Have you ever wondered about the origin of wedding traditions and wedding superstitions? Here is a list of some of the more popular and well-known traditions/superstitions, as well as some alternatives if you are looking to do something a little different. This is part one of a three part series.

Candle lighting: In some Christian faiths, the bride and groom each hold a lighted candle and together light a third, known as the unity candle. It is a solemn ceremony symbolizing the joining of two souls to make one. If candles spurt or go out, evil spirits are supposed to be near, ready to cause mischief.

Modern Twist: Combining different color sand in a glass container, planting a small tree together, braiding 3 cords of rope.


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The wedding toast: It’s called a toast because the French used to place a piece of bread in the bottom of a wine goblet to impart flavor. Each attendee drank and then passed the goblet to the next hardy soul. The person for whom the toast was given would drink the goblet dry while slurping up the toast.

Modern Twist: There are so many options and ways to have a great toast. A thoughtful, creative song or maybe using technology or a dance even. These have gotten very popular over the last year. But there is nothing wrong a few words that wish luck and happiness for the new couple.

Garter toss: In the 14th century, it was customary for the groom to remove the bride’s garter and throw it toward the single men in attendance. Wedding superstitions say that whoever caught the garter would be next to marry.

Modern Twist: For many couples and their guests, the garter toss can be a bit too revealing. An alternative would be tossing just a bouquet instead. There is still tradition but without the awkwardness that can accompany a garter toss.

Wedding ring: The ring carries many traditions. The unending circle of a ring was thought to symbolize eternity. The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans believed that a vein in the third finger travels straight to the heart. Medieval Christian grooms were said to place the ring on the thumb, then index finger, followed by the middle finger of the bride while saying the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The next finger was the ring finger – and the groom left it there, presumably while saying, I do. It is considered bad luck to remove your wedding ring, but you can right your luck by having your spouse put it on your finger for the rings have historically been blessed by the clergy to ward off the devil.

Modern Twist: Tattoos. A cool trend is to get a tattoo of a wedding ring instead of, or in addition to, a traditional wedding ring. Couples often get a word or their spouse’s name tattooed.

More to come in our next blog post!

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