Monday, June 28, 2010

Wedding Traditions

With weddings happening every weekend in the Summer at the Fairview, I have started to wonder where certain wedding traditions come from. Why is it important to wear something old, new, borrowed, blue, and a sixpence in the shoe? Why do we tie cans to the bumper of the car in which the bride and groom depart? Why does the bride wear a veil? Does an aisle runner actually have a traditional meaning?
Well, after a little research I now have a better understanding of what each of these traditions actually mean and why they are important.
Traditionally, the white aisle runner that the bride walks down to meet her groom symbolizes purity and a pathway into happiness. When walking down the white runner sprinkled with rose petals, the path would lead the bride to a bright and happy future.
Cans tied to a bumper? Stemming from a Middle Ages wedding tradition of ringing cowbells and making a lot of noise to ward off any evil spirits, the tradition was modified to a more subtle sound of rattling cans or honking the car horn. It is also a way of announcing the marriage to everyone around.
The old adage of "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in the shoe," is something that many brides take quite serious. Traditionally, something old signifies a sense of tradition and continuity and represents a link to the bride's old life and her family. Something new represents a new beginning and new life for the couple together. Something borrowed- Typically the bride will want to borrow something from a happily married friend or family member. The idea is that borrowing something from someone that has a happily married life, your life will mirror theirs and be extremely happy, as well. The meaning of wearing something blue is quite simple- blue represents fidelity, love, and purity. A sixpence in the bride's shoe is a tradition that some brides still observe. A sixpence in the shoe signifies financial wealth and a wealth of happiness.
The wearing of the bridal veil is an old custom that has been modified quite a bit. There are a couple of theories behind where the veil actually came from. One idea is that the veil stems from the days when the Groom and his friends would throw a blanket over the bride's head when they captured her. A second theory is that during the time of arranged marriages the bride's face was kept covered during the ceremony so that the groom would stay committed and not run off if he was disappointed in the bride's looks.
Despite the meaning behind these somewhat whacky traditions, bride's seem to always abide by these wedding customs.