Not Just Calligraphy-Event Planning
by Mayra Etayo
There are many traditions that are honored during wedding ceremonies. But do you know what some of them mean or how they originated? Here are some of our most loved traditions, and how they came to be.
The Bride’s Bouquet
(You may opt to have the band announce this as the bride tosses her bouquet)
Bridal bouquets have evolved through the ages. Saracen brides carried bouquets of orange blossoms to symbolize fertility, and Roman brides carried sheaves of wheat to symbolize prosperity for their husbands. In the eighteenth century, the practice of carrying a bouquet of flowers or herbs became a popular tradition, which symbolized fragility, purity, and new life. Bouquets of dill were among the most popular herb carried. Today bridal bouquets are tossed to assembled single women to symbolize new life and to pass on the bride’s good fortune.
White Aisle Runner
A white aisle runner symbolizes walking on holy ground. A marriage covenant is not made merely between two people and their witnesses. It is made in the presence of God and He is actively involved in the agreement.
Kissing the Bride
During the Roman Empire, the kiss symbolized a legal bond. Continued use of the kiss to seal the marriage bond is based on the deeply rooted idea of the kiss as a vehicle for transference of power and souls.
The Bride and Groom Feeding Each Other the Cake
This represents the sharing of the body to become one.
During Catholic ceremonies in Spain, Panama, and Mexico, the groom presents the bride with 13 gold coins, known as Arras, to represent his ability to support the bride. The coins are blessed by the priest and passed through the hands of the newlyweds several times, ending up with the bride. Want to make the ritual a little more balanced? Consider giving each other coins, to symbolize shared responsibility.
“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue”
Old and new items jointly symbolize the passage from the old unmarried state to that of the new married one. The wearing of a borrowed belonging demonstrates community participation in and approval of the wedding. Blue is worn because it is the color that signifies purity, love, and fidelity.
The tradition of the wedding cake was brought to the New World by the Pilgrims-and it was fruit cake! It was not until the 1800s, with the advent of white flour, baking powder, and baking soda, that the white cake remained and became known as the groom's cake. It was placed beside the bride's cake at the reception, boxed, and given to guest as a favor. Legend has it that single guests who placed the boxed cake under their pillow would dream of their intended; hence, it became known as dreaming bread.
Jumping the Broom
This African tradition is one that's become a part of many African-American weddings. At the end of the ceremony, the couple jumps over the broom that's placed at their feet. The broom, in many regions of Africa, symbolized beginning life with a clean slate, of sweeping away evil spirit, and starting a new home with its many responsibilities. In the United States, when slavery prevented couples from legally marrying, they jumped the broom to seal their vows.
In the ancient world, there was no marriage, If a man wanted a wife, he simply raided the nearest village and captured her. In Israel, when a man raided a village and escaped with a wife, he spent the night (or moon) with her in seclusion drinking mead, a liquor made from fermented honey. The drink was called bride ale (the origin of the world bridal) and the night of liquor-drinking seclusion became as the honeymoon.