There are so many elements of a wedding day that we take for granted and don’t even think of their meaning, and there are others that we know are long held traditions in this country and we want to see them live on. Here are a couple of things that perhaps might surprise you or interest you…
Bride on the left
After the ceremony, the registrar will ask the bride and groom to stand at the front and face their guests so they can be introduced for the first time as Mr and Mrs. The couple then proceed to walk down the aisle into their new life together. However, did you know, the groom will always be to the right of the bride. This is because traditionally he has to have his right hand free to hold his sword in case he needs to defend the honour of his bride. Long ago, a bride was at threat of being kidnapped at her wedding so it was important for her man to be ready to fight for her.
The reason we have a ‘best man’ unfortunately also lies upon dark traditions. Originally the best man was often the best swordsman too because his job was to steal the bride from her disapproving family if need be. He would also be on guard during the ceremony to aid the groom in battle if the bride was at risk. So the best man has slightly more responsibility than he first thought!? It doesn’t hurt for him to make you laugh too though!
Bridesmaids often wear matching dresses on a wedding day. Although this makes for pleasing, coordinated photographs the underlying reason for it goes much deeper. It all started long ago in Ancient Roman times. The bridesmaids would actually also dress the same as the bride to act as a decoy. Brides were thought of being in danger of evil spirits and demons as well as the men who want to marry her but didn’t make the cut. Having a row of women alongside you dressed the same confused these spirits long enough for you to say your vows.
Silver sixpence in her shoe
Everyone is familiar with the Victorian rhyme that many brides follow on their wedding day; ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe’. However, the last bit is often missed out these days – perhaps because it is harder to source a sixpence! Have you ever thought about the relevance of each item? Something old was thought to provide protection for the baby to come; something borrowed from another happy bride was for good luck; blue was a symbol of fidelity and of course the coin represented prosperity. It is amazing how traditions last throughout the generations.
sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Something_old, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/reason-grooms-best-man-its-10212775