Thursday, November 08, 2007

Meaning of Wedding Traditions

Ever wonder where some of the common wedding traditions came from?

For example, why is there a "Best Man?" Someone to help plan the bachelor party? Not quite. You see, in days long ago (yeah, before you were born) it was common for the groom to kidnap his potential bride and force her to marry him. We don't do that anymore. Now we have "The Bachelor." Anyway, way back in the kidnapping days, the groom would take along the best man he could find to help him capture his bride. The groomsmen were also at the ready to help capture her and prevent her family from rescuing her.

Kidnapping the bride also led to the tradition of the honeymoon. The groom would take his new bride into hiding to prevent her family from taking her back. Presumably, by the time her family tracked her down she would already be pregnant with the groom's child.

Thank God for the ancient Greeks who brought love into the marriage equation. It was they who began the tradition of the wedding ring, as they believed the "vein of love" led directly from the third finger to the heart. So, they used wedding bands to symbolize love.

What about carrying the bride over the threshold? Back in the day it was believed that if the bride stumbled or tripped while going into the new house they would all be cursed with bad luck. So, to be on the safe side, the groom would carry her into the new house. Woe to the groom with a bad back.

Finally, what about "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in your shoe" on her wedding day.

Something old symbolizes the connection the bride has with her family and with her past. Usually the bride wears a piece of jewelry that belonged to her mother or grandmother.

Something new symbolizes the wish for good luck and prosperity in the couples' future together.

The something borrowed should be an item worn by a happy bride at her wedding. The hope is that some of the luck and happiness will rub off on the new bride.

Something blue comes from biblical times when the color blue was a symbol of loyalty and faithfulness.

Placing a silver sixpence in the bride's shoe was a sign of wealth. It is also a symbol of the hope that the young couple will experience financial wealth. Today many brides substitute a penny in place of the sixpence.

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