Wedding Tips and Traditions

Wedding style: Weddings are rooted in tradition, so they share common elements—the dress, the flowers, the cake, and so on. These provide countless ways to be creative and make your wedding reflect your tastes.

Inspiration: Think of your wedding as a whole and make sure that all the elements complement each other: the dress, the grooms outfit, and the attendants’ clothes, the flowers, the cake, the table decorations, the stationary. The starting point is normally the brides, from which springs the choice outfits and flowers. But there are other sources of inspiration. The time of year often suggests certain colors and themes: blues and yellow in spring; fiery reds, oranges, and yellows in the fall; tables decorated with colored eggs at an Easter wedding; holy and ivy wreathes at a Christmas celebration. If you’re marrying in the summer, you could adopt the rose as your theme. Your reception venue might set the mood, a castle suggesting a medieval or fairytale theme. Shared interests or passions could be another starting. Perhaps you’re been to India together and want the reception to be a blaze of saffron yellow and hot pink. You may simply want to have a classic white wedding, from your dress down to the rice. Keeping it simple is often the most stylish choice.

Wedding Traditions:

  • Bouquets were originally posies of herbs, carried to ward off evil spirits.
  • The verse “Something old, something new… refers to the bride’s passage from her old life to her new one. “Something borrowed” means that marriage involves sharing, and “something blue” alludes to the colours associated with constancy. “And a silver sixpence in your shoe” refers to the hope of prosperity in marriage, which to traditionalists in Canada means sticking a quarter in your shoe.
  • White weddings were an invention of the Victorians. Before then, brides simply wore their best dress, sometimes with a white ribbon attached to symbolize purity.
  • Veils were thought to keep away evil spirits, who would be confused by not being able to see the bride.
  • Chimneysweeps are associated with the hearth and home, and it’s therefore thought to be good luck to kiss one on the way to the ceremony.
  • The wedding ring symbolizes everlasting love. It’s thought that the ancient Egyptians started the practice of wearing one on the third finder on the left hand—they believed that the vein in that finger ran straight to the heart.
  • Throwing rice has its roots in the Roman period, when guests threw nuts at newlyweds to symbolize a fruitful marriage.
  • Cutting a cake at a wedding was once thought to guarantee a fruitful marriage. Keeping a piece of cake is supposed to guarantee your husband stays faithful, so long as the slice does not crumble in the first year (which is where a modern freezer helps out).
  • The honeymoon gets its name from the tradition of newlyweds drinking honeyed mead (a symbol of life and fertility) until the moon waned.
  • Wedding receptions have their roots in the medieval period, when the groom had to demonstrate that he could support his wife by giving gifts of food and drink to his in-laws.
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