Wedding Traditions and Their Shocking Origins

Posted on: 20th December 2019 in Blog

Some of them are stranger than you would think.

People nowadays are opting for unconventional coloured dresses, donut walls over a wedding cake and themed wedding ceremonies. But where did the traditions come from?

wedding dress

A White Wedding Dress

A red wedding dress used to be popular as it is said to symbolise luck. This changed when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert while wearing white. She wasn’t the first to switch colours but she was perhaps the most iconic. The Victorians said she lacked colour and she even wore a wreath instead of a crown. She also only got materials from British companies and continued to wear bits of her wedding dress in her wardrobe for years to come.

The colour white itself is said to represent purity. Need help choosing a wedding dress? Check out our guide.

couple cutting wedding cake

The Wedding Cake

This tradition dates to Ancient Rome where the groom broke a loaf of bread over the bride’s head at the end of the ceremony. Guests would then scramble to pick up the crumbs in order to wish the couple luck.

In Medieval England, spiced buns were organized into a tower and the couple had to kiss over them. If they managed it without knocking the tower over their love was meant to last forever.

Do you know how you’re meant to save some of the cake? Some think that it’s for just normal leftovers, but a tradition states that couples should wait until they had a baby so there wouldn’t have to be another celebratory cake. A baby was expected within a year of the marriage.

bridemaids at a wedding

Bridesmaid’s Dresses

Today the bridesmaids all wear similar dresses but never the same colour as the bride. Historically, it was suggested that the bridesmaids looked identical to the bride so evil spirits wouldn’t be able to tell who was getting married.

best man in a suit

The Role of the Best Man

One former Best Man duty was to prevent the bride from running away, sometimes he was even asked to kidnap her. The term ‘best’ was added because the man was chosen based on being the best at fighting potential rivals who would stop the wedding.

first kiss of a newly wed couple

The First Kiss

Traditionally the priest would first give a ‘kiss of peace’ to the groom who would then pass it on to the bride. This was done to bless the marriage within the church, and paved the way for the phrase we know today; “you may now kiss the bride.”

honeymoon, couple holding hands on beach

The Honeymoon

Whilst it’s now regarded as a time to have a break, it used to mean literally getting away from the family. It served as a way for the husband to hide the wife from their families for up to a month.

confetti being thrown over wedded couple

Throwing Confetti

Guests used to throw grains of rice over the couple as they walked out of the church. This was meant to shower the couple with prosperity and fortune, but it has faded out of history due to safety hazards. I think we all prefer the confetti anyhow.

I bet you are glad that some of these traditions are non-existent today and their meanings have changed over time to fit with our current views. Want to know more? Check out some hen and stag traditions across the world.

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