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Wedding Rituals | A Brief Lesson In Wedding Traditions

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Wedding rituals have been around since almost the dawn of mankind, or woman kind so to speak. Curious and strange wedding traditions that at some point in time every bride asks; "Why do guests throw rice at a wedding" or "Why is there a bridal shower?"

Those and many more are explained below giving you a brief lesson in wedding rituals and traditions.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
When I think of a wedding tradition this one always seems to be in the forefront. These 4 bridal items are significant symbolically. Old represents the bride’s ties to her past, and new represents her hope for her future. Then the borrowed means friendship, and the blue stands for faithfulness.

The Bridal Shower
The custom of giving the bride a bridal shower is believed to have originated in Holland. A disapproving father of the bride would not provide his daughter with a dowry (property or money) so that she might marry a poverty stricken individual. Her friends provided her with the essential dowry by “showering” her with gifts.
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Wedding Cake
Originating in ancient Rome, where guests would break a loaf of wheat bread over the bride’s head to symbolize hope for a fertile and fulfilling life. Following the breaking the guests then ate the crumbs which was believed to bring them good luck.

As time passed this custom found its way to England sometime in the Middle Ages. Family and friends brought small cakes to the wedding and were placed into a pile. Then the bride and groom later stood over the pile and kissed. Occasionally the pile of cakes became quite high making it necessary to stand upon a chair to achieve such task.

This tradition continued until a bakery came up with the idea of piling all the cakes together, then frosting them. This was the start of the creation of the multi-tiered wedding cakes we see today.

Throwing Rice
The tradition of throwing rice at the newlyweds began in the Orient. Symbolizing fertility, rice was thrown at the newly married couple in hopes that it would bring a marriage yielding numerous children.

Carrying The Bride Over The Threshold
Another wedding custom which originated in Rome Italy. The bride had to be carried over the threshold (strip of wood or metal at the bottom of a doorway) because she was, or pretended to be reluctant to enter the bridal chamber. During these days it was considered lady-like to be hesitant at this point. Okay well at least look like she was hesitant.
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The Honeymoon – In ancient times Teutonic couples would get married beneath a full moon. Following the wedding they would drink honey wine for thirty days, henceforth the name honeymoon.

The Brides Veil
A brides veil was originally meant to symbolize innocence and modesty of the virgin bride. It would cover the brides face until it was raised by her father at the ceremony. Today we consider the veil merely a romantic custom.

Giving The Bride Away
This tradition symbolizes the parents’ acceptance of the bride’s passage from her childhood to adult. A sign of their blessings of her marriage to the chosen groom.

Best Man and Ushers
In order to get a bride the groom would gather up his friends, search out and kidnap his bride-to-be. In those days young brides were absconded from an overprotective family which often included a few big brothers.

The groom would then hide the female from her family until the ceremony was completed. During the ceremony the ushers would make sure the bride wasn't kidnapped from the kidnappers to become someone else's bride.

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Maid Of Honor and Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids were the women who would help the bride get away from her "overprotective" family and other suitors so that she could be captured by the groom of her choice. While such a quaint way of getting the bride and groom together faded in popularity, the honor roles still survived.

Tossing The Garter | Tossing The Bouquet
This custom began in the 1300s in France, where guests would raid the wedding chamber in hopes of tearing off a piece of the bridal gown. This was believed to bring good luck to those who got a piece of material

To end this awkward moment, save the bride's leg, and her dress, she began removing it voluntarily and tossing it into the eager crowd. Later on the bouquet was added to the toss. The lucky recipient of the bouquet is now believed to be the next woman in the group to get married while the man who catches the garter is to be the next groom.

I hope this brief lesson in wedding traditions and rituals has answered all of your questions and queries.

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