Wedding Traditions ? Bridal Attire

Why does the bride where a veil?

Ancient history tells us through readings and paintings that brides wore veils to ward off evil spirits. Somewhere along the historical path it became hats, and now our modern day has this tradition as a sign humility, purity, and modesty. Although, today many hold little stock in this tradition as even repeated marriages, the brides wear veils without any regard to tradition other than brides wear them! Why not? They are simply beautiful.

Why does the bride wear white?

Again, ancient history reveals to us that a bride would always wear her very best dress. White has not always been the color of choice. In fact blue, in early history was the preferred color. Around the mid 1800’s when Queen Victoria married in white a fashion trend ensued. So, white since that time has become the standard for many decades, although many variations of white have been adopted.

White was considered to be worn by someone of affluence, as well as purity, and virginity. Of recent, brides are beginning to introduce color back into the gown, or even full color in their wedding gowns. While most still think of white as the traditional color, who knows, maybe blue will become the color of choice again in the next decade.

Why something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?

No one knows for sure where this wedding ceremony traditions Ideas, was first used, but the meaning has carried through many years. Folk lore says that when a bride carries something old it should be from someone who has been happily married for many years and that this will insure a long and happy marriage.

The something new portion of the saying is intended to bring her good fortune into her new life. The something borrowed phrase is supposed to mean borrowed happiness, again bringing luck in a happy marriage. Lastly, the something blue may go as far back as when the color blue was considered the color of preference for brides. At that time in history it represented the same associations as white does today, modesty and purity. There has been a new addition in the more modern years, although still no real historical trace of where it came from. An added phrase called a “shinny copper penny in your shoe”. This is intended to bring good fortune to the bride. Although I must say that it has morphed into coins in the shoe, because when I was married my aunt gave me a six pence for my shoe that was worn by 7 brides earlier, of course they were still all happily married. I’m sure it carried 2 meanings, happy marriage and wealth.

Why does the bride carry flowers?

Even as far back as the Egyptians flowers, jute, and grasses grown along the Nile played an important role in the belief of fending off evil, happiness and good luck. Historically flowers have come down through to our modern times to convey messages of good luck, love, innocence, purity, romance, and many other meanings. The bride carries flowers, due to a tradition that relates to a host of meanings, but is seldom considered today that it fends off evil or brings good luck. Generally they are carried because they simply are beautiful! Often brides will carry the same flowers as their mothers did as a family tradition or sentimental reasons.

Barry Bowen
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