The Odd Origins of Wedding Traditions

When you’re planning a wedding, you might run into some odd traditions. If you ask about them, you’re likely to be told that they’re traditional. Most of these wedding traditions had a practical purpose at one point; frequently, they were for the bride’s safety!

Matching Bridesmaids

When choosing bridesmaids’ dresses, you’ll probably see the advice that they should be dressed in simple dresses that won’t distract from the bride on her wedding day. This is ironic, considering the original purpose of bridesmaids!

The tradition originally came from ancient times where other young ladies would travel with a bride to her wedding, all dressed with veils and similar gowns. This was done to protect the bride – both from evil spirits, but also from kidnapping attempts! These days, bridesmaids are mostly only responsible for helping the bride get ready on her big day and maybe with helping with some DIY projects.

The Best Man

Originally, the groom’s best man wasn’t necessarily a reference to his best friend. Originally, the best man had some pretty serious responsibilities – he was there to protect the groom and his bride! This title came from being the best with a sword or a gun, ready to protect the couple if someone tried to intervene!

The best man was also responsible for transportation. This all lead to some very high stakes elopements. If your best man is worried about being tasked with keeping the rings safe and making a speech at your reception, remind him to be grateful that he isn’t being expected to ward off any kidnapping attempts.

The Veil

In modern times, veils are synonymous with brides as they are the only reason most people will ever wear one. Originally bridal veils had a purpose and weren’t just an unusual but traditional piece of headwear. Veils were primarily used for arranged marriages so the bride and groom did not call off the wedding. This was mostly done in case the groom did not find his bride beautiful. Nowadays, these accessories are seen as traditional and a nice way to tie the bridal look together.

White Wedding Dresses Are A New Trend!

Are you a bride who is considering an unusual wedding dress? Whether you don’t care for formal gowns or would feel more comfortable in a black dress, you’ve probably had people insist that you have to wear a white dress for tradition’s sake. You might want to let them know that white wedding dresses are a relatively modern trend!

In historical times, the bride would just wear the nicest dress she had. Even if she did get a new dress for her wedding, it wasn’t something that would be preserved and stored away! It would be her new “best” dress, worn to church or for special occasions.

The white dress we think of is a nod to Queen Victoria. While some will insist that a white dress is a sign of purity, most agree that the Queen’s dress was a sign of wealth. She was able to have a new dress that she would only wear once- a white dress wasn’t a practical decision. Even with the Queen’s influence, fluffy white bridal gowns weren’t always so common. During war times, many women would save money and ration fabric by getting married in their nicest dress.

Remember To Keep A Sixpence In Your Shoe

You’ve surely heard the popular rhyme that suggests that brides wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. This was all thought to bring the bride good luck on her wedding day in addition to tying her both to her father’s family and to that of her new husband.

In modern times, brides are still encouraged to follow these guidelines for good luck, but the last line of the rhyme is often left off! If you’re concerned about having a little extra good luck for your marriage, remember that the rhyme also encourages “a sixpence in her shoe” to bring wealth. While you might not be able to find a sixpence piece, you might like the idea of hiding a shiny copper penny in your shoe for good luck!

What are some of your favorite wedding traditions?

Leave a Comment