Traditions: The good, the bad, and even a little ugly.

Have you ever wondered why certain wedding traditions exist? Maybe you haven’t, but I definitely have. From the irrational to the downright silly, some of these traditions started off as fear-based superstitions while others have transformed into the ridiculous practices that we all know and love. I have been mostly uneducated about the WHY’s of wedding traditions so I decided to write this post to literally educate myself and hopefully entertain someone for a moment. I’m sorry in advance if this is not entertaining.


TRADITION: WHITE WEDDING DRESS

Because Queen Victoria was a trendsetter back in 1840. Up until then, most women wore whatever their best dress was in the closet.

TRADITION: THE VEIL
Through my rigorous, extensive research, I have found many reasons brides wear veils. My favorite one is derived from Roman tradition where the bride wore a “flammeum” which was a red sheet that covered their entire body. The purpose of this was to disguise them to look like they were on fire. Why would you need to look like you were on fire?? To divert or confuse the demons looking to come curse your wedding, duh! Demons can’t attack you if they don’t know who you are and everyone knows that.

 

TRADITION: CAN’T SEE EACH OTHER BEFORE THE WEDDING
So the groom-to-be isn’t scared off by how ugly you are. For real though, most marriages used to be arranged. The wedding was like a business deal between two families. The father of the bride was worried that if the groom met his little princess before the wedding and thought her unattractive, he would call things off – which, would obviously be a huge blow to the bride and her entire family. If they met AT the ceremony, the groom wouldn’t have the opportunity to change his mind. Which leads to another point on the veil – it was also used to hide the bride’s face until the last minute. Now there would be something fun to capture… the SUSPENSE!!

TRADITION: THROWING RICE
Touching again on the fact that a marriage was a business deal between two families, rice symbolized fertility and prosperity which the couple needed to increase the family’s assets. Rice was cheap so it was used more frequently but other options were wheat and oats. I guess whatever crop you could get your hand on would do.

TRADITION: BOUQUET TOSSES
This one’s fun. Women used to try to rip pieces of the bride’s gown and flowers in order to obtain her good luck. The bride would toss her bouquet into the crowd of these greedy females and run away. I guess it was a bit of a diversion but I’m sure they were happy with whatever they could get their hands on. Um, rude!

Bouquet toss at the Historic Malbis Community Center in Daphne, AL

TRADITION: CANS TIED BEHIND YOUR CAR
Back in England’s good ole days, the bride and groom’s guests would throw their shoes at them as they left in their carriages as it was considered good luck to hit the vehicle. People were maniacs back in the day, I tell you! Anyway, as time passed and people started wising up, they began to tie their shoes to the back of the vehicle instead. Shoes were eventually replaced with aluminum cans. Good thing too – can you imagine walking home without your shoes? What was wrong with these people?

TRADITION: EATING YOUR CAKE A YEAR LATER
Back in your great-great grandma’s day (I guess), people saved the top tiers of their wedding cakes to use during the christening celebration of their first baby, which was believed *should* come within the year following the nuptials. I swear people assume so much.

These crazy traditions just keep going but I’ll leave you with that. Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, I can speak from experience that traditions are always a blast to take part in and photograph… so carry on!

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