past. So, basically, having something old says that even though you're getting married you won't forget where you came from. Something new is a representation of the new life ahead for the bride. Something borrowed is supposed to be an item that comes from someone in a successful marriage to pass along the good luck, so I would be sure to choose this one wisely. Something blue symbolizes faithfulness, loyalty, and purity which seem like three pretty important things to have represented in your wedding. All four of these "somethings" are definitely a tradition we stand behind.


Wedding Veil

Way back when, families looked at their daughters as a commodity and would place them in an arranged marriage to increase both families' assets. Most of the time the bride and groom would meet for the first time at the altar, so the veil was worn to cover the bride's face until the end of the ceremony so the groom couldn't back out of the marriage. Pretty harsh, right?! Thankfully, the veil now symbolizes the bride's virtue and is usually used as an accessory to pull the whole look together.


Ring Bearer & His Pillow

So obviously someone has to carry the rings down the aisle, but why a little boy? And why does he carry them on a pillow? We found out the pillow represents your dreams coming true and a child is usually the one carrying it because they represent innocence, the future, and new beginnings. Lately there's been a trend of people using their dogs as a ring bearer, and that's definitely something we support.


Engagement Rings

Who doesn't absolutely obsess over engagement rings?! Even if you're not the type to obsess over what your own ring looks like, it's hard to resist admiring your recently engaged friend's ring. And there's so many to choose from! Gold or platinum band? Diamond or no diamond? If you do want a diamond, do you want oval, round, princess, pear, or emerald shaped? I mean, the possibilities are endless. Anyways, back to the point, engagement rings started back in ancient Egypt to symbolize a never-ending cycle and the space inside the ring represents a gateway. Diamonds were added by the Sicilians because they believed that the stone was "forged by the fires of love." The placement of the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left hand comes from the belief in Ancient Greece that our ring finger contains a vein that leads straight to our heart. This vein was known as the "vena amoris," which means the vein of love. We were disappointed to learn that the vena amoris does not actually exist, but it was pretty cool for the short time we believed it.


Gaining some insight on why we have all of these traditions makes them seem so much more special. But whether you use all, some, or none of these traditions in your wedding, we know your day will still be nothing short of perfect.

Xo, The I Do Team