Apr 12, 2015 - Engagements, Weddings    No Comments

Where Did These Wedding Traditions Come From?


April has arrived and it finally seems like the weather is catching up with the calendar!  Spring brings everyone out of hibernation, especially the newly engaged couples who have been dreaming of what their perfect wedding day will look like.  You may have even attended one or more bridal fairs this weekend.  There’s so much to plan, to choose, to pay for…  But did you ever give any thought to some of the things that are just givens?  Things like finding something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue; saving the top layer of wedding cake for your first anniversary; or not letting your groom see you until the ceremony.

Over the years people have told me where some of the traditions began, but I recently took some time to look up a few of the more common traditions that we automatically adhere to.  I hope you’ll find these to be of interest.

  • Why does the bride carry a bouquet?
    • One of the reasons is believed to be that carrying a bouquet of flowers helped cover up body odor in times when people bathed infrequently.  This also explains why we have the saying “April showers bring May flowers for the June bride”.  Another belief is that carrying a bouquet containing pungent herbs, spices and garlic helped ward off evil spirits.
  • Why is it bad luck to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony?
    • Back when arranged marriages were common, the betrothed couple weren’t allowed to see each other before the ceremony at all.  The wedding was a business deal between two families and the bride’s family worked to marry her to a man from a rich, land-owning family.  They feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and considered her unattractive he’d call off the wedding, bringing shame to the bride and her family.
  • A363-2322-Edit-websizeWhy do brides wear veils?
    • Going back to the arranged marriages, the family wanted to protect the bride from being seen by the groom until the very last minute, when he could not back out of the business deal.  Going back further in time, sources say that the bridal veil was originally invented by pagans to protect the bride from evil spirits.  The veils were brightly colored reds or yellows.



  • Why do grooms wear boutonnieres?
    • Throughout the Middle Ages, a knight going into battle or tournament often wore a token ribbon, flower or pennant from his lady’s family over the left arm of his armor, where it was close to his heart.  This has been adapted in modern times by choosing a flower from the bride’s bouquet to pin on the lapel of the wedding suit.


  • Why does the groom carry his new wife over the threshold of their new home?
    • Western Europeans believed that a bride who tripped over the threshold of her new home would bring bad luck to her home and marriage.  Thus, the groom carrying his new wife into their home was a good way to avoid this possibility.

If you are choosing a photographer this Spring we’d love to chat about your vision for your wedding day and how we can preserve every detail of your once-in-a-lifetime day!

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