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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Something Old, Something New...

Something Borrowed, Something Blue:

This tradition is followed all the time, but why? The consensus is that "something old" represents a brides past and keeps her tied to it and the family she grew up in. A locket or other jewelry from Grandma in the bride's bouquet would be a good example. "Something New" represents the future and good fortune. "Something Borrowed" represents the need for a young couple to have family and friends to rely upon.

Something Blue and the White Wedding Dress:

A common misconception concerning "Something Blue" is that it will cause the couple's first child to be male. Other theories say "Something Blue" represents the color of loyalty and purity. The White Wedding Dress is a relatively recent phenomenon and it's use started in the 15th Century, and only became truly popular in the 19th century.

So, why has white replaced blue as the standard for loyalty and purity? Could there be a connection between the "White Wedding Dress" and the "Something Blue"? The terms "True Blue", and "Blue Blood" have been around since ancient times and they stand for loyalty and royalty. In medieval times, white was the color of peasants. Everybody in the lower classes wore white as it was simply undyed material and cheap. When a peasant girl got married she would wear a colorful, dyed dress, to stunningly stand out. Blue, the color of purity and royalty, would have been very popular with the peasants and very standard with the aristocrats. What peasant bride would not want to be royalty for one day, and what princess would want to wear peasant white?

So, how did the white wedding dress come to be the standard color for a wedding dress. Imagine this; a princess in the year 1550 decides she wants to be different (sounds familiar?). She demands to dress all in white on her wedding day. She fights with her royal mother, just like young women fight with their mothers today. She gets her way, with one condition; The Royal Mother appoves if the Princess agrees to wear "Something Blue".

Throwing Rice and Cutting Cake:

All traditions evolve and change with society. Throwing rice and wedding cake cutting were nothing more than fertility rituals. The wedding cake was originally stacked loaves of bread. The groom would crumble the top loaf over the Brides's head. Fertility was very important in a time when child mortality was a massive concern. Famous musician Mozart's wife Constanze, for example, had only one child that survived, yet she was pregnant most of her 9 years of marriage.

The Best Man and the term Wedding:

The best man was simply the toughest, strongest man the groom could find to help him steal his bride in a time when marriages were arranged for political reasons. In fact the word "Wedding" originates from the word "wedd" which was merely a meeting for the bartering of a woman for monetary or political gain. When the groom stole his love, they would hide for a "Moon" and try to get pregnant while drinking lots of "Mead", a drink made with "Honey". Once they were with child, the family would not want her back. Honeymoons have changed a lot since then.

Many traditions are the result of fear, superstition, and symbology. On the Wedding Day, a Groom was most vulnerable to demons of the air, so he and all his men would dress the same to confuse them. The Bride was suseptible to demons of the earth, so they would roll out an isle runner to protect her.

Many rituals and traditions began as having one meaning, and then evolved to fit the times they were relegated to. Knowing were they came from can put a litte different spin on things.

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