Wedding season is kicking back into gear and Cason’s wedding fashion post has got me in the mood for some sweet nuptial celebratin’! Whether you’re planning a wedding or attending one, here are a few wedding traditions that you see all the time but might not have realized what they were all about… sneaky little things.
I go to a lot of weddings. Like, a LOT. I’m lucky enough to be a wedding photographer, and I’ve seen so many different types of celebrations and personalities all melding together… it’s such a cool thing to be a part of. Plus, there’s lots of cake involved which never hurts. (That’s me down there, doing my thaaaang.)
Over the years I’ve started wondering what the meaning is behind a lot of the traditions that are usually incorporated into the ceremonies and even some of the crazy superstitions, so I’ve decided to do a little digging. Here’s just a few to get you going… you ready for this??
the R I N G S | These are customarily worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. It was believed that there was a vein in that finger called the “Vena Amoris” (or the “Vein of Love”) that lead directly to the heart. Science proved otherwise, but us hopeless romantics just couldn’t let go of the tradition. The ring also served as a groom’s “down payment” towards the bride’s price, and was usually included with some other goods… so romantic, right?
the B O U Q U E T | So waaaay back in the day, there was some pretty infrequent bathing going on. (I read somewhere that in the 1600’s, people would take their ANNUAL bath in May and then get married in June. SICK.) The most obvious reason the tradition started was to mask odors… but luckily we bathe a little more often these days (Atleast, you guys do. I can’t disclose my shower record at this time…). It was also believed to ward off evil spirits and sickness since bouquets often included strong spices and herbs like dill and even garlic.
But the sweetest reason I found was that the bride often tried to send secret messages to her groom through the symbolism of each type of flower. For instance, a honeysuckle represented generosity, a fern was for sincerity, hydrangeas for perseverance, the list goes on. I love the idea of getting to craft a bouquet with a secret meaning hidden in it… but let’s be real. My husband was waaaay too busy checking me out while I was walking down the aisle to figure out what my flowers would’ve meant. Ahh, sweet romance.
the F I R S T S I G H T | When arranged marriages were popular and weddings were more of a business transaction between families rather than about love, most of the time the bride and groom didn’t see each other until the actual ceremony was taking place. Even then, there was a veil involved which makes it seem even shadier. The whole “bad luck if you see each other before the ceremony” thing actually stems from the scenario that if the groom laid eyes on the bride beforehand and didn’t like what he saw, he might back out of the wedding all together. So unless you catfished your fiancé and your wedding day is the first time you’re meeting, I think you should be good. Nowadays, a lot of people prefer doing a “first sight” before the ceremony which I LOVE. It always takes so much pressure off of the bride and groom, and you have this sweet time to just be alone without everyone peeping in on you. It helps a ton with logistics too while trying to photograph groups of people before the ceremony so we’re not constantly playing a game of hide-and-seek… just a side note. Think about it… then DO IT. Seriously. You won’t regret it.
There are traditions and superstitions galore wrapped into wedding ceremonies, so this is really just scraping the surface. What’s the craziest one you’ve heard of? Funny to think we’re going through the motions without even realizing why… guess we really are just creatures of habit!
Anywho, Happy weekend y’all!
Until next time,