Wedding Traditions Explained


Ever wonder why brides wear a veil and throw their bouquet? Yea, us too! So we searched the web for some answers to our “but why?” questions and here’s what we found for how some wedding traditions got started.

Why a wedding ring? (Why not BFF heart necklaces?)

The wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because the ancient Greeks believed there was a vein that connected this finger directly to the heart (ahh romance). The ring, with no beginning and no end, symbolizes eternal love.

Why cake?

Let’s be honest, we never really questioned WHY cake, because the answer is DUH! but we did wonder if that had a cool story behind it and it kind of does. The tradition of wedding cake goes back to Roman times when a cake of meal was crumbled over the bride’s head to provide good luck. (Ummm clearly they didn’t spend as much on hair and makeup back then) The wedding cake symbolizes good fortune and fertility.

Cutting a cake and sharing a piece symbolizes a Bride & Grooms union and the promise to forever provide for each other. (Don’t worry dear, we will always have cake)

Why can’t a bride and groom see each other before the ceremony?  

This answer shocked us, I was expecting to find a romantic answer that spawned the dream that lies inside every bride but I didn’t, I found a crazy story instead. How did this ever become something that people wanted to mimic? Let’s make first look’s the new tradition!

According to Bridal Guide During the time when arranged marriages were custom, the betrothed couple wasn’t allowed to see each other before the wedding at all. The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families (romantic, huh?), and a father would have been pleased for his daughter to marry a man from a rich, land-owning family. But he also feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn’t attractive, he’d call off the wedding, casting shame onto the bride and her family. Therefore, it became tradition, that the bride and groom were only allowed to meet at the wedding ceremony so that the groom did not have the opportunity to change his mind. And that veil the bride wears? Its original purpose was also to keep the groom from finding out what the bride looked like until the last possible minute when it was too late to back out of the transaction.

Clearly, your man knows that you’re a total babe and isn’t being forced to marry you. So veil it up if that suits your fancy :)

Throwing Rice?

Martha Stewart Weddings says In olden times, marriage meant expansion, from building a family to increasing one’s assets. Rice (most likely chosen for its availability and low cost) symbolized both fertility and prosperity, and tossing it at couples implied best wishes and good luck—for newborns, good harvests, and everything in between. Alternatives included wheat (the Roman tradition) and oats, but regardless, the message was clear: Seeds and crops are things that grow.

I think a good rice throw could look rad in photographs! Science has debunked the rumor that rice throwing is bad for birds, so we don’t have to worry about birds exploding now, phew! Who started that rumor?!

What about that Garter & Bouquet?

We found this on Wedding Wire. I have to site my sources so y’all don’t think I’m making this craziness up. Tossing the wedding garter is an old time held tradition. It is said that in the days gone past, the bride and groom had to show proof of their wedding consummation. In order for it to be proven, it was common tradition to have people like family and friends come into the room with the couple. The “witnesses” would obtain the garter as “proof” of the consummation. Also having any article of the under garments was considered to be good luck so sometimes things would get out of hand in the newly wed’s bedroom as crazed onlookers snatched at clothing to get for good luck. This was not appreciated much by the bride nor many grooms, hence the groom started tossing the garter out so that no one would need to obtain it themselves.

We’re gathering that weddings are a lot more fun these days than they’ve ever been in History. I’m glad the tradition has changed and brought the garter toss from the bedroom to the reception! (Sheesh! I guess TMI wasn’t a thing back in the day)

Ultimately it’s the meaning that couples give now to age-old traditions that make them important. Choose what works for you and leave out what doesn’t :)