Friday, July 20, 2012

20 Popular Wedding Customs and Traditions Explained

Do you worry about not being able to afford enough or exciting entertainment for your guests on your wedding day?

I have flashbacks of weddings I have attended where I was near to throwing myself down wailing while the bride and groom took pictures for over 3 hours and guests had absolutely nothing to do.

We are offering you for FREE, a low stress and very low budget form of entertainment your guests would simply love.

We have put together a list of  explanations for popular wedding customs that everyone takes for granted today.  This type of trivia has started off great conversations amongst guests and kept them chatting away happily until the real action starts.

You may feel this would be hard to execute but consider this; write or type out one or two of these interesting ‘conversation starters’ in cute little cardboard squares.  These can then be handed to guests as they walk into the reception venue along with their drinks.  You will find guests talking and laughing about them as they discuss amongst themselves.  This should also break the ice amongst guests who had never met previously.

Here are a list of 20 of these trivia topics.

Bride and Groom

1. The word "bride" comes from old English for the name for "cook," while the word groom comes from "male child." I’m not that surprised that bride originates from cook considering that many women around the world spend more time cooking for their families than anything else.

Best Man

2. In ancient times marriages were accomplished by the groom kidnapping the bride; literally. He would of course have needed another warrior friend to help him battle with other men who wanted her also. This BEST MAN would also help the groom prevent the bride’s family from finding the couple. How romantic!! Not! I cannot imagine anything more awful than being stolen away from my family and loved ones by two mad men and having to live the rest of my life with one of them…


3. Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the fifteenth century.

4. Rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand; nearest to your pinky because it was believed that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart

Wedding Fashion

5. In the Western world, Queen Victoria started the trend of the white wedding dress in 1840. Before she pioneered this now widely accepted wedding dress tradition, brides simply got married in their best outfits

6. In ancient days, Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits

7. Brides carry or wear "something old" on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past.

8. In biblical times, the colour blue represented purity, fidelity, and love and having "something blue" in the bridal ensemble meant that the bride embraced purity, fidelity and love

9. In past Roman law, bridesmaids and ushers represented ten witnesses who were present at a wedding to fool evil spirits. The bridesmaids and ushers dressed in very similar outfits with the bride and groom, in order to confuse the evil spirits who presumably would then not know who was really getting married.

Wedding Cake 

10. The wedding cake originates from ancient Rome, where a loaf of bread was broken over a bride's head to make her more fertile

11. The idea of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over a very high cake without knocking it over.

Music and Celebration

12. The tradition of playing Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" was established by Princess Victoria during her wedding processional in 1858 and of course, like so many other things royals do, all others followed suit 

13. The "First Dance" dates back to ancient times when the groom after capturing his bride; would show off his kidnapped bride; parading her in front of his friends. My goodness, to not even get a chance to choose my own first song… Thank God those days are gone.

14. The first receptions were held in France; even though they were nothing like the bashes of today. Back in those days, there was an old French custom termed "charivari” where friends of the couple would find out where they were to spend their nuptial first night and would gather close by singing, dancing,  and keeping a generally raucous conduct to keep the couple awake

15. Ancient Spartan soldiers held stag parties to wildly celebrate leaving their bachelor days behind.


16. The bride stands to the groom's left because in the olden days the groom needed his right hand to be free to fight off other suitors while he was kidnapping his poor bride. Wow, those women must have been scared to death for their lives in every sense...

17.Posting the "banns of marriage" was started t by the Catholic to ensure that the bride and groom are not related. Nowadays, its more about making sure there are not already married to someone else or involved in any other dodgy behaviour 

18. The groom lifts his bride over the threshold to protect her from evil spirits lurking below

19. In some past traditions, rice was sprinkled over the bride and groom to protect them from evil spirits.
It was accepted that these spirits always appeared at happy celebrations like a marriage, and by throwing
rice after the married couple, these evil spirits were fed and kept from doing harm to the newlywed

20. Not as romantic as you may wish but back in the olden days, fathers gave away their daughters in marriage to settle a debt or carry out business transactions. Talk about developing ‘daddy issues’

If you have any customs to add to the ones we have given, please post these as comments. Its been fun researching these for you. We hope you enjoy reading this article and we would love to see your comments. 

Many blessings,

Lisa xx

This blog entry comes free to you courtesy of Estilo Moda Bridal and Occasional Wear. Estilo Moda are designers of stunning bridal wear to suit your budget and taste. Other designers create a dress which you can decide is your dream dress. We create your exact dream dress and you decide every single detail and we achieve perfection every time. We are based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. 

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