Early Traditions -Marriages were arranged by parents or guardians. - The bride and bridegroom often were not acquainted until their marriage. - Before 1753 most marriages in England and Wales were informal family ceremonies where the couple made their vows of commitment to each other.
-The trend is to marry later. -Bridegrooms have "Stag" parties. -Brides have "Hen" nights. -Coloured dresses are becoming more common -Weddings are traditionally held at noon. -There is a seated luncheon, called a "wedding breakfast". Nowadays
The People For the couple: Ringbearer - an attendant, often a young boy, who carries the wedding rings. Ushers - helpers, usually men, who assist with the organization. For the groom: Best man - a close male friend or relative of the groom, given a place of honour. Groomsmen - one or more male attendants who support the groom.
THE BEST MAN It is the best man's duty to protect the groom from bad luck. He must ensure that once the groom has began his journey to the church he does not return for any reason. He must also arrange for the groom to carry a small mascot or charm in his pocket on the wedding day. When the best man is paying the church minister's fee he should pay him an odd sum to bring luck to the couple.
For the bride: Maid of honour - a close female friend or relative of the bride, given a place of honour. If she is married, she is called the "matron of honour" instead. Bridesmaids - one or more female attendants who support the bride. Father of the Bride - One who symbolically "gives away" the bride. If her father is deceased or otherwise unavailable, another male relative, often an uncle or brother, will give the bride away. Flower girl - a young girl who scatters flowers in front of the bridal party. Junior Bridesmaids - young girl typically between the ages of 8 and 16 who is too old to be a flowergirl, but the bride wants to be a part of the wedding.
WEDDING DRESS COLOUR Married in White, you have chosen right, Married in Blue, your love will always be true, Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl, Married in Brown, you will live in town, Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead, Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow, Married in Green, ashamed to be seen, Married in Pink, your spirit will sink, Married in Grey, you will go far away, Married in Black, you will wish yourself back.
" Something old" Its normally an old garter or a piece of antique family jewelry. "Something new" Represents the new life and the hope for success and good fortune. "Something borrowed" The borrowed object might be something such as a lace handkerchief. "Something blue" A blue ribbon in a bride's hair symbolize fidelity. And a silver sixpence is considered as a lucky charm.
THE WEDDING CAKE The couple make the first cut together to symbolize their shared future. The Romans shared a cake during the wedding ceremony itself. It was a plain confection made from wheat flour, salt and water. In Britain early cakes were flat and round and contained fruit and nuts which symbolize fertility. In the past the custom was to throw many small cakes over the bride in a similar way in which we throw confetti today.
Another old English custom was to place a ring in the wedding cake. The guest who found the ring in their the piece of cake would be ensured happiness for the next year. The top tier of the cake is often kept by couples for the christening of their first child.
FLOWERS Orange blossom has always been associated with weddings because it signifies purity and chastity. A combination of red and white flowers is avoided by the superstitious because they stand for blood and bandages. The groom often chooses a flower for his buttonhole which also occurs in the bride's bouquet. This is a vestige of the time when a Knight would wear his Lady's colours to display his love
BOUQUET The custom of the bride throwing her bouquet shoulder was originally performed by her throwing one of her shoes over her shoulder. After the reception the bride throws her bouquet back over her shoulder where the unmarried female guest group together. Tradition holds that the one who catches the bouquet will be the next one of those present to marry.
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD After the wedding the bride must enter the new marital home through the main entrance. It is traditional for the groom to carry the bride over the threshold when they enter for the first time.
Wedding Superstitions - Bride and groom must not meet on the day of the wedding except at the altar. - The bride should never wear her complete wedding clothes before the day.
Lucky Omens - to see a rainbow - to have the sunshine on your back - to have a cat cross your path - to be greeted by a chimney sweep
'BAD O MENS' - to see a pig, hare or lizard running across the road - to see an open grave - to see Monks or Nuns means barrenness and a life dependent on charity