As you plan your wedding, you’ll start to think about which wedding traditions you want to keep in place and which ones you’d like to omit or update. Many wedding traditions have evolved over the centuries since they began, and it’s interesting to know how and why they began in the first place. The wedding experts at Walter Knoll Weddings are here to help you learn more about some of these specific wedding traditions. This way, you can decide for yourself which ones you’d like to include in your wedding and which ones you’ll modernize. Take a look as you think about how you’ll incorporate age-old traditions in your big day.
The Bridal Bouquet
The bride’s bouquet is iconic as her dress and the ceremony itself. Centuries ago, this tradition began with brides carrying herbs, garlic and grains down the aisle to ward off evil spirits that might try to steal the newlyweds’ joy on such a happy occasion. Eventually, the herbs and garlic were replaced with beautiful flowers, maintaining the symbolism but bringing a fresh new look (and scent!) to the wedding ceremony. Today, you can update this tradition with intriguing floral bouquets that match the theme, colors or vibe of your wedding. Anything goes, from wildflowers to tropical blooms to oversized individual blooms. Since the act of carrying a bouquet is traditional in itself, go ahead and choose a bouquet that shows off your sense of style!
The tradition of surrounding yourself with ladies dressed in similar gowns dates back to Ancient Rome, when it was believed that dressing the same as the bride would confuse evil spirits. If the evil spirits couldn’t tell which lady was the bride, she had a better chance of being left alone so she and her new husband could be married in peace. Today, bridesmaids are typically close friends who are standing up with you as you make your vows, promising to love and support you in your marriage. And while they traditionally wear matching gowns, even this tradition has become more modernized to allow for different styles in the same color or even in complementary colors to present more flattering designs for each bridesmaid.
The Sweet Flower Girl
According to Ancient Roman tradition, young girls announced the arrival of the bride by walking down the aisle carrying a sheath of wheat. Wheat stood for good fortune, fertility and wellness- a blessing being poured over the bride and groom at the start of the ceremony. Eventually, the sheaths of wheat were replaced with flowers and then flower petals to be dropped before the bride walks down the aisle. While this is an optional addition to your wedding, the sweetness and innocence of children in a ceremony is always a bonus.
The Little Ring Bearer
This Victorian tradition comes from pageboys who carried a prayer book and the wedding rings down the aisle. A show of wealth and prosperity on the part of the bride’s and groom’s families led to the rings being presented on pillows. These luxury items were not owned by everyone, much less used for such frivolous purposes as a wedding, making the act that much showier. Today’s modern brides and grooms have update this tradition to include a special box, meaningful palette or even the family dog as the carrier of the rings.
The Groom’s Boutonniere
Today a groom’s boutonniere typically matches the bride’s bouquet, tying the look of the wedding party together. But in medieval times, a man wore a flower on his lapel as he went into battle to show that his woman was supporting him from afar. She might give him a sprig of her favorite bloom to remind him of her before he left, and he would wear it to show he was clearly adored and supported. Usually the color of the flower matched the colors worn by the woman, leading to the tradition of “wearing a lady’s colors.” Nowadays, men’s boutonnieres can take on many different forms, from jewelry to succulents or anything that expresses his favorite interests.
With so many traditions coming down through the ages, it’s only natural to pick and choose which ones you’ll keep and which ones you’ll update or omit altogether. A good starting place for deciding these things is with your own parents, grandparents and soon-to-be in-laws. Did they have family traditions you’ll want to continue as you begin your own life together? Are there ways to update age-old traditions and put a modern spin on them. Talk to the professionals at Walter Knoll Weddings for some creative and unique ideas. We’ll help you decide how to make your wedding your own while maintaining ties to history and tradition.