Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wedding Cutoms: Part I

Have you noticed that there are unspoken rules that are associated to weddings and we never question why it is the way it is. For instance, why does the brides family have to sit on the left side? What is the real reason we toss the garter/bouquet? I have done a little investigating and found some interesting reasons for some of those "that's just the way it is" rules.
What's with the left side?
The bride and her family being positioned on the left side of the church goes back to Medieval times when men wore swords on their right side. In case they needed to draw their sword at any given moment this side would be free to protect hid betrothed.
The Juno Effect?
June is considered the luckiest month to wed because it is names after the Roman goddess Juno who was the goddess of love and marriage. Other stories say that June was popular because this was the brightest month for light and also women could give birth by the following spring and have enough time to recover for the harvest season.
Bachelor Parties and Bridal Showers.
Bridal showers began back when the man would send gifts to the bride to show he was an upstanding gentleman worthy of her affection and also able to provide her by sending livestock, fabrics, land and jewelry. Today they are to shower the couple with gifts to begin their new life together. Bachelor parties date back to ancient Sparta where the groom gathered and feasted with his friends to show his loyalty and friendship to them. It also symbolized saying goodbye to his former life.
The Garter Toss
Though it has always said to show who would be the next to wed it has been said that beginning in the 14th century that it was good luck to have a piece of clothing from the bride. Consequently the bride's dress would be destroyed so the tossing of the garter was a way to distract the guests from her while allowing them to have something of hers.
Here's To The Couple!
A french tradition that has lasted and repeated over and over is the wedding toasts. A piece of bread would be placed in the bottom of a glass that was then filled with wine and then passed around to honored guests. Words of praise and honor would be spoken about the couple and the last guest to receive the cup would eat the toast.
The Classic Custom: Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue....
The full saying is "‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence inside your shoe". The 'old' represents the family and friends of the past for the bride. The 'new' is based on the hopes for the future for the new couple. The 'borrowed' should come from an already happily married woman so that her luck can be passed to the bride. The 'blue' is to denote the bride virginity and is the opposite of red. The 'sixpence' denotes wealth (in marriage and money) and financial stability for the couple. Note that the sixpence should be worn in the left shoe for optimal effect!