My family loves Halloween! Of course, what 5 year old doesn’t enjoy putting on a superhero costume and collecting handfuls of candy? My wife loves prepping for Halloween- she stocks up on candy and gets great joy handing it all out to trick-or-treaters. Me? I love horror movies. It’s pretty much a must for me to watch the classic Halloween movie on Halloween. It’s the one day when it’s ok to pretend to be someone else as you stuff yourself with candy.
Isn’t it funny how we come to celebrate or hold on to certain traditions. Halloween for instance is largely based on the Celtic Pagan celebration of Samhain, where they would dress in costume and give out treats to ward off and appease spirits.
This got me thinking about weddings and some of the many traditions that we still cling to today:
Not seeing one another before the ceremony
While First Looks are more popular than ever, we still have a lot of couples who wait until the ceremony to see one another. The tradition of not seeing one another originated in times of arranged marriages, when the wedding was a business transaction, and the father of the bride was afraid that if the groom saw the bride before the ceremony he might cancel, bringing shame to the family.
The color blue is the true symbol of purity and fidelity. The symbolism of the color blue dates back to early christianity. The Virgin Mary is often depicted wearing a blue robe.
It was common for the groom to take a bite of bread and then crumble it over the bride’s head for fertility and good luck. It’s said that guests would scramble around the bride's feet eating the crumbs in hopes of absorbing some of the luck.
The Best Man
This one’s kinda funny. The best man was tasked with ensuring the bride didn’t run away before the wedding. Sometimes even going so far at to kidnap her when her family didn’t approve of the marriage.
Now this one has a couple of different stories behind it. In ancient Greece, brides would carry clusters of herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. I’ve also heard that flowers were used because bathing was not an everyday occurance.
The Bouquet and Garter Toss
This one is a bit racy. There was a time when the couple would consummate their marriage right after the ceremony. The bride would toss the bouquet causing a distraction so they could make their escape. Afterwards the groom would toss the garter from the bedchamber symbolizing that the marriage was official.
So as you plan your wedding day, think about the traditions you would like to include. These traditions don’t hold the same meaning today, so it’s ok to skip some things and only include those that you really want to.