Wedding Traditions and Superstions

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Let’s take a look at some of the most popular wedding traditions; their origins and some modern twists on them! This is a continuation of Part 1.

White gown: Until the late 19th century, American brides wore formal dresses during their weddings. Black was the color of choice. Queen Victoria popularized the wearing of white gowns in England when she broke cultural norms and donned one at her wedding. At that time, white outfits were reserved for funerals and while grieving (and still are for Eastern cultures). Some fashion historians say white represents purity and virginity but, by all accounts, wearing white first symbolized unabashed joy. Americans fell in love with white bridal gowns sometime during the early to mid 20th century.

Modern Twist: Wear whatever color you want! If you love the idea of a white dress- go for it! If you want to do a bold, colored dress- go for it! There are a ton of options, from colors to fabrics, to choose from.


Bride’s veil: At least two reasons are given for why brides wear veils during the wedding ceremony. Superstition led some to believe a veil would protect a bride from evil spirits. It’s also thought that brides wore veils to hide their faces from grooms during arranged unions.

Modern Twist: Today the veil can tend to represent a bride’s modesty. However, it is more often a fashion statement — a compliment to the overall bridal look. There are so many varieties in length and style- choose whatever you love and think will be best for you!


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Flowers: Flowers and herbs were important features in the pagan ceremonies which joined partners long ago. Each flower variety, herb and color had its own significance. We further the tradition today when the bride carries a bouquet down the aisle or decorates the wedding and reception areas with floral arrangements. Tossing the bouquet is a way to spread luck, as it’s believed the lucky girl to catch it will be the next to marry.

Modern Twist: Again, there are so many options for the bridal bouquet. If you want to stay true to tradition, you can research the flowers/ herbs you would like to use. Realistically, most brides are guided by their own style and budget. There are so many different and unique types of bouquets, be sure to have fun and enjoy dreaming up what you would like.


Cake: In ancient times, the breaking of cake, like the breaking of bread, was seen as a fertility rite when performed during a joining ceremony. The practice of layering several cakes, one on top of the other, just to the tipping point, began much later. The bride and groom were expected to attempt a kiss above the precariously perched cake. Their success in kissing without toppling the layers would result in a lifetime of good fortune.

Modern Twist: Cakes recently have become a focal point of the reception and truly a work of art. You can have a statement cake or something like cupcakes or individual cakes at each table. Again, your imagination and creativity (and possibly budget) are your only limits!

Final part to come in our next blog post!


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