|In the Spirit of Tradition
The wedding shower originated with a Dutch maiden who fell in love with an impoverished miller. Her friends “showered” her and her groom with so many gifts that they could forego her missing dowry.
A 19th Century reason for wearing the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand was that this finger supposedly had a vein that led directly to the heart.
Lucky is the bride who marries in old shoes.
Why “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”? The “old” was usually a personal gift from mother to daughter, a symbolic piece of wisdom for married life. “Something new” symbolized the new family formed by the couple. “Borrowing” is especially important, since it is to come from a happily married woman, thereby lending the bride some of her own marital bliss to carry into the new union. Blue has two traditions: Pagan Roman maidens wore blue on the borders of their robes to denote love, modesty and fidelity, while Christians associate it with the purity of the Virgin Mary.
The custom of carrying the bride over the threshold stems from the same belief that aroused the idea of runway carpet and strewing the aisle with flowers and petals. It was an ancient belief that the newly married couple was very susceptible to evil spirits. By carrying the bride and supplying a protective layer between the floor and bride, she would be protected from the ground monster.
The bridal veil is descendant from two sources. A woman’s face that was covered by a veil meant that she was spoken for. A veil was used to disguise the bride so that she would not be recognized by the evil spirits wishing to harm the vulnerable bridal couple.
The Jewish Chuppa canopy offered a sanctuary from evil spirits.
The kiss that seals the wedding is much more than a sign of affection. It has long been a token of bonding—the exchange of spirits as each partner sends a part of the self into the new spouse’s soul, there to abide ever after.
An old Scottish belief for good fortune: A bride should be met at the door after the wedding ceremony by her mother, who must then break a currant bun over her daughter’s head.
If a cat sneezes on the day before a wedding, the bride will be lucky in her marriage.
A young bride always wore her hair long and loose as a sign of her youth and innocence.