Wedding Fun and Folklore

The Wedding Cake

The original wedding cake were lots of little wheat cakes that were broken over the bride’s head to bestow good luck and fertility.  The modern, three-tier wedding cake; is inspired by Saint Bride’s Church in London.  Traditionally, the newlyweds should make the first cut to signify sharing their life.  Every guest then eats the cake to ensure good luck.  Sleeping with a crumb of wedding cake under her pillow is said to make a single girl dream of her future husband.  The tradition of saving a piece of wedding cake is an old one that couples still practice today.  The custom is said to have originated with the concept that it was a sign of wealth for a couple to freeze the top portion of their wedding cake, thaw it out, and eat it on their first anniversary.  Most cakes do not freeze well for a long period of time.  Couples wishing to practice this lovely tradition should ask their baker to prepare a freezer-safe layer that will last the year in the freezer.

Throwing Rice

The throwing of rice (bird seed is commonly used today) is an ancient fertility rite.  Handfuls of grain or nuts were thrown at the couple because they are “life-giving” seeds.  This is a much drier tradition than the Greek tradition of spitting on the bride!

Tying Cans to the Rear Bumper

The belief is that the noise scares away evil.

Wedding Flowers

The groom should wear a flower that appears in the bride’s bouquet in his button hole.  This comes from the medieval tradition of the knight wearing his ladys’ color as a declaration of his love.

How You Arrive at the Church is as Important as Being There

Walk to the church and you’ll have a better chance of spotting lucky omens like a rainbow, a ray of sunlight shining on the bride, and meeting a black cat or chimney sweep along the way.

Rain on Your Wedding Day

It is good luck!  It comes from several cultures, mainly from the Hindu, with the idea that a wet knot is harder to untie.  Since marriage is referred to as tying the knot, a wet knot is important!  Rain was also a symbol of fertility to agricultural societies as rain restored and maintained the wellness of crops.  Crops were people’s main source of stability and income and so it was thought to guarantee a long happy marriage!

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

"Something Old" symbolizes the connection the bride will maintain to her family and the past.  Many brides abide by this tradition by choosing to wear an heirloom piece of family jewelry or the wedding gown belonging to a grandmother or mother.

"Something New" denotes good fortune and success in the bride's new life.  The wedding dress is most often the chosen new item.

"Something Borrowed" serves to remind the bride that friends and family will be there for her whenever she may need their support or assistance.  The borrowed object can be most anything of her choosing, such as an antique handkerchief, an item of jewelry or a handbag. 

"Something Blue" denotes faithfulness and loyalty.  The symbolism dates back to biblical times when blue represented purity and constancy.  Brides often choose to wear a blue garter to keep with this tradition or blue ribbons in their hair to symbolize fidelity.

"A Silver Sixpence in her Shoe" represents the wishes of loved ones to the bride, in the hope that she will have both financial security and happiness.

Bride on Groom's Left

Because grooms in Anglo-Saxon England often had to defend their brides, the bride would stand to the left of her groom so that his sword arm was free.

Tossing the Bouquet

Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that stems from England.  Women used to try to rip pieces of the bride's dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck.  To escape from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away.  Today the bouquet is tossed to single women with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry.

Money Dance

According to one custom, when arranged marriages were common the Groom collected a dowry only after his marriage was consummated.  The money dance insured that the couple would have some money before they left their wedding reception.

Wedding Toast

It is said that this tradition first began in France where bread would be placed in the bottom of two drinking glasses for the newlyweds.  They would then drink as fast as they could to be the first person to get to the toast.  According to legend, the winner would rule their household!

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