It’s such a shame so many of the loveliest wedding traditions have lost popularity among modern couples who may think they’re too old fashioned, too cheesy, or just too much effort to include. Bring back these ten lovely traditions for your wedding day, we say!
Something old, something new…
We all know the rhyme about having or wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue on you when you wed, but how many brides now actually wear all these things on their wedding day?
Something new is easy as most bridal gowns are new, but the something old part seems to have fallen out of favour. Wearing something old symbolises continuity with the past, so ask your mother or grandmother for a special piece of jewellery or something else that you can incorporate into your wedding outfit.
A sixpence in your shoe
The less well known ending of the above rhyme is the line about putting a sixpence in your shoe. Traditionally, brides would put a sixpence coin in their left shoe as a symbol of luck, and to bless the marriage with wealth and prosperity.
In Sweden brides put a coin from one parent in their left shoe and a coin from the other parent in their right shoe to ensure they never go without. It might not be that comfortable for dancing, but why not pop a coin in your shoe just for the ceremony? A five-cent coin shouldn’t be too painful?
Keeping the bride a surprise
The tradition that says a groom shouldn’t see his bride before the wedding might not have the best background, as it started with arranged marriages where the couple weren’t allowed to meet at all before the wedding.
However we still think it’s cute if the first time the groom sees the bride – and of course her wedding dress – is at the wedding ceremony as she’s walking down the aisle, and these adorable first-look wedding photos prove we’re onto something!
Tying a knot
It’s a popular phrase referring to getting married, but where does the line ‘tying the knot’ come from? Its origins are probably in the Celtic practise of hand fasting, where the bride and groom’s hands are tied together to symbolise their engagement. Knots have been associated with marriage and unbreakable promises for centuries, so think about how you can include the knot symbol in your wedding day.
Plant a tree
This is one of our all-time favourite marriage traditions. In European such as Holland and Switzerland, a tree is planted at the couple’s new home as part of their wedding ceremony. It is thought to represent luck and fertility, and couples can watch the tree grow as their marriage and family flourish. If you’re looking for an alternative to a more traditional wedding ceremony, planting a tree can be a symbolic activity.
Keep a tier of wedding cake
Traditionally couples would keep a tier of their wedding cake to celebrate the birth of their first child. This was fairly easy to do when wedding cakes were made from fruit cake and children were expected to arrive within the first year of marriage. Most wedding cakes can now be successfully frozen and kept for up to a year, whatever they are made from, so why not stick with tradition and keep your top tier – perhaps using it to celebrate your first anniversary if you don’t plan to have kids right away.
Kissing over the cake
Sticking with the wedding cake theme, there was a medieval tradition that couples who were able to kiss over a large stack of wedding cake would have a lifetime of prosperity. This tradition eventually led to the tiered wedding cakes we’re so familiar with today. So if you’re looking for good fortune in marriage, ensure you and your new spouse sneak a quick peck over your wedding cake!
Five sugared almonds
Couples are becoming ever more creative with their wedding bomboniere, giving guests items everything from personalised gifts to seed packets and biscuit recipes.
However, this does mean that the traditional bomboniere – five sugared almonds wrapped in tulle – is rarely seen.
The almonds represent health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity – so, it’s a lovely gesture to keep as part of your wedding day. In Greece if an unmarried woman puts the almonds under her pillow, it is believed she will dream of her future husband.
You may want to mention that to all the single ladies linking up to catches the bouquet!
Leaving the wedding in style
Making a grand exit from the wedding reception has lost popularity as couples want to party with friends and family until the end, and are often staying at the reception venue, or in the same hotel as their guests.
However, the grand old tradition of a big send off – complete with the couple changing into a new going-away outfit, throwing the bouquet, and then setting off into the sunset in a car covered in ‘just married’ signs trailing tin cans behind them – is still a memorable moment and one of the highlights of the wedding.
Carrying the bride over the threshold
Traditionally, the groom would carry the bride over the threshold of their new marital home when they returned from their honeymoon to protect her from any evil spirits that might be lurking around.
The traditional has died out as most couples now live together before they get married, but we think it’s still a lovely gesture and a great way to mark the first time you return home as husband and wife.