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      In the spirit of Wedding traditions and symbole

The wedding shower originated with a Dutch maiden who fell in love with an impoverished miller. Her friends "showered" her and her groom with so many gifts that they could forego her missing dowry.

A 19th Century reason for wearing the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand was that this finger had a vein that led directly to the heart.

Why "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue"? The "old" was usually a personal gift from mother to daughter, a symbolic piece of wisdom for married life. "Something new" symbolized the new family formed by the couple. "Borrowing" is especially important, since it is to come from a happily married woman, thereby lending the bride some of her own marital bliss to carry into the new union. Blue has two traditions: Pagan Roman maidens wore blue on the borders of their robes to denote love, modesty and fidelity, while Christians associate it with the purity of the Virgin Mary.

The custom of carrying the bride over the threshold stems from the same belief that aroused the idea of runway carpet and strewing the aisle with flowers and petals. It was an ancient belief that the newly married couple was very susceptible to evil spirits. By carrying the bride and supplying a protective layer between the floor and bride, she would be protected from the ground monster.

the bridal veil is descendant from two sources. A woman’s face that was covered by a veil meant that she was spoken for. A veil was used to disguise the bride so that she would not be recognized by the evil spirits wishing to harm the vulnerable bridal couple.

The Jewish Chuppa canopy offered a sanctuary from evil spirits.

The kiss that seals the wedding is much more than a sign of affection. It has long been a token of bonding - the exchange of spirits as each partner sends a part of the self into the new spouse’s soul, there to abide ever after.

An old Scottish belief for good fortune: A bride should be met at the door after the wedding ceremony by her mother, who must then break a currant bun over her daughter’s head.

If a cat sneezes on the day before a wedding, the bride will be lucky in her marriage.

A young bride always wore her hair long and loose as a sign of her youth and innocence.

Why are wedding cakes always present at the reception ?

An old tradition that isn’t practiced today, breaking the cake over the bride’s head has its origins in the roman empire. The groom would eat part of a loaf of barley bread baked for the occasion and break the rest over the head of the bride. It is believed that this symbolized the breaking of the hymen and the dominance of the groom over the bride. As time wore on and wedding cakes evolved into a more modern form of a cake, it became impossible, much to the relief of many brides, to properly "break" the cake over the bride’s head.

When asked about the color of a wedding cake, most people would answer white. The white color of the icing on a wedding cake has come to symbolize purity and virginal attributes. This notion was first put forward in Victorian times. Before then, though most wedding cakes were white because of a more practical reason. At the time, ingredients for the wedding cake were much harder to acquire especially for the icing. White icing meant that only the finest refined sugar was used, and so the whiter the cake, the more affluent the families involved were perceived! Another reason that the whiteness of the cake was considered pure was the association of the cake with the bride. Originally, wedding cakes were called brides cakes. This not only emphasized the bride as the main focal point of the wedding, but also created a link between the bride and the cake. In fact, even today, the link is being reinforced. Many couples have requested wedding cakes be made to match their color with the wedding dress!

Perhaps the most well-known tradition associated with wedding cakes is the joint task of cutting the cake. Here the first piece is cut by the bride with feigned assistance from the groom. It has come to symbolize the first task in the couple’s life together. Originally, it was the sole duty of the bride to cut the cake for sharing by the guests. As cakes became grander, the task became quite formidable, particularly in the early multi-tired cakes where the icing had to be strong and rigid enough to support the upper tiers. It became a joint task more out of necessity than symbolism. Immediately after the cutting, the bride and groom feed each other the first slice. This action symbolizes the commitment to provide for each other that the bride and groom have undertaken. However, in most American weddings, this task has the appearance of a traditional slapstick pie-fight.

The idea of presenting pieces of cake as gifts for guests started as far back as the roman empire, but it is still carried on today. After the tradition of breaking the bread over the bride’s head, the guest would grab for the crumbs that fell to the ground as catalysts for fertility. The idea of sleeping with a piece of cake underneath your pillow was chronicled as early as the 17th century and is the main reason behind giving cake as a gift today. It is said that you will dream of your future spouse if you sleep with a piece of wedding cake underneath your pillow. A twist on this tradition in the late 18th century has the bride handing out tiny crumbs of cake that were passed through her ring for people to place underneath their pillows. This was stopped after ceremonial rules frowned on the bride removing her ring after the service.

With multi-tier cakes, most couples decide that they would like to save the top tier for a later time. This tradition has its roots in the late 19th century when grand cakes were baked for the occasion of the christening of a child. It was expected that a christening would occur soon after the wedding ceremony, so the two ceremonies were linked, as were the cakes. The top tier on a three tier cake is for the christening, the middle tier for distribution and the bottom tier for the reception.

The Bouquet

At its inception, the bouquet formed part of the wreaths and garlands worn by both the bride and groom. It was considered a symbol of happiness. Today the practice of tossing the bouquet is an offshoot of throwing the garter. The single woman who catches the bouquet is believed to be the next to marry.

The Garter

Throwing the garter began in France when pieces of the bridal attire were considered lucky. The bride would throw the garter to the guests at the wedding and whoever caught it could expect good luck. In the United States, the groom traditionally removes the garter from the bride and throws it to the unmarried men. The man who catches it is though to be the next to marry. At some weddings the man who catches the garter will place it on the leg of the lady who caught the bouquet or they may start the next dance. It is also common for the recipients of the bouquet and garter to have a photograph taken with the bride and groom.

Something Old

Many brides choose to wear a piece of antique family jewelry.

Something New

The wedding gown is often chosen as the new item.

Something Borrowed

The borrowed object might be something such as a lace handkerchief.

Something Blue

Often the blue item is the garter.

A Silver Sixpence in her Shoe

is to wish the bride wealth.



Wedding Tips

 

Processional

  • Groom and men attendants.(They usually come in from the vestry).
  • Bridesmaids.
  • Matron or Maid of honor.
  • Flower girl. (Flower girl and ring bearer sometimes walk down aisle together).
  • Ring bearer.
  • Bride on father's left arm. By the bride being on father's left arm, the father stands between bride and groom until bride is given away. This is traditional; however, if you have a long train, we suggest the right arm.

Recessional

  • Bride on groom's right arm.
  • Flower girl on ring bearer's right arm.
  • Maid or matron of honor on the best man's right arm.
  • Bridesmaids on the right arm of groomsmen.

Receiving Line

Traditional

  • The bride's mother is considered the hostess to the wedding. She is usually first in the receiving line.
  • Ushers first bring out bride's parents, then the groom's parents. After each set of parents wish the newlyweds well, they take their place in the receiving line.
  • Parents are alternated in the receiving line so each can introduce the other to the new side of the family.
  • Best man, and men attendants do not stand in line, and it is not improper for either the bride's father or groom's father to be omitted from the line.
  • Children do not stand in the receiving line.
  • The easiest response for the bride and groom to make -- and it hurries the line along -- is a warm and gracious "thank you".
  • Regardless if the line forms from the right or left the usual order of the line is as shown.

  1. Bride's mother
  2. Groom's father
  3. Groom's mother
  4. Bride's father
  5. Bride
  6. Groom
  7. Maid of honor
  8. Bridesmaids

Alternate

Weddings of today are more celebrated and elaborate than those of past years. Because of long receptions, meals, and dancing, time is an important factor in planning your wedding. The alternate receiving line method has become accepted and preferred by many. It is as follows:

  • After the recessional - the groom or head usher returns down the aisle to escort the bride's parents out; after which he escorts the groom's parents out.

  • The bride and groom now return down the aisle and addresses each row beginning on the brides side then alternating from brides side to grooms side. It is only necessary for the bride and groom to address each row by saying "thank you for sharing this time with us, and we hope to see you at the reception." By doing this, you have thanked an entire row instead of each individual.

  • If you wish, the traditional receiving line can still be set up; just omit the bride and groom.
  • The average time saved by using the alternate receiving line set-up is up to 20-30 minutes. This method also looks impressive and adds a personal touch.

Other Wedding Tips

  • Church seating arrangements - as you enter, the left side of the church is reserved for the bride's family and friends. The right side for the groom's family and friends.
  • It is more comfortable for the bride to be out of sight of the in-coming guests. If the church is small, consider having the bride arrive just before the ceremony begins.
  • Shortly before the ceremony is to start, the ushers seat the groom's parents.
  • The bride's mother is the last person to be seated before the ceremony begins.
  • The bride is escorted up the aisle by her father. If father is not living, then by brother, or older relative, or family friend. Brides escort stays as far to the left or right side of the aisle as possible, depending on which arm is used, to permit bride to walk down the center of the aisle, for the sake of appearance and to protect her gown.
  • When bride starts down the aisle in the processional, the user spreads out train of her gown evenly behind her.
  • The newlyweds first kiss at the altar? Ask your clergyman.
  • When planning your time schedule, please allow sufficient time so no one is rushed. Especially the time between your wedding and reception. It is always a good idea to consult all your service providers before setting times.





Responsibilities

Thoughtful planning and delegation of work will make your special day one to remember for a lifetime.

Don't forget to bring your wedding license to church. No wedding can take place without it.

Bride

  1. Ascertain clergyman and make reservations for church, or wherever the wedding is to take place.
  2. Order invitations and announcements.
  3. Make preparatory arrangements with photographer, florist, reception caterer, and the wedding cake baker.
  4. Fabricate guest list.
  5. Select bridal attendants.
  6. Choose bridal costumes and decide on gowns for bridal attendants. (Bridal attendants pay for their own gowns).
  7. Shop for bridal trousseau.
  8. If it is a double ring ceremony, bride pays for the groom's ring.
  9. Make accommodations for parents of groom, wedding attendants, and special guests if they live out of town.

Groom

  1. Choose best man, groomsmen, and ushers.
  2. File for license. See that all necessary papers required by church and state are ready.
  3. Get wedding ring. (If you lubricate the ring slightly before the ceremony, it will slide on easier).
  4. Figure out guest list for your family and friends.
  5. Get gift for the future bride, and gifts for men attendants and ushers.
  6. Pick out personal wardrobe for wedding and the honeymoon.
  7. Plan with best man so car is available for a trouble-free get-away after the wedding.
  8. Outline details for honeymoon trip. Make all necessary reservations early.
  9. Plan the bachelor dinner. (Hold dinner no later than three days before the wedding).
  10. Put the clergyman's fee in a white envelope and give it to the best man. Best man should hand it to the clergyman either before or after the ceremony - before preferred. The amount usually runs between $10.00 and $50.00 depending on how much time the clergyman has spent with the wedding and its preparation.
  11. See that the best man and other men attendants are at the rehearsal AND ON TIME.

Ushers

  1. Be at rehearsal on time.
  2. Listen to seating and other instructions so you know what to do.
  3. Check lighting arrangement, location of switches so as to be familiar with them.
  4. Pre-light candles so they'll light easy at the ceremony.
  5. Be on hand at least one hour before the ceremony unless other time schedules have been made.
  6. Remind groom of the wedding license.
  7. Make sure aisle cloth is securely fastened and doesn't pile up.
  8. Check markers for each person in wedding group to see if they are in place.
  9. Know where gifts are to be received, and secure a lady or two to be on hand at the church door to receive gifts so guests do not have to leave there party to deposit them.
  10. Instruct amateur photographers not to shoot during ceremony.
  11. Offer right arm to women guests and escort them to seats. Gentlemen guests follow the ushers. The same with children.
  12. At appointed time, draw out aisle cloth.
  13. Straighten and spread out bride's grown as she starts up aisle.
  14. The ushers, as a group or as individuals, often present a gift to the bridal couple.