Bride should exit her house from the front door and step out right
Why bride and groom avoid seeing each other on the morning of
the wedding day? Perhaps has something to do with the period of
arranging marriages! The bride's father, probably, feared the
groom would stop the engagement if his fiancé wasn't beauty.
Getting to the church
Walking was thought to be the best way of getting to Church, as
there was more chance to see lucky omens. Meeting a black cat,
seeing a rainbow, having the sun shine on the Bride meant all
lucky things to come. Bad omens were seeing a pig crossing the
road or meet a funeral procession.
to the new house
Have you ever wondered why the bride is carried over the threshold
of her new house? Tradition tells that the new bride must enter
home by the main door, and to avoid bad luck must never fall.
Bridal Gown Superstition
Other superstitions are that the bride should never make her own
dress, that the final stitch should not be completed until she
is departing for the Church. The bride should never try on the
entire outfit before the wedding day. Usually, brides would put
their gowns in sections: looking at herself fully dressed was
considered unlucky. Even on the wedding day it was advised to
leave off a part of the bridal outfit, such as a glove, when the
bride checked her appearance in the mirror.
Bridesmaids and best men originate from the Roman law that demanded
ten witnesses to be present at a wedding. In ancient times it
was also believed that evil spirits could attend marriages with
the purpose to cause mischief and disharmony. The attendants all
dressed in identical clothing to the bride and groom so that the
evil spirits wouldn't know who was getting married. That's why
today bridesmaids and best men wear clothes that are similar to
the bride's and groom's.
Bouquet or Toss Bouquet
The bouquet was considered a symbol of happiness. Today the practice
of tossing the bouquet is a derivative of throwing the garter.
The single woman who catches the bouquet is believed to be the
next to marry.
In ancient times bouquets were made with herbs and spices, because
it was thought that strong smelling herbs would ward off and drive
away evil spirits, bad luck and ill health. Garlic and chives
were also popular for the same reason. During Victorian times,
flowers took on an additional significance, due to the fashion
of the flower language.
Throwing the garter began in France, when the bride would throw
the garter to the guests at the wedding and whoever caught it
could expect good luck. Today the groom traditionally removes
the garter from the bride and throws it to the unmarried men.
The man who catches it is thought to be the next to marry. The
garter is placed on the bride's right leg, just above the knee.
Why the bride stands on the left
Brides stand on the left because in ancient times grooms used
to capture their bride by kidnapping her. If the groom had to
fight off other men who also wanted the same woman, he would hold
his bride-to-be with his left hand and fight with his sword in
There is an old tradition that isn't practiced today: breaking
the cake over the bride's head; its origin dates back to the Roman
The groom would eat part of a loaf of barley bread baked for the
occasion and break the rest over the head of the bride. This symbolized
the dominance of the groom over the bride. The guests would grab
for the crumbs that fell to the ground as catalysts for fertility.
The white colour of the icing on a wedding cake has come to symbolize
purity and virginal attributes, because of the association of
the cake with the bride.
The fashion of the white cake started in Victorian times. The
white icing was also a symbol of affluence because it was made
with refined sugar, which was very expensive.
Cutting the Cake
Cutting the cake has come to symbolize the first task in the couple's
Immediately after the cutting, the bride and groom feed each other
the first slice.
This action symbolizes the commitment to provide for each other
that the bride and groom have undertaken. Today the first slice
is cut by both bride and groom, but in the past this task was
performed by the bride only: she had to show her ability in distributing
food without waste, thus proving herself a good housekeeper.
Giving Pieces of Cake as Gifts
This tradition started as far back as the Roman empire, but it
is still carried on today. The idea of sleeping with a piece of
cake underneath your pillow dates back to the 17th century.
It is said that you will dream of your future spouse if you sleep
with a piece of wedding cake underneath your pillow.
Today, the tradition of wedding favours has evolved to giving
each guest five sugar coated almonds (Italian confetti) as a symbol
of health, fertility, wealth, joy and long-life. Why almonds?
A Greek legend tells the story of a young man called Demophon,
who fell in love with a Tracian princess, Phyllis. Before the
marriage ceremony Demophon is informed that his father has died
in Athens and he must return for the funeral. He promises to come
back by a certain day but cannot return until three months later.
By this time Phyllis is sure that she will never see her lover
again and hangs herself. The Gods, touched by her love, transform
her into an almond tree. The desperate Demophon offers a sacrifice
to the almond tree, declaring his undying love. In response, the
almond tree blossoms.
Therefore the almond came to symbolize impetuous youth and immortal
The Wedding Rings
The circle is the symbol of the sun, love, the earth, the universe
and perfection. It is worn on the left third finger because of
an ancient Greek belief that a vein from that finger goes directly
to the heart.