Your wedding day is one of the most significant moments in your life, so naturally you want everything to be perfect. Wedding traditions and superstitions have been around for centuries and they don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
As you gather up your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, have you ever wondered how and when all of these traditions originated?
Here we will look at some of the top wedding traditions. Where did they come from and how long have they been around? Let’s get to the bottom of why we all feel a little superstitious on our wedding day.
Seeing each other before the wedding
What’s the big deal? You’re going to see each other anyway.
Of course, this is true, but wedding couples will still do everything they can to keep at a great distance from each other until they meet at the altar. We see it so often in the movies; groom walks in on bride before wedding, wedding day is ruined moments later. It’s no wonder this superstition is so engrained into our psyche. Breaking it would cause all kinds of panic.
These days it mostly comes down to the fact that the bride wants to be seen first at the altar. After all that effort to get spruced up, she has every right to want a grand entrance! It also makes for some wonderful photography to snap the groom’s face as he see his bride for the first time.
But the origins of this tradition aren’t so romantic. Originally, couples were betrothed which meant not seeing each other at all before the wedding day. The father of the bride would fear that his daughter would not be attractive enough for the groom. Rather than risking the groom calling it off, the couple would meet for the first time at the altar so the groom didn’t have the chance to change his mind!
The bridal veil
Originating in Roman times, the bridal veil was introduced to protect the bride from evil spirits. Veils in period were actually flame-coloured to scare off those spirits.
By the Victorian period, the bridal veil was no longer being used as a protective shield. Instead, the weight, length and quality of the veil, symbolised bride’s status. The better the veil, the higher the bride’s status.
Today, the veil is often used for religious reasons – to symbolise purity and vulnerability. However, for the most part, the bridal veil is now simply a luxurious accessory to the wedding gown. The veil is a beautiful finishing touch that brings the bride’s hair and dress together.
Something old, new, borrowed and blue
We all know this little rhyme off-by-heart and it still holds some importance to us on our wedding day. While it’s commonly just a bit of superstitious fun these days, it’s interesting to find out where it all came from.
Something old – symbolises the newlywed’s hope to retain family connections and values throughout their life.
Something new – symbolises the new union of the couple, one that will last forever.
Something borrowed – an opportunity for the bride’s family or close friends to lend her something as a symbol of their love.
Something blue – a symbol of fidelity. This originated in ancient Israel when the bride would wear a blue ribbon in her hair to symbolise her loyalty to her new husband.
Tossing the bouquet
These days, this is simply a fun thing to do at a wedding reception. Whoever catches the bouquet is next in line to get married. This isn’t exactly fail proof, but it provides a little entertainment to watch a slight scuffle among the ladies on the guest list.
But the origins of this tradition aren’t so delightful. In medieval times it was considered good luck to get a piece of the bride’s clothing. Any piece would do, so guests would tear the bride’s dress right off her body. As a way to preserve their gowns, brides would throw their bouquet to distract the guests while they made a quick getaway.
Rain on your wedding day
As well as offering the chance to see rainbows, rain on your wedding day has been a symbol of fertility and cleansing. This was originally a Hindu superstition but has been adopted by cultures all over the world as a sign of good luck.
These long-standing superstitions are sure to help wedding couples look on the bright side if there happens to be a freak storm on their big day. After all, no one in their right mind would make a bride feel worse about rain on her wedding day.
The list of wedding traditions and superstitions is never ending and spans a wide range of cultures and eras. Although we still practice these traditions in New Zealand today, we have come to realise our wedding day can be just as perfect, even if a few things go wrong here and there.
Weddings are a momentous occasion and couples need a team on board who will be sensitive to any request of the bride and groom. The team at Markovina Vineyard Estate know all about wedding superstition and will do everything we can to help couples feel at ease on their big day.
Call Markovina today and make a time to check out the amazing venue. With five different ceremony locations both indoor and outdoor, you’ll never have to worry about rain on your wedding day.