Couples have been symbolising their love and commitment to one another by tying the knot for centuries. In this time certain wedding customs have developed and passed the test of time while others have failed to transition to feature amongst today’s beautiful weddings. So we’ve decided to break down some common wedding traditions and the new modern take couples are opting for instead.
The circle symbol of a wedding ring is said to denote eternity. The exact origin of the wedding ring is unknown however it is suggested that wearing a wedding ring dates back to ancient Egypt and was also adopted by the Romans. While still the most popular option, some modern couples are now opting for matching tattoos instead. Getting a tattoo is viewed as the ideal solution for couples who are not particularly fond of wearing jewellery or due to work reasons wearing a ring is simply impractical. Some tattoo ideas include having a specific and appropriate symbol, date or each other’s names tattooed on their ring fingers.
The origins of why brides wear a veil is quite conflicting, some say it dates back to ancient Rome when brides wore the veil to protect them from evil spirits. Others suggest the tradition lies in that of arranged marriages, where the groom wasn’t allowed to see the bride until after the ceremony to ensure he went through with the marriage deal as brokered by the bride’s parents. There was a fear that the groom would back out of the deal if the bride’s appearance did not meet his satisfactions and his refusal to marry the bride would bring shame to her family. The veil is also said to have been worn in medieval times as a sign of the bride’s purity and chastity. Nowadays brides wear veils purely as the finishing touch to their bridal style. However more brides are now opting to go without or to instead sport a crystal hair clip, jewelled headpiece or even a glorious floral crown.
Not Seeing Each Other Before the Ceremony
There is a long held wedding superstition that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony. Similar to the veil scenario this superstition is said to have its roots in the time when arranged marriages were the norm. In the case of an arranged marriage the groom was not allowed to meet the bride through fear that he would call off the wedding if he deemed the bride to be unattractive. While arranged marriages are no longer common, the idea that it is bad luck to see each other before the ceremony has remained. Yet there is a trend emerging with many couple now opting to privately meet before the ceremony. This moment is referred to as a ‘first look’ and gives the couple a chance to enjoy seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day without the glaring eyes of their guests. They are however accompanied by their photographers who capture the sweet moment for the couple to look back on fondly. This special time also allows the bride and groom an opportunity to calm each other’s nerves and share an intimate moment before the whirlwind that is a wedding takes hold. While a first look meeting and photography session is not for everyone its popularity amongst couples has continued to rise over the last few years.
The Wedding Cake
The beginning of the humble wedding cake dates back to medieval times when they were made of wheat and were a sign of fertility and prosperity. The groom would break the bread over his wife’s head to denote good fortune. The course of wedding cakes quickly evolved even appearing as a pie for a period of time. Nowadays we are accustomed to the multitier grand wedding cake in all its glorious forms. Modern couples are not restricting themselves to what we know as a traditional white wedding cake. Different flavours, textures, styles and colours are transforming our preconceived ideas on how a wedding cake should look. Not one for cake? Couples are also opting for cupcake towers, doughnut stacks and even cakes made out of cheese instead to suit their tastes.