Below are some common wedding traditions. Some will clarify misconceptions of some traditions, and confirm others.
The white wedding dress: For centuries and in different countries, white was not the typical wedding dress color. Most women could not afford to have a hand sewn dress for one occation. Usually it was a "best dress" which could later be worn for other occations.
The popularity of the white wedding dress started in 1840, when Queen Victoria was married to Albert of Saxe-Coburg, she chose white for her wedding gown, made from satin and lace. By 1890, it was considered the only suitable color for a bride.
Something Blue: Blue symbolizes fidelity.
The white runner: Different thoughts on this one. White symbolizing holy ground. The runner to protect the bridal party from the evils hidden in the ground. Some traditions is using a red runner, as in the "Red Carpet".
Jumping the broom: Although many people believe this is a strickly African tradition, In ancient pagan cultures, like those of the Welsh and Scottish, jumping the broom was popular wedding tradition. At such weddings, newlyweds were told to jump over the broom and "jump from one life into another". In some cases pagan priests or priestess woudl then sweep behind the couple, saying, "May all evil influences be swept out of your life."
In Africa, brooms did symbolize the establishment of new households. Moder writers claim the straws of the broom symbolize the family, and the handle, God.
During the days of slavery, Africans could not legally wed, without permission. Ceremonies were still held with the couple standing amound witnesses, sometimes with an old black male to act as minister, and said they vows then jump over a broom. Many black American's still incorporate this in their wedding ceremonies, some with modifications. I was at one recently where the bride and groom jumped over a rifle, because of their military background.
Kissing at the end of the ceremony: Since ancient Roman times, kissing has completed may contracts; this custome gave rise to the saytin "Seal it with a kiss". There was also a time when in the Church of England , the bride kissed the minister.
Wedding bells: The sound of bells chiming was once thought to keep away evil spirits. The ringing of bells was also said to keep couples fron arguing and remind them of their wedding vows. For these reasons, a traditional Irish wedding gift is a bell. The ringing of bells during the reception has become a common request for the bride and groom to kiss. (At some receptions, the clinking of knifes on glasses serve the same purpose.
Flowers: The herb rosemary has been associated with weddings since ancient times. Roman weddings had springs of rosemary as decoration, thought also to bring good luck. The Greeks considered ivy (green year-round) as a symbol of everlasting love. Some ancient customs were to use herbs to ward off evil spirits. Egyptian brides carried wheat to ensure fertility. Roses were the flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. The tossing of rose petals, or lavender, perfumed the air.
If a woman caught a bride's bouquet containing myrtle she would marry soon, if the myrtle bloomed.
1 - Paper, 2 - Cotton, 3 - Leather, 4 - Flowers, 5- Wood, 6 - Iron, 7 - Copper, 8 - Bronze, - 9 - Pottery, 10- Tin, 11 - Steel, 12 - Silk, 13 - Lace, 14 - Ivory, 15 - Crystal, 20 - China, 25 - Sliver, 30 - Pearl, 35 - Coral or Jade, 40 - Ruby, 45 - Saphire, - 50 - Gold, 55 - Emerald, 60 - Diamond.
This blog article will be updated periodically with new information on traditions.