When it comes to marriage, there are things that we plan to do (or not do) that often take root at a young age. Have you ever considered why we do some of these things? Here are four time honored traditions for brides and grooms to be that you may decide to observe in your Des Moines wedding celebration:
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue (and sixpence in my shoe)
Most people have heard this catchy superstition that promises luck on your wedding day. Originating in Victorian times, this list of items was intended to be worn in combination, creating an armor of special meaning strong enough to ward off bad fortune. So what’s the meaning behind this wedding tradition?
• Something Old bound brides to their families as a reminder of where they came from as they set off in their new marital bliss. A keepsake if you will.
• Something New symbolized a bride’s journey as a keepsake, transitioning property rights from her father to her new husband and family. Wearing the old and new tied the families together.
• Something Borrowed, specifically passed down from a wife in a happy marriage, provided a token of luck and an exemplary glimpse at what life could be like in hopes the current arrangement would follow suit.
• Something Blue brought purity, loyalty, faithfulness, etc. to new brides, guiding her into being a ‘good wife.’
• Sixpence in my Shoe, the best of all, brought good vibes of wealth and fortune. Ironically enough, this is the only part of this wedding tradition that is not often heard in modern times.
This wedding tradition seems to have weathered the times rather heartily. Modern brides often gather the items dictated on this list in hopes of good luck as they transition into their new life, though most brides are less concerned about the actual wearing of the items.
The Wedding Cake
Beautifully designed and expertly crafted wedding cakes are not only a modern must, they serve as a decorative focal point at many weddings and flaunt personality representative of the bride and groom. It’s hard to believe this delicious wedding tradition originated as a crumbly loaf of bread…
Many years ago, brides were given away to their husbands as a property exchange, and used as a tool for bartering. What does this have to do with bread? For superstitious reasons, a groom would exert his dominance over his newly received bride on the day of their wedding by literally showering her with breadcrumbs. Guests would then scour the floor for stray crumbs, said to bring good luck to those who retrieved them!
This messy wedding tradition eventually transitioned to incorporate sweet and moist cake in place of crumbly barley bread. With this transition, wedding goers quickly realized the cake didn’t give quite the same effect and the breaking of bread became the slicing of cake. Very, very tiny pieces, which were then passed through the bride’s ring, for good luck of course. These tiny cake slices were then divided out to guests waiting in line, saving them the hassle and labor of crawling around on the floor.
Over time, this too changed. Slices became larger, eliminating the luck serving ring passage. To revive the missing luck, guests would put the cake under their pillows that night in the hopes of “sweet dreams” of their own future marriages. Modern brides and grooms bring the messiness of this tradition full circle by smashing cake into one another’s faces.
Throwing the Garter
Or “fingering the stocking” as they called it in medieval England and France, this tradition didn’t originally include any throwing. That part was later added for the safety of the bride who was rushed by the event’s attendees in an attempt to look for signs the marriage had been consummated and steal a small piece of her wedding dress, a token of good luck.
Somewhere along the line, a very wise bride removed her garter and threw it into the crowd of aggressive party goers to appease them, and it worked! Today we throw the garter, still a token of good luck, to pass the magical marriage vibes unto the next unsuspecting (or eager) bride-to-be.
This wedding tradition stems from Greece, where they didn’t in fact throw rice, but oats, grains, and corn. These small seeds were a sign of fertility and prosperity. Much the way these seeds would rain down with a nice gust of wind causing them to spread and grow, wedding guests would shower newlyweds for wishes of abundant happiness and growth in their lives. At some point, oats, grains, and corn became rice.
Today brides continue this wedding tradition, using it as an opportunity for customization and personal expression. Instead of rice many weddings will offer bubbles, sparklers, and rose petals (to name a few) for guests to send the married couple on their way.
Regardless of why we do the things we do, wedding traditions live on! While you’re deciding what wedding traditions to uphold at your ceremony and reception, let the Ramada Tropics Resort and Conference Center help. We will help you to create the wedding that you choose, no matter how much tradition you want to incorporate. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.