While some aspects of wedding tradition are giving way to modern trends and American individualization, others have withstood the test of time. Have you ever wondered when some of those traditions started and why?
The bridal bouquet is a staple of most weddings in Western culture, but it wasn’t always flowers and they weren’t always for decoration. Initially, the bouquets consisted of garlic and other herbs that were meant to scare away evil spirits.
Single people all over America know to look at the ring finger on the left hand of someone to determine whether or not they’re available. Why is that the chosen finger for a wedding band? Legend has it the vein in that finger goes straight to the heart, tying the commitment to the emotion.
There was a time in history when wedding guests witnessed the consummation of a marriage as part of the wedding celebration. Over time, that ritual was considered too invasive, so grooms took to producing the garter as proof that consummation had occurred. (It was all still done during the celebration, but a couple’s intimate moment remained private.)
White wedding gowns
Queen Victoria’s wedding in the 19th century was the beginning of a couple of traditions in the Western world. She wore a white wedding dress. Before then, most women simply wore their best dress on their wedding day and wore it on other occasions thereafter. White wouldn’t have been practical. Additionally, in Biblical times, blue was considered the color that represented purity.
Here comes the bride
Queen Victoria also gets credit for long tradition of brides walking down the aisle to Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus”. It is a tradition that is slowly giving way to more modern trends, but it all started with a royal bride in a white wedding gown.
Modern day bridal showers are occasions when a bride-to-be gathers with her friends to open gifts she chose for her registry. However, the custom didn’t begin that way. Originally bridal showers occurred when a bride-to-be’s family disapproved of her future husband and refused to provide the dowry for her marriage. Her friends would get together and shower her to help her raise the funds for the dowry.
Bride on the left of the groom
You’ve probably attended a wedding at which the usher asked if you preferred to sit on the bride’s side or the groom’s. Did you know that those sides are the same for every wedding? The bride always stands to the left of the groom because the groom needed his right arm available to fight off other suitors.
There’s a lot about this tradition that doesn’t really make sense. For example, how did this work logistically when the groom had to pull the sword from its sheath on his left hip? What if the groom was left-handed?
Traditional or not, we’d love to be part of your wedding day. Whether it’s your first dance, the dollar dance, or a surprise dance choreographed by the wedding party, let our San Antonio DJs emcee the celebration.