Sarah, who is completing her high school senior project with us, has been learning a lot about weddings! We asked her to share her new knowledge on the blog. Enjoy!
During the past week with my time at Michelle Durpetti Events I researched historical wedding facts and came across some interesting traditions. Even today we see some of these traditions subtly among weddings that MDE has planned, whether it’s a small detail on a shoe, or the color of the bouquet.
When I think of weddings the first thing that comes to mind are the elegant traditions; the beautiful white wedding dress, the sparkly engagement ring, and the bouquet toss. Many girls dream of their fairytale weddings, which include these traditions and so many others; however what many people might not know is where they all came from.
Weddings first started around 4,350 years ago and over time many traditions have taken different forms, but others remain the same. For example, the use of wedding bands originated in Egypt and it is still an important part of the ceremony today. It wasn’t until many years later that Pope Nicholas made engagement rings an important part of weddings. At one point in time it was preferred to have an engagement ring with both diamonds and pearls, however today the most desirable choice for brides is a diamond ring. The hardness of diamonds represents enduring love, and the classic DeBeers slogan, “A Diamond is Forever,” indicates one of the many reasons why the diamond engagement ring is valued so much.
In bridal magazines, and movies we always see the beautiful bride walking down the aisle in a gorgeous white dress; this tradition dates back to Queen Victoria when she wore a white wedding gown to her very own wedding.
Today the white usually contrasts with the bridesmaids’ dresses and allows the bride to stand out on her special day. Oddly enough it used to be a custom for bridesmaids to wear white dresses as well, because it was believed that the brides needed to blend in to hide from evil spirits. Eventually this tradition changed a little to bridesmaids wearing shorter white dresses and short veils, and today we typically see bridesmaids wearing colorful dresses. As in 27 Dresses, there is also the modern joke about the ugly bridesmaid dresses, so that the bride will look the best and all attention will be on her.
And of course there is the tried and true tradition that comes from an Old English rhyme “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe." Brides often carry each of these things during their wedding for good luck. Something old represents the bride’s bond with her family, and usually she will wear an heirloom piece of jewelry, or something that has been passed down through generations. Something new is a symbol of good fortune and success for the new life that she is beginning with her husband, and something borrowed is typically from another happily married woman to symbolize the promise of a happy marriage as well as the support of family and friends, especially in times of need. Something blue symbolizes the faith and loyalty that the bride will have for her husband and it is often a subtle addition, such as a few blue flowers in the bouquet or a blue ribbon. Finally there is the Sixpence, which goes in the bride’s shoe and it is a blessing for wealth, however this typically is a more British custom.
It’s crazy to think about how many of these traditions date back to many, many years ago, and although they have evolved since then, many are just as popular now.