Mission: Tradition – Part 1 – Here Come The Girls

Weddings are jam pack full of tradition and have been for centuries. Even more so than most would think. It’s almost completely unavoidable. Even things that one might mistake for common characteristics of the modern conventional wedding, are, in fact, traditions (or at least adapted from traditions) that go back millennia. Couples hell bent on breaking away from these ancient nuptial train tracks may swear blind that they’re having a wedding like no other before it. Then they each go and wear tradition around their finger for the rest of their time together! The reality is that getting hitched is about as old school as it gets. If you’re looking to tie the knot, you’re embracing tradition to a certain extent…

 

…But how much of it you embrace is completely up to you. You are in control. It’s all about understanding what it all means, and then picking and choosing what little nuggets of history you want to adopt as part of your wedding day. And that’s where we come in…

 

Welcome to part one of a new Book Of Weddings blog series aimed at examining the long list of historic wedding traditions. In this series, we’re swapping inspiration for education. We’re laying down facts that we hope will enable future-weds to make informed decisions on what is involved in their big day. Today, we’re focusing on traditions surrounding the bride and the bridal party. School’s in session folks. Pay attention…

 

The white dress

Quite possibly the most anticipated, talked about and ultimately awe-inspiring staple of any wedding. But it’s becoming increasingly common for brides to veer from the pure white wedding gown. For those who are on the fence, let’s look at the origin. We were surprised to learn that the white wedding dress doesn’t signify the purity of the bride. Those same people may also be surprised to learn that its origin sits well inside the last two centuries. It’s basically a fashion trend. A fashion trend started by Queen Victoria when she tied the knot in 1840. Illustrations of her gown reached far and wide quickly and many brides quickly began to imitate the look. You wanna rock it like Queen Vic did? Your call…

 

The Bridesmaids

Here’s a slightly more ancient one that we’ve rebelled and tinkered with somewhat over the years. You may be surprised to learn that there never was a set number of bridesmaids in ancient Roman Law. If anything, it was a case of the more the merrier; Roman bridesmaids were dressed the same way as the bride herself and would serve to confuse evil spirits, or even the living!

 

The Flower Girl

Not just a cute wedding day photo opportunity. The flower girl is surprisingly symbolic. She leads the bride forward, from a life of purity into one of motherhood and responsibility. She slowly casts away the innocence of her single life in the form of petals. The origin? It’s those pesky ancient Romans again. In her beginning, the flower girl would carry wheat and herbs. Traditionally this represented the future fertility and prosperity of the bride and groom.

 

The Bouquet

Nowadays it may be all about looking pretty. But how did it start? The answer…more good old fashioned ghost busting, mixed with sound medical advice (though possibly not according to modern day medical practice). Many moons ago it was all about the aroma of the bouquet rather than staying in keeping with the chosen wedding palette. The fragrance of the bouquet was said to deter evil spirits and also help to prevent contacting the plague!