When it comes to wedding day ceremony, truth is definitely stranger than fiction. Many of the accepted wedding traditions that we adhere to on this special day are deeply rooted in odd superstition, historical oddities and cultural influences which no longer apply. In contemporary times, they are merely traditions – but ones we cling to, often not knowing where they originated.
- The Proposal – Although today a clever proposal is lauded and posted around the internet, in history past, the groom rarely proposed. Instead, he sent trusted family members to ask for his bride’s hand. If along the way they saw a pregnant woman, a blind man or a monk , the wedding was off. However, if they saw a nanny-goat or a wolf, all was well and they could proceed.
- The Bridal Shower – In most cultures, a dowry was expected when a woman was married. The dowry consisted of money or property that the father of the bride would give to the couple to start their new life. When the bride’s father objected to the union, he often withheld the dowry. This prompted the bride’s friends to step in and “shower her” with gifts and money to replace the dowry, allowing the ceremony to proceed.
- The Bridal Party – In warring societies, bridesmaids and groomsmen were selected based on their ability to fight – their job was to surround and protect the bride from thieves and kidnappers. The strongest and bravest of these, the “best man”, stood by the groom’s side to either kidnap the bride back, or to fetch her from a reluctant village. The tradition of the bride standing to the groom’s left was practical – it allowed him to have quick access to his sword if needed.
- The Wedding Cake – In some tribal cultures, the act of eating a wedding cake together comprises the entire wedding ceremony. In England centuries ago, guests offered small pastries to the couple, creating a pile between them. If the bride and groom could lean across and share a kiss without disturbing the pile, it was considered good luck. It is believed that tiered wedding cakes, and kisses shared after taking a bite, are both derived from this medieval custom.
Flowers have always played a role in wedding ceremonies, although like most elements of the wedding, they had a deeper meaning in ancient times. As flowers carry with them hidden significance, the bouquets were chosen to speak a message of love, fidelity, honor or excitement. The process of choosing flowers based on theme, color palette or simple preference is a modern one – but no less valid. When it comes time to choose your floral bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony décor for your Nashville area wedding, look to the experts at Rose Hill Flowers. After all, your wedding is the perfect opportunity to start a few new traditions of your own – and we are here to help you do just that.