Ever wonder why the little things are incorporated into a wedding? Sometimes the smallest details, such as the bouquet or bride’s garter, create an immense amount of joy. These items have always been a part of the wedding tradition, but why?
Photo courtesy of Studio del Fiore in Portland OR
Woman began carry bouquets with them down the aisle, however instead of using flowers, they used strong herbs such as garlic. These herbs were supposed to frighten away evil spirits, bad luck, and ill health from coming into the marriage. Dill was used often because it was thought to have promote desire. Also, they were a great air freshener for those who hadn’t bathed in a while.
Flowers represent new life, purity, and everlasting love; this is why they are still used today in wedding ceremonies.
A Roman tradition had bridesmaids dress similar to the bride to confuse the evil spirits that would try to enter the bride’s soul. Being costumed like a bride, the bridesmaids fooled evil wishers from trying to demolish the idea of living happily ever after.
The bridesmaids in today’s world are known to be there for the bride, supporting her and defending her. Bridesmaids are friends of the bride’s who have been a part of her life before marriage, and will be a part of her life after.
Before the bouquet throwing, the bride’s garter was thrown. The garter was known to hold good fortune. Eventually the brides tired of the drunken men who would try to remove the garter themselves so they used the bouquet instead. They then moved on to throwing the bouquet.
Back in England, they would “fling the stocking” which seems to be a very strange tradition. On the night of a bride and groom’s wedding, the guests would return to the bedroom with the couple. After getting undressed, and the guests would steal the garter and their stockings to fling at the couple. Whoever hit the bride or groom’s head first was to be married next.
Although the stories remain the same, the games have changed. At many weddings now there is a removal of the garter ceremony. The groom must removed his bride’s garter with his teeth. Typically a lot of laughter ensues.
Couples nowadays enjoy expressing their individuality. Although these traditions have not died out completely, they are fading fast. The bouquet throwing and removal of the garter often are not done at wedding receptions, yet people are creating their own personalized and fun activities for themselves and their ceremony guests.
Isn’t it neat to hear about how the simplest details of a wedding have been around for … well, forever? Think about the history and how special a wedding really is! Just don’t try the old garter game, it’s a bit creepy.