Monday, 25 March 2019

Something Old. Something New. Something Borrowed. Something Blue.

When it comes to weddings, there sure are a lot of traditions associated with the big day. I don't hold with tradition, and was determined our wedding day would break the mould. But as the months ticked by and our wedding day loomed, I found myself sticking closer to some traditions than I'd expected. I thought today I'd share with you some common wedding traditions* and if (and why) we stuck to them.

1. Something old. Something new. Something borrowed. Something blue. 

Meaning: This tradition is based on an old English rhyme; "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe." The old represents the past, the new represents the future. Borrowed refers to the happiness given to the bride by her husband. And blue was thought to be a colour that warded off evil. The sixpence, often overlooked nowadays, refers to wealth.

Did we stick to it?: Yes, and right up to the sixpence part of the rhyme as well. Although, I didn't go so far as to put the sixpence in my shoes. I didn't think that would be very comfortable, somehow. Instead, I kept the sixpence in my clutch. My something old was a pearl necklace that used to belong my great grandmother. My something new was the jewellery, the dress, the shoes. The list goes on for new! My something borrowed was the tiara, which was one of my bridesmaid's. And my something blue was the garter belt my mother-in-law bought for me! 

Verdict: I like this tradition. It's well known, fun, and relatively easy to stick to on your own wedding day, should you choose to!

2. The white dress.

Meaning: Another widely recognised and adhered to tradition is that of the white dress. This tradition, however, only came about when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in an ivory-white gown in 1840. Historically, brides would wear the best clothes they had, in any colour - even black! Queen Victoria set the trend for white wedding dresses and the colour soon became a fashionable choice for brides the world over.

Did we stick to it?: I was adamant from the off that I was not going to wear a white wedding dress. After all, I'm no fashion follower. And I'm certainly no virgin, which is what, I always thought, the white dress was supposed to signal. I wanted a purple, lilac or lavender coloured dress. However, finding a wedding dress in any of those shades proved extremely different. And when I decided to broaden my horizons and try on some white/cream/ivory dresses, I soon found my dream dress. In white!

Verdict: Fashion is always changing. And the white wedding dress seems to be a trend that is slowly fading out. It's becoming much more common to see brides in dresses of all colours. I say, you do you. But don't close your eyes to a white/cream/ivory dress. Sometimes you might surprise yourself with what you end up choosing!

3. The first dance. 

Meaning: The first dance was traditionally an 'opening number' to kick off the party, in the days of royal balls. Custom dictated the male guest of honour ask the lady of the house to join him in the first dance. And thus the first dance was born. Usually the bride's father would dance with her first, followed by the groom.

Did we stick to it?: No. With my anxiety, and my husband being quite a shy person in some ways, we both agreed from the off that we didn't want a first dance. All those eyes on us? As we stumble around? Neither of us are any good at dancing, and neither of us like to be the centre of attention. So we were very much on the same page with this tradition.

Verdict: I do think this is a lovely tradition, and I do enjoy watching first dances (YouTube have loads of first dance videos!) It's just not something my husband and I wanted to take part in. 

4. The bouquet toss. 

Meaning: It was tradition during the 15th century for the guests to try and tear off bits of the bride's dress, flowers or hair. People believed that this would pass some of her good luck on to them. The guests could get very rowdy, so a tradition evolved that the bride would throw her flowers at the mob and run for her life.

Did we stick to it?: Hell no. I paid a lot of money for those damn flowers. You think I'm just going to throw them into the crowd of guests for anyone to grab? You better believe that those flowers came home with me and were put in a vase in our living room for all to see until the day they finally died.

Verdict: Wedding bouquets aren't cheap. I think it's far nicer to treasure your bouquet and take it home with you. Maybe press some of the flowers to keep in your wedding album? 

5. Carrying the bride over the threshold.

Meaning: This custom came to Britain from Germany. In Germanic tribes, the groom would hoist the bride over his shoulder and carry her into his hut. Why? Because it made her look enthusiastic about the wedding night, and was regarded as a guarantee of her chastity. 

Did we stick to it?: Hahahahahaha. Yeah, no. My goodness. If my husband had tried to carry me over the threshold on our wedding night, he'd almost certainly have spent the next few months in hospital recovering from a broken back!

Verdict: What a load of rubbish. Fat or thin. No woman needs carrying over the threshold on her wedding night!

What wedding traditions are you aware of that I haven't mentioned here? 

*UK wedding traditions.

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