If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid, a Best Man or a flower girl, you’ll know that weddings are all about tradition. In fact, weddings date back more than 23,000 years ago, and we’re still using some of the oldest rituals to show our love for our partner. Below, we’ve rounded up six of our favorites to give you some food for thought when planning your own wedding day.
Cans tied to a bumper
One of the most common wedding traditions is to tie some cans to the bumper of the wedding car, and this dates back to the French tradition of throwing a “charivari,” a celebration that takes place before the wedding day. Neighbors were asked to make as much noise in the streets banging pots and pans to scare away evil spirits, and today, the cans make the noise for us. If you’re remotely superstitious, it’s one to incorporate!
Perhaps one of the oldest wedding traditions on this list is the flower girl, which dates back to Ancient Roman times where virgins would carry wheat, designed to bring good fortune to the newly married couple. Wheat isn’t as popular today as it was back then, and so modernized tradition dictates you should pick a flower girl to carry a bouquet of flowers down the aisle.
In Roman times, it was common for the bride and groom to have their hands tied together during the wedding ceremony, and they could not be released until their wedding was done. The idea behind it, known as handfasting, is to symbolize the coming together of two families and people, and it’s still a common tradition across various cultures and communities.
Okay, now for the biggie. Circular rings are designed to represent eternity; the undying love for your partner. Traditionally, women would wear rings made of papyrus around their wrists and ankles, but the Romans substituted this for iron and then eventually gold. Alongside gold rings, diamonds have become commonplace, though Claddagh Rings are an alternative that you might want to consider, especially if you have Irish heritage and want to pay tribute to it.
Shower of rice
Why not ask your guests to throw rice and grains at you after you leave the wedding chapel? Sure, it’s awkward when you get rice stuck down your cleavage, but it’s an old-fashioned tradition as rice is a sign of prosperity and fertility. More commonly, people have switched rice for confetti or sparklers, though rice remains the traditional and eco-friendly option.
Finally, add a bouquet toss to your wedding itinerary. Back in the 14th century, the bride was to throw her garter into the crowd of men, but the tradition changed for the bouquet to be tossed instead. Whoever is lucky enough to catch the bouquet should wed next, so the old tale goes. Be careful who you throw to – there could be a few awkward moments if not!
There you have it – six traditions to consider for your wedding day. Let us know which, if any, you choose to incorporate, and check back soon for more tips and tricks on wedding prep.