By nature, I am a highly contradictory person. I contradict myself in the things that I say and do, my likes and dislikes…or maybe you could just call me eclectic. However, I was thinking to myself about how much I liked finding out about where bridal traditions and customs stemmed from, and I thought myself to be quite a traditional person. The reality is…I’m really not traditional in that sense. My fiance and I mutually agreed to get married rather than a surprise proposal, we are planning a lot of it together as a couple, and he has seen me in the dress. No doubt many more traditions will be broken along the way, but these are a few of my favourites:
Bridesmaids dresses: In a similar style to the bride’s, but in a different colour to confuse evil spirits from acting upon the bride
Wedding cake: Originally wheat from the bouquet made into a cake and broken over the bride’s head to encourage fertility
Tying wedding shoes to the back of the car: Brides used to be stuck symbolically with a shoe by the groom as a display of his authority in the marriage!
Buttonholes: From when men used to wear a lady’s colours as a symbol of their devotion
Carrying the bride over the threshold: To protect the bride from evil spirits that she would step up if she walked into the house
Honeymoon: Translates in Irish as ‘month of honey’ – after the wedding husband and wife would spend a month together drinking honeyed wine or mead, away from where their families could try and separate them.
As my fiance is Welsh, I understand that on the morning of the wedding, the groom breaks into the bride’s house to capture her for the wedding. She should be disguised as an old women for luck. Once found, they head to church, but the bride is kidnapped AGAIN by her father. Once the groom retrieves her for the second time, they can finally head to church.
Needless to say that I don’t think I will be bothering with that on my day!