6 Wedding Traditions and Their Origins
When it comes to the wedding ceremony, there is no shortage of superstitions and traditions in different cultures around the world. Have you ever wondered where these traditions came from? Many of these ubiquitous customs have surprising origins, some even dating back to ancient times. Despite hundreds of years of evolution, when it comes to weddings and marriage, some things have remained the same — the power of love and the joy of celebrating with friends and family. Learn more about these prevailing wedding traditions and how they have changed over the years.
The first recorded diamond ring used to symbolize a new engagement was gifted to Mary of Burgundy from the Archduke Maximilian of Austria back in 1477. Little did Archduke Maximilian know, he would be creating an age old tradition that would become a huge step in a couple’s life. Today, engagement rings are a deeply personal and emotional investment — for both the giver and the receiver. With an overwhelming amount of styles, diamond cuts and sizes available, it’s important to educate yourself to ensure you are making a sound investment with this momentous piece of jewelry. Platinum is the industry standard for wedding jewelry, and boasts many qualities that make it superior to other metals — including its purity, naturally white color and rarity. Start the next chapter in your love story with the metal that symbolizes everlasting love, commitment and strength.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
The famous bridal phrase, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” comes from an Old English rhyme. The four objects in the rhyme are meant to bring good luck and confuse evil spirits. Brides carry, wear or use something “old” on their wedding day to symbolize the past — and often to honor a loved one. Heirloom jewelry is a gorgeous and meaningful way to incorporate these traditions into the wedding ceremony — especially when the sentimental jewelry is set (or reset) in platinum. Platinum ages beautifully, developing a satiny finish over time known as the platinum patina. The patina represents the bonds of love, strength and the memories created over the years.“Something borrowed” typically comes from another married couple, likely a parent or other family member to represent good fortune for the newlyweds. “Something blue” is meant to represent love and loyalty in marriage, and “something new” represents the future and life you will build together.
Catching the bouquet is said to bring good luck and romantic prosperity for the bridesmaid or guest who catches it, and superstition says the woman who catches the bouquet will be the next to get married. This tradition has a very colorful history dating back to the Middle Ages. Bouquets consisted of various herbs and flowers meant to ward off evil spirits and misfortune. During this time, brides were also considered to be incredibly lucky, prompting guests to try and steal one of her belongings like her dress or hair. The bride would throw her bouquet into the crowd to escape from their grasp.
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the Egyptians were the first to use rings, as a symbol of eternity. The circular rings have no beginning or end, which were said to represent the sun and moon, both worshipped by the Egyptians. Wedding rings have certainly evolved over time, featuring diamonds and even colorful gemstones. Symbolize your everlasting love with platinum — the world’s rarest, most precious metal. Platinum is stronger and more durable than other metals, and will outlast other metals like gold. Over time, platinum actually becomes stronger while gold flakes away after being scratched. For buying tips and more more information about platinum, visit this page.
Getting Married with an Unbroken Band
In many faiths and cultures, the wedding bands are a powerful symbol of love, togetherness and an eternal bond. As a Jewish wedding tradition, grooms must give their bride something worth “more than a penny” as a way to prove the couple’s intentions and genuine love. In this case, an unbroken ring with no gemstones or other embellishments is used by Jewish couples to honor this long-standing tradition. The simplicity of the ring represents a marriage free of distraction, and the unbroken circle represents a long and happy marriage. Couples may choose to add a special, sentimental engraving on the inside of the ring to commemorate their unique love story and the start of their journey as a married couple.
Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
Aside from being adorable and memorable additions to your wedding day ceremony, the flower girl and ring bearer had incredibly important roles even centuries ago. In Ancient Rome, young girls would carry sheaths of wheat down the aisle as a way to bless the bride and groom with an abundant future. The ring bearer tradition dates back to the Victorian era, when pageboys were responsible for carrying the bride’s train. Ornate pillows were also eventually carried by the pageboys to showcase the rings, a luxury that was once only affordable for the elite and wealthy.
Rain on the Wedding Day
For most brides, rain on the wedding day could be a source of stress and anxiety, especially when it comes to the photos captured on the big day. However, a few showers on the big day could actually be a positive thing! Originally a Hindu superstition, rain on the wedding day is seen as a sign of good luck across many cultures. It is said to cleanse and purify the day, and may also be a symbol of fertility.
Freezing Your Wedding Cake
Today’s couples certainly get creative when it comes to the dessert table — from candy bars to donut walls and even ice cream sundaes. For more traditional couples, freezing the top layer of the wedding cake to enjoy in celebration of the first wedding anniversary is a fun way to pay homage to the journey so far and yet to come. This custom originated in Great Britain, where wedding cakes were typically fruit cakes that would preserve very well. The fruit cakes were then eaten on either the couple’s first anniversary or on the day of their first child’s christening.