When I started writing this article, all I could think about was the song “Tradition!!!” from the musical Fiddler on the Roof (one of my favorites, and if you are not familiar with the song…here is the link). In fact, I fought the urge to include it for weeks because I thought it was ridiculous, and then I just decided that this would not get written if I did not start with this intro. “Without tradition, our lives would be as shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof!” That may have been true at the beginning of the 20th century, but my how things have changed…and change is good, especially in the wedding world.
Over the next few articles, we will discuss the traditions of weddings, their historical or symbolic significance, where they originated, and why it is okay to ignore those traditions and make your own. Today we are going to focus on the bride and the layers of what she adorns.
A symbol of modesty and purity. In arranged marriages, the lifting of the veil allowed the groom to see his bride for the first time (and prevent him from backing out, just in case he was not physically attracted to her). Protected the bride from evil spirits on her wedding day.
A classy bridal accessory. Though the symbolism is still present for many, it is mainly viewed as what makes the bridal ensemble complete.
The ancient odor eater for the bride, the bridal bouquet masked foul body odor. Often symbolic of a fruitful marriage, and provided protection from ill-wishes towards the bride on her wedding
Aesthetics. The flowers provide a seamless transition connecting the ambience to the bride and her party. Oftentimes, brides will incorporate specific flowers in their bouquet to honor or represent a significant person in their life.
"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue"
Originated in Victorian England, and ended with often time the unknown phrase “a silver sixpence in your shoe.” The bride incorporates each part of the saying into her wedding attire symbolizing different aspects of the marriage. Still today, brides still incorporate this into their attire. Though the symbolism may not be prominent to many, here is an explanation of each.
Something old - to honor those who came before Something new - to new beginnings and future Something borrowed - the idea of borrowing the happiness of another married couple, and carrying it into her new marriage. Something blue - represents the fidelity and love she shows to her husband. A silver sixpence in her shoe - wealth and financial prosperity