Wedding Traditions: How They've Changed

 Through history, there have been many wedding traditions across almost every culture or country around the world. As time has gone by, some traditions remain while others evolve or are completely forgotten. We wanted to highlight a few traditions that have evolved and continue on today and how the way they're carried out now or the meaning behind them has changed quite a bit.

Bridesmaid Dresses

Originally bridesmaids were actually dressed exactly like the bride. If you’re as confused as we were to learn this, the reason is even weirder; bridesmaids were dressed to mirror the bride to make lookalikes so that evil spirits wouldn’t know which one was the actual bride. It would be unfathomable in today's era of weddings to walk down the aisle and spot your bff wearing the exact same wedding gown as you, most brides would be mortified. A few hundred years ago though, it was a necessity to keep 'evil spirits' at bay though!

wedding bouquet of roses in a vase 

Tossing the bouquet

These days, it’s become a tradition for a bride to toss her bouquet into a crowd of single or unmarried women behind her and whoever catches it is said to have the ‘luck’ of being the next to marry. However, it had a completely different reason in the past. Hundreds of years ago, it was thought to be a symbol of good luck for wedding guests to touch the bride, even more so if they could tear off a piece of her dress or wedding attire. As a response to this, brides would throw the bouquet into the crowd to distract them and make their escape, often while the husband would throw the garter as well as a secondary distraction so they could make it into the bridal chamber unharmed without being rushed by the crowd. I don't think any of us could imagine all our wedding guests rushing us to tear our gown to pieces for a 'good luck charm' these days though.

 

The wearing of a veil

Originally, brides would wear veils for two reasons depending on the time and place of this tradition. Firstly, it was to hide the bride from her groom in an arranged marriage. This was done so that the man couldn’t back out until it was too late because at that point they would be together on the alter about to be wed. Secondly, it was used to ward off bad or evil spirits from the bride. Both of those are pretty far fetched today but their origins are interesting, even if they are a bit weird when you factor in the reason for marriage now is generally one of love and wanting to spend a life together.

 

Charivari

Hundreds of years ago in France, on the night of the wedding ceremony and after the reception, family and friends would gather outside the window of the bride and groom and bang pots, pans and steel items to make a whole lot of noise as a mock serenade. I’m not sure about you, but I personally couldn’t think of anything more annoying than that noise on my wedding night and I’m sure others felt that way too as the tradition eventually evolved into what it is today; tying cans to the back of the bride and grooms transportation after the wedding as a more subtle way of continuing the tradition.

 

We hope you enjoyed this list and if you have any other traditions you'd like to know about or want us to write about, let us know and we'll add them in future with a part 2!

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