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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Here's the Skinny Behind 11 Common Wedding Rituals

and they lived happily ever after sign, kerriart, etsy.com
KerriArt on Etsy

Its wedding season, here in the US, and as a handmade jeweler, I have been busy making lots of bridal necklaces and bridesmaids gifts. This is my favorite story I have to share:  A lovely bride-customer of mine is getting married in her favorite whale-watching seaside town and ordered eight of my petite whale's tail pendants!

whales tail your daily jewels on etsy
Handmade Recycled Sterling Whale's Tail Necklace


Rituals we take for granted are deeply rooted in centuries-old tradition

1. Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

Everyone knows this common rhyme used when someone gets married, but what is the meaning behind it?
Wearing "something old" symbolizes continuity with the bride's past, and  "something new" symbolizes the couple's happy future. The bride is supposed to "borrow" something from a  happily married woman in hopes that some of that person's good fortune-mojo rubs off on her; and "Something blue" denotes fidelity and love.

Well, that was easy, but what about some of the other wedding traditions and/or superstitions that have become solidly engrained in the special day?

2. Wearing a Veil

Ancient Greeks and Roman brides would wear a veil down the aisle to disguise themselves from the evil spirits who were jealous of their happiness.

3. Not Seeing Each Other Before The Wedding

This superstition dates back to the time of arranged marriages, when people believed that if the couple saw each other before the ceremony, it would give them a chance to run for the hills before their life long commitment began. 

Today, we have generalized this to the potential onset of your basic  "bad luck" if this meeting were to occur.

4. Aquamarine represents marital harmony and is said to ensure a long, happy marriage.

aquamarine harmony wedding necklace Yourdailyjewels.etsy.com
Earthy Aquamarine Bridal Harmony Necklace

5. Rain on Your Wedding Day

In some cultures, rain on your wedding day means good luck; in others, it symbolizes fertility and cleansing. 
I think for most today, it means lousy photos.

6. Spiders are good luck?  Find a spider inside your wedding gown before you walk down the aisle? eeeww.  According to English legend, the creepy crawler is actually a " good luck omen." I'll take my chances, thank you.

7. Your choice of flowers (ignore shameless plug  for my upcoming post the "Language of Flowers") Of course, roses symbolize love, but you may want to stop pining for peonies for your wedding bouquet: Apparently, they represent shame. But they smell so good.

8. Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold

This superstition began in Medieval times when many believed that a bride was extra vulnerable to evil spirits who entered through the soles of her feet. To avoid bringing in any evil spirits, the groom carried the bride into their new home. Women in India solve this problem by covering their hands and feet with elaborate Henna tattoos on their special day.

9. Using Your Married Name Before the Wedding

Some think it is tempting fate for the bride to write out her married name or monogram before she's actually married, and that the wedding will not occur if she does. If you're superstitious, hold off on your monogramming for your reception and registry items.

waxsealjewelrysource.etsy.com  Silver monogram pendants
Antique Letterpress and Wax Seal Silver Monogram Pendants

10. Breaking Glass

In Italy, many newlyweds smash a vase or glass at their wedding, and they put a lot of muscle into it, too. The tradition says that however many pieces the glass breaks into will symbolize how many years they'll be happily married.

11. Crying on Your Wedding Day

It is supposed to be good luck for the bride to cry on her wedding day because it symbolizes that she has shed all her tears and will not have any to shed during her marriage. So go ahead let it rip, (a little) just be sure to wear waterproof mascara. And remember, you don't want blubbery red eyes in your photos!

One extra tidbit:
I love this, the Catholic tradition of "posting the banns" to announce a marriage originated as a way to ensure the bride and groom were not related. Wow, bring on the peonies!

Thank you for visiting!

All jewelry:

wax seal jewelry, red rose bracelet yourdailyjewels.com
Antique Wax Seal Rose Bridal Bracelet, circa 1842