When I started planning my wedding, I remember being overwhelmed by the number of traditions I was expected to adhere to. In a lot of ways, I would consider myself a traditional person, but when it came to my wedding, I was not. I didn’t want to do the first dance, I didn’t avoid seeing my husband the morning of our wedding, and I did not care about having something old or something blue. However, I was very intrigued by how these traditions got started, so I thought it would be fun to research the history behind five common wedding traditions. Additionally, if you are like me, not very traditional when it comes to weddings, I will give you a new spin on these old traditions.
“Something old, something new”... The OG Tradition: The original rhyme goes: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a silver sixpence in your shoe.” The “something old” is thought to protect the couple against the Evil Eye. The Evil Eye is a malicious glare that curses someone. The “something blue” represents love, purity, and faithfulness. The “something new” is a representation of the new couple and their future together. Finally, the “something borrowed” is supposed to be from a relative or friend who has a happy marriage. They believe that something borrowed from a person in a happy marriage can rub off on the new couple’s marriage. The New Spin: This tradition is still alive today, but it isn’t used to protect the couple against the evil eye anymore. Now it is just a sweet sentiment to have something old and sentimental like a piece of your mother’s wedding dress to put around your bouquet or an heirloom piece of jewelry to wear. However, some Brides nix this tradition altogether. Bridesmaid Dresses The OG Tradition: In ancient Rome, the bridesmaids wore the same outfit as the Bride. They would do this because they were worried about evil spirits cursing the Bride on the wedding day. The bridesmaids wore the same dress as the Bride to confuse the spirits so they wouldn’t hurt the Bride on the wedding day. Talk about some amazing bridesmaids! They were willing to risk being cursed by evil spirits to protect their friend. The New Spin: These days bridesmaids dress are not exact replicas of the Bride’s dress because Bride’s are not worried about being cursed by an evil spirit on their wedding. Bridesmaid dresses are a way to differentiate your group of girlfriends and family who are special to you. There are so many styles of bridesmaids’ dresses. Some Brides have all the bridesmaids in one style of dress, and some have different styles for each bridesmaid. This is an area where a Bride can do whatever they want. I personally love when bridesmaids wear all white, which is definitely not traditional. The Bouquet Toss The OG Tradition: There used to be a tradition where wedding guests would tear the Bride’s clothes off at the wedding. As a way to distract the guests from tearing off her clothes, the Bride would toss the bouquet behind her and run away. The New Spin: Luckily, it is no longer customary for guests to rip off the Bride’s clothes at her wedding. Now tossing the bouquet is a symbol of spreading good luck to the single women at the wedding. It is also thought that the woman who catches the bouquet will be the next to get married. This is another tradition that a lot of Brides are nixing altogether. The First Look The OG Tradition: The tradition of not seeing your spouse until you walk down the aisle comes from a time when arranged marriages were more common. They thought that if the Bride and Groom saw each other before the wedding that they may decide to call off the wedding just based on looks alone. The New Spin: Now it is common for photographers to capture a “first look” where the Bride and Groom look at each other in their wedding attire before walking down the aisle. This is also a great time saver since the Bride and Groom photos can be done before the wedding so the photographer can focus on doing family portraits during the cocktail hour. The Honeymoon The OG Tradition: A long time ago, newlywed couples would drink a fermented wine and honey drink for a full moon cycle (one month) after their wedding. This drink was thought to have aphrodisiac properties. The New Spin: Now honeymoons are a vacation taken by the Bride and Groom after the wedding. Since wedding planning is so stressful, it is a way for the new couple to relax and start their marriage off on the right foot. Going on an extravagant honeymoon is not necessary, however. Honeymoons can be very expensive, but they don’t have to be. Going to a local resort or even having a staycation is a great way to relax after a wedding without breaking the bank.