The WHY's of Wedding Traditions: Exploring the fascinating origins of 7 time-honored Wedding Customs

Have you ever wondered why there are so many June Brides? Do you know the reason we wear our engagement and weddings rings on the third finger of our left hand? Have you ever heard the explanation behind the tossing of the garter or the bouquet? Today we’re going to explore the fascinating WHY’s behind these and four other time-honored Wedding Traditions!

1. June Brides

Photo: Pam Est Là photographe
Photo: Pam Est Là photographe

With its hours of sunshine and warm temperatures, June is a lovely month in many parts of the world, but warm weather isn’t the only reason for the popularity of June weddings. The sixth month was sacred to the Roman goddess Juno, who was the patron and protector of marriage, women, and the home.

2. Carrying the Bride over the threshold

Photo: Ernestine et sa famille Photography
Photo: Ernestine et sa famille Photography

The tradition of Grooms carrying their Brides safely over the threshold started as a superstition that it would protect their lovely ladies from evil spirits.

3. Tossing the Garter

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

In some Medieval societies it was good luck to take a scrap of the Bride’s dress after the wedding. People were so crazy for these talismans however, that all the guests would rush the Bride after the ceremony and try to tear off pieces of fabric before she could even sit down to the feast! The tradition of tossing the garter is said to have grown out of an attempt to stop the craziness and give the Bride some peace during her own wedding. The bouquet toss is believed by some historians to have originated for similar reasons.

4. The Ring Finger.

Photo: Claude Masselot
Photo: Claude Masselot

The custom of wearing engagement and wedding rings on the third finger of the left hand is believed to have started because people used to think that a vein from the ring finger connected directly with the heart.

5. The Boutonniere

Photo: Kristin Speed
Photo: Kristin Speed

Grooms wearing a boutonniere with the same color or colors as the Bride’s bouquet is thought to be rooted in a tradition that dates back to the age of chivalry. Knights would wear their ladies’ tokens, usually a ribbon or a piece of fine cloth which displayed her colors, as they rode into battle or when they competed in tournaments.

6. The Bouquet

Photo: Christophe Serrano
Photo: Christophe Serrano

Flowers have been symbols of fertility, hope and new life since time immemorial, but did you know that the first bouquets may have actually been of fragrant herbs? In addition to having their own ancient symbolism and superstitions, the herbs may have been thought to protect against pestilences like the Black Plague.

7. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…

Photo: Once Like a Spark Photography
Photo: Once Like a Spark Photography

Everyone knows this popular rhyme from Victorian times, but not everyone knows the reason behind these four lucky charms. Brides wear something old to represent continuity with the past and something new for good luck in her new life with her husband. Something borrowed is a comforting reminder that her family and friends will always be there to “lend a hand” when she needs it. The something blue is less obvious, but from heraldry to classical painting blue has represented loyalty for centuries.

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