Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Something Old, Something New...Traditions of the Modern Couple

Today's popular wedding traditions have evolved over hundreds of years of people joining together in some form of matrimony. Some wedding traditions that have endured are based on blessing the couple with good luck; others are a means for the couple to convey their feelings for one another. Regardless of the wedding tradition itself, all wedding traditions share the same essential symbols of unity, happiness and prosperity; messages that stand the test of time.

According to Weddingbell's Annual Reader Survey, there are some traditions I thought were long ago forgotten but still reign even in our modern world today:

Popping the Question:
* 48% of grooms ask permission from the father of the bride
* 59% of grooms got down on one knee
* 89% of brides received an engagement ring picked out by her fiance, while 11% of couples picked out the engagement ring together.
* 21% of engagements occurred in December, which is the top month for proposals (interesting since I always believed that Valentine's Day would be the top proposal day)

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue:

The saying, "Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” is a popular rhyme that has been used since Victorian times. The "something old" represents the bond to the bride's family and her old life; "something new" represents the couple's new life together and their future hope for happiness, prosperity and success; "something borrowed" from a happily married woman is meant to impart similar happiness to the bride; and "something blue" represents fidelity and constancy.

White Bridal Dresses:

Wearing white also dates back to Victorian times when Queen Victoria abandoned the usual royal tradition of wearing a silver gown, instead choosing to wear white. Before that time brides simply wore their best gown, rather than a special wedding dress. The popularity of white can also be attributed to it symbolizing purity and virginity. White was also thought to ward off evil spirits.

Throwing Rice:

Showering the couple with rice is an ancient tradition. As rice is considered a "life giving" seed it is thought that by throwing in on the couple they will be bestowed with fertility and have many children. It has since been realized that throwing rice is harmful to many of natures creatures, very costly to clean up after and many venues now forbid it on their property but there are some safe alternatives to throwing rice such as blowing bubbles, releasing doves or butterfiles etc. At my cousin's wedding, when they were leaving the reception to go on their honeymoon, we all lined up on either side of the walkway to the limo and lit sparklers, it was a beautiful sight.

Sharing The First Piece of Wedding Cake:

It is a wedding tradition with Roman roots. The Romans believed that by eating the wedding cake together a special bond was created between the couple. The wheat used to bake the cake was symbolic of fertility and a "fruitful union", while the cake's sweetness was thought to bring sweetness to all areas of the couple's new life.

Placing the Wedding Ring:

Placing the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand is from ancient Egypt. The Egyptians believed the "vein of love" ran directly from the ring finger to the heart, therefore the ring was placed there to denote eternal love.

A few more interesting facts from WeddingBell's Annual Reader Survey of old traditions standing true and a couple new traditions are:

* 89% of grooms won't see the wedding dress before getting married
* 69% of brides still plan to take their finace's last name


* 41% think there is nothing wrong with returning a wedding gift for cash (to me this is unthoughtful and tacky)
* the average age of an engaged woman is 29.5 (previous to the 1980's the average age of an engaged woman was 21)
* 22% of couples believe that a pre-nup is the way to go

The traditions set forth in ancient times have be been able to stay with us through the ages. While there are new traditions in each family and individually at each wedding, all couples still want the traditions of their ancestors present to grant them the love and joy as seen with their parents and grandparents before them. I invite you to share some of your traditions and special tidbits that made your wedding day special.

Tomorrow we will have a look at Seasonal Themed Weddings. Would you have your wedding in the Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? I'll let you know how each season can bring that sparkle to your special day.

Cheers and Blessings,