Lauren’s Bridal Diary: Wedding Traditions Explained
If you’re anything like me, you won’t be that curious about why we do certain things at weddings. Like hurtle a bunch of flowers at a giggling group of females, wear a piece of lace around one thigh or throw petals at the gushing bride and groom. Most of us just accept that these are age-old traditions and roll with it. Or shock horror ( for your mother) you decide to defy tradition and do things slightly differently like have a triple layered cheese platter instead of wedding cake or carry giant crepe roses instead of a ‘real’ bouquet. I say it’s your wedding, why not add your own flair?
In The Irreverent A-Z Wedding Guide, authors Francesca Bourke and Martin Heller, share the origins of some seemingly crazy traditions…
Back in what must’ve been the dark ages, bouquets were made of strong-scented herbs and flowers to ward off evil spirits as well as mask the smell of those who had not bathed. In present times, unless you trying to keep drunk Uncle Hennie away, you’ll go for blooms that are sweet smelling or just aesthetically pleasing to hold in your hand. As for throwing the bouquet at the poor single people; I don’t know about you, but at weddings where I was one of the last standing singles I felt like a tool and usually ducked whilst others lunged for the flying flowers. How thrilling that my days of bouquet catching are over.
This custom first began when people threw rice at the newlyweds with the intention to bless them with fertility. When the Italians started throwing sweets ( confetti) at parties, the British adopted this at weddings before coming to their senses and using petals and paper instead. Sweets or not, I would not be a happy chappy if my guests decide to throw sweets at me. And as for fertility, I welcome rice throwing only after three years of marriage.
One theory dates back to France in the 14th century. Guests would try to tear off pieces of the bride’s clothing for luck. Heaven only knows who lied to them. The distressed brides began throwing garters instead to please the crowds. I don’t know what they wore back then, but had any guest tried that stunt on a designer wedding dress today, it would not be a pretty sight and would’ve resulted in a black eye for sure. So try seeking luck another way and guys, if you catch it you’re destined to marry next. It’s no wonder that I’m yet to see a male dive with the same zealousness as that of a bouquet catcher.
Read more from Lauren as she plans her wedding in our Bride to Be section.
Photograph taken by Lauren at her cousins wedding.
Photograph courtesy of Lauren Manuel ©
Happy Wedding Planning!
Read more from Lauren and her travel experiences at The Travel Manuel.