Wedding Wednesday #4 - TraditionsWednesday, February 04, 2015
Andy and I didn't give a lot of thought to why we wanted our wedding to be a certain way, we just both seemed to agree on what we did (and didn't) want and carried on from there. Reading Janet's post on why her and her fella are getting fake married made me stop and think about wedding traditions and their origins. So I did me some Googling...
Our day will consist of a small family ceremony followed by a big party and we're not upholding many traditions. The important thing for us is to be married, to have made a lifelong commitment to each other. Traditions, many of which are thoroughly outdated, just weren't important to us.
I will not be 'given away'
This stems from a time when a daughter was considered the property of her father. To be given away was the transfer of ownership (usually for a price) from father to groom. The guests where there to witness the transaction.
I hadn't realised until I read Janet's post, but I've subconsciously avoided asking 'to be given away'. I asked my Dad to walk me down the aisle (not that there is an aisle as such, but y'know). If I can get a little sentimental for a moment, there is nothing in this world that could part me from my Dad, he couldn't give me away if he tried.
I'm not wearing a veil
The veil originally symbolized the bride's virginity, innocence, and modesty.
Yeah, I won't be needing one of those.
We're not cutting the cake
The wedding cake has always been replete with symbolism, and the tradition of breaking the cake over the bride’s head dates back to the Ancient Romans. Customs evolve with the times, and today the ceremonial cutting of the wedding cake has become one of the classic elements of the wedding reception. In addition to providing a great photo opportunity, it is symbolic as the first task the newlyweds execute together.
We're not in the least bit worried about missing this 'great photo opportunity', especially as it is now common for the bride and groom to smoosh the cake into each others face instead of feeding one and other. Nope, our cake will be cut and served without any interference from Andy and I, it'll be served with tea or coffee and remain all very civilised. Think me dull if you must but I don't want cake face, I just want cake.
We're not having a first dance
The first dance was originally (perhaps dating as far back as the 17th century) a tradition at balls that were held by wealthy families. It was custom for the guests of honor or the hosts to have the first dance of the evening. Once the first dance had been completed, everyone was invited to shake their corsets and powdered wigs on the dance floor. As it is with so many wedding traditions, this social norm of old was eventually translated to weddings.
I'll be the first to admit that I have enjoyed a large number of those first dance wedding videos on YouTube. Some are awesome. Some are awful. If you're confident and can dance - knock yourselves out - but Andy and I? Nope. We will have a drunken boogie at some point no doubt, but turning awkwardly in tiny circles with a crowd of people looking at us is not our idea of fun.
The venue we've booked for our reception has the option of a bubble machine for the first dance. I nearly cried laughing.
I'm not throwing the bouquet
In 14th Century England it was considered good luck to tear a piece from the brides dress or grab yourself a bloom from her bouquet, the having of which was believed to transfer some of her good luck to you. Throwing the bouquet became a bit of a decoy so the bride could leg it and save her dress.
I knew I wouldn't be doing this. I've always loathed this part of the evening. Having been single at many of the weddings I've attended I always thought this to be rather undignified, I'd hide myself from view until it was over. I simply had no interest in scrabbling around with other single ladies to win the bouquet and thus the chance of being the next down the aisle. There is more to being a woman than being a wife, and not all single women are desperate to find a husband and get married.
The garter from the bride comes from the ancient custom of witnesses at the marriage bed* (to make sure the couple consummated the marriage); the witnesses would bring it forth as a sign of the witnessing. It became such a violation of privacy** that eventually the bride would have the groom throw it to prove consummation. This is one of the oldest customs surviving wedding rituals.
I'd never even thought about whether or not I'd wear a garter. The only thing I've though about putting under my wedding dress is a pedometer. I'd be rather interested to see how far I walk on the day... is that odd?
Of course, I've enjoyed watching my friends cut their wedding cakes, I've smiled at the sight of my friends in their veils and enjoyed watching the first dance at many weddings but they're just not for us. If all this talk of what we're not doing makes us sound rather dull I don't care, we have a full day planned that is very 'us'. And I can't wait.
What traditions would/wouldn't you or did/didn't you have? I'd love to know.