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What Are Common Wedding Traditions

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  • Wedding Traditions, Common Wedding Customs, Traditional Weddings, Wedding Rituals, Marriage Traditions
  • Posted date:
  • 06-06-2024
What Are Common Wedding Traditions

This article explores common wedding traditions in the UK? If you're planning a classic British wedding find inspiration and insights to make your special day unforgettable.

The Wedding Cake

Weddings are grand occasions filled with love and rich traditions. One such enduring practice is the sharing of the wedding cake. The origins of this tradition date back many centuries and have evolved over time. Today, the sweet treat represents fertility, prosperity, and good luck.

In the past, the wedding cake was considered a symbol of wealth and social status. The higher the cake, the more affluent the couple was believed to be. Interestingly, guests would also try and snatch a piece to ensure their own wealth. Now, we see beautifully decorated towers of sweetness, which the bride and groom cut together to share the joy with their guests.

Additionally, it is traditional for the couple to save the top tier of the cake and eat it on their first anniversary or at the christening of their first child. This practice, believed to bring prosperity, holds a significant place in wedding traditions around the world.

The modern wedding cake has come a long way from its historical counterparts, embracing various flavours, styles, and designs. Couples can now personalise their cakes to reflect their unique tastes and personalities. 

Whether it's a simple one-tier cake or an elaborate multi-tier masterpiece, the wedding cake remains a central symbol in wedding celebrations, carrying forward ancient customs and creating new memories.

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

The phrase "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" dates back to Victorian times. Each object represents a heartfelt wish for the couple's happiness and prosperity in their new life together.

The 'something old' speaks to the couple's connectedness to their family and past. It often takes the shape of a cherished family heirloom, like a piece of jewellery or a vintage accessory. This item reminds the couple of the enduring ties of family and the importance of their shared history.

What Are Common Wedding Traditions? | Horse And Carriage Wedding Essex And London

'Something new' looks to the future, filled with optimism and hope for the newlyweds' prosperous life. A new item, such as a dress or a piece of jewellery, symbolises the fresh start the couple is about to embark upon and the shared dreams they aim to fulfil.

The 'borrowed' object should come from a happily married friend or family member, demonstrating the shared community of love and support for the bride and groom. This borrowed item is meant to bring good fortune and happiness, reflecting the successful marriage from which it comes. It signifies the importance of leaning on loved ones and the strength of communal bonds.

Finally, 'something blue' symbolises fidelity, loyalty, and love. Traditionally, blue is associated with purity and faithfulness, crucial elements for a strong marriage. This item could be anything from a piece of blue ribbon sewn into the bride's dress to blue jewellery or even blue shoes.

Together, these four objects create a blend of past, present, and future, uniting family traditions, personal hopes, community blessings, and the essential virtues that bind a marriage.

Adopting this time-honoured tradition adds a layer of meaning and joy to the wedding day, surrounding the couple with symbols of love, support, and well-wishing as they start their journey together. The essence of this tradition lies in its simplicity and the profound love and togetherness it represents. By incorporating these elements, the couple pays homage to the values and bonds that will support them throughout their married life.

First Dance - Common Wedding Traditions

First Dance

The first dance is a cherished wedding tradition that allows the newlyweds a special moment of connection amidst the celebration. This tradition originates from a time when the first dance was typically a formal ballroom number, showcasing the couple's grace and coordination.

Nowadays, it has evolved into an opportunity for the couple to express their unique relationship through their choice of music and dance style. The song chosen for the first dance is often deeply meaningful and reflects the couple's journey together.

It can evoke precious memories and emotions tied to the significant moments that brought them closer. The rhythm of the music and the lyrics often resonate with their love story, making the moment even more special.

The dance itself is more than just a display; it is a beautiful symbol of their unity and commitment. As they move together in sync, it marks the beginning of their shared journey as a married couple. This moment is adored by friends and family who witness the strength and beauty of their bond.

In summary, the first dance goes beyond tradition; it is a heartfelt expression of love, unity, and the promises that the couple will uphold in their marriage. Whether a choreographed routine or a spontaneous sway to a favourite melody, it is a memorable highlight of the wedding day that the couple and their guests will cherish for years to come.

The White Dress

The tradition of wearing a white wedding dress dates back to Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert. Before Queen Victoria's wedding, brides would wear any best dress they had, regardless of its colour. However, in 1840, Victoria broke away from the norm by choosing a white satin dress for her wedding.

This choice was unconventional at the time but has since become the standard for bridal wear. Victoria's decision to wear white was influenced by her desire to incorporate lace into her gown. White was the perfect backdrop to show off the intricate patterns of the lace. The white wedding dress quickly became associated with innocence, virtue, and purity.

Over time, this tradition gained popularity, and white became the go-to colour for wedding dresses. Today, the white wedding dress is not just a symbol of purity; it is also a significant fashion statement. Modern brides often choose dresses that reflect their personal style and taste.

Designers have embraced this, creating gowns in various styles, from traditional ball gowns to sleek, modern designs. Fabrics and embellishments have also evolved, giving brides a wide range of choices to express themselves. The white wedding dress has proven to be a timeless tradition, standing the test of time and changing fashion trends.

It remains a staple in weddings, symbolising a fresh start and the beginning of a new chapter in life. Regardless of how styles may change, the white wedding dress continues to be a cherished part of wedding ceremonies around the world.

Bouquet Toss - Common Wedding Traditions

Bouquet Toss

The bouquet toss is an exhilarating wedding tradition that gathers unmarried ladies for a chance at good luck. Historically, in ancient times, it was believed that carrying a piece of the bride's clothing would bring prosperity and fertility. 

This evolved over the years into the bride tossing her bouquet into the crowd to ward off the eager throng seeking a piece of her garments. In modern weddings, the bouquet toss remains a cherished moment.

The bride, having just been wed, turns her back to a group of unmarried ladies who eagerly await their chance to catch the bouquet. This tradition is steeped in the belief that whosoever catches the bouquet will be the next to marry. It is a joyful and often humorous part of the reception, with many guests excitedly gathering to witness the toss and cheering on the participants.

The bouquet itself often carries personal significance for the bride. It is carefully chosen to complement the wedding theme and her personal taste.

As she prepares to toss it, there is a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. The moment the bouquet leaves her hand, there is a collective gasp from the crowd, followed by cheers and laughter as it is caught.

While the bouquet toss is steeped in tradition, some modern brides opt for alternatives. For instance, some may choose to present the bouquet directly to someone special, such as a close friend or relative who means a great deal to them. This can add a heartfelt touch to the ceremony and make the moment even more memorable for both the giver and the receiver.

If you are organising a wedding in Essex, London or the surrounding areas, we provide horse drawn carriages for just such occasions. 

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