We all use these expressions when talking about a wedding, but do you really know where they come from?
Giving Away the Bride
This tradition started when young women were considered to be the property of their father. The “giving of the bride” was literally the transfer of ownership of the daughter to the groom. Today, it is considered as being a message of support of the marriage and often both parents will “give the bride away”.
Kiss the Bride
Again an old tradition, Roman this time. This would be a kiss which “seals” the couples agreement to join in a lifelong commitment.
Something Old, Something New
This goes back to Victorian England. “Old” symbolises the bride’s continuing love for her birth family. “New” represents future happiness for the couple. “Borrowed” from a happily married woman which represents future marital happiness and shows that family and friends will be there to lend support when needed. “Blue” is true blue, a value of fidelity and love.
Why does the Bride Stand to the Left of the Groom?
This is so the groom can protect his bride, leaving his right hand free go wield a sword in case of sudden attack. The Best Man stands to his right as his “right hand man”.
Engagement and Wedding Rings
These are normally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. Ancient Egyptians thought the “vein of love” ran from this finger directly to the heart.
Rain on your Wedding
If it does rain, this symbolises good luck, abundance and fertility.
There are several versions of this. The first is where a groom has kidnapped the bride and went into hiding for a month, while the moon went through all of its phases. The couple drank a brew made from honey. Today it’s a holiday after the wedding in which newlyweds have time to enjoy each other.
Legend has it that the bridegroom would kidnap their brides from a neighbouring village. The groom’s strongest friend or “best man” would go along to help capture her. Now of course, the best man is usually someone close to the groom, a best friend or brother.
A Diamond Engagement Ring
A diamond is the hardest of gems and symbolises a lasting union.
Throwing a Garter or the Bride’s Bouquet
Brides used to throw their garter belts, which was thought to bring good luck. Nowadays, it is thought that a single woman who catches the garter or bouquet will be the next to marry.
This article was written with Gerri Webb, an independent wedding celebrant. Trained by the United Kingdom Society of Celebrants, she is based in Kent but will travel to Surrey, Sussex, Essex, London and further afield if requested. Gerri will be participating in the Autumn 2020 ExCeL National Wedding Show (17th-18th October) and you will be able to find her at stand R14.
Interested in attending The National Wedding Show London ExCeL from 17th-18th October 2020? Then click here to purchase your tickets and save on door prices!