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Archive for November, 2009

Wedding traditions are traditions for a reason: they’ve been around a long time. But where did they originate? Our Wedding Traditions Explained series attempts to find out. We have no real evidence to back up these claims, but they were gathered from various online sources. Take them for what they’re worth, and if you’ve heard differing explanations, please share.

Carrying The Bride Across The Threshold

Here come the evil spirits again. Newlyweds were thought to be very susceptible to evil spirits, so the groom would carry the bride across the threshold, thereby creating a protective layer between the floor and the bride, safeguarding her from the ground monster.

Another possible origin is the old belief that brides should be lady-like and appear to be hesitant to give herself to her husband. The groom would then  have to carry her into the bridal chamber.

Or perhaps she was carried over because it was bad luck to trip or fall when entering her new home. Or maybe it goes back to the days of marriage by capture. A captured bride would be expected to put up a fight upon entering her new home, so she was dragged or carried in.

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Wedding traditions are traditions for a reason: they’ve been around a long time. But where did they originate? Our Wedding Traditions Explained series attempts to find out. We have no real evidence to back up these claims, but they were gathered from various online sources. Take them for what they’re worth, and if you’ve heard differing explanations, please share.

First Kiss
Dating back from early Roman times, the kiss represented a legal bond that sealed all contracts. There was even a time when an engagement would be null and void without one.

The kiss is 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.

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Wedding traditions are traditions for a reason: they’ve been around a long time. But where did they originate? Our Wedding Traditions Explained series attempts to find out. We have no real evidence to back up these claims, but they were gathered from various online sources. Take them for what they’re worth, and if you’ve heard differing explanations, please share.

The White Dress

In biblical times, brides wore blue dresses as blue represented purity. Later, women usually just wore their best dress, not often white. In China and Japan, brides have traditionally always worn white,  the color of  mourning. The bride is leaving her family of birth to join that of her husband’s, thereby undergoing a symbolic death.

The first known white wedding dress was worn in 1499 by Anne of Brittany, for her marriage to Louis XII of France. By the late eighteenth century, white had become the standard wedding color. It is thought to symbolize purity and virginity.

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Holiday extravaganza

With the holidays coming up, Mike and I have been discussing how to balance all of our family activities. Both of our parents are divorced so we’ve essentially got four families to juggle. It’s not as easy as a one year here, next year there type of thing. Fortunately all four families live in or near the same city, so there isn’t any cross-state or cross-country travel involved. When we eventually have kids, we’ll probably try to reduce the number of get-togethers we attend, but for our first Thanksgiving and Christmas together (we had been dating less than a month at last year’s Christmas) we decided to go all out.

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving at least twice, maybe three times. And we’re going Christmas tree shopping that same weekend.

And Christmas? At last count we had seven family parties to attend. Not all on the same day, but still, SEVEN! Despite the harried craziness that’s sure to be involved, I can’t wait. I love that I have a big family, and that Mike’s family makes it even bigger.

Maybe someday we’ll have to be a little more choosy about holiday arrangements, but for now, during our first holiday season as a couple, we’re going for it.

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Wedding traditions are traditions for a reason: they’ve been around a long time. But where did they originate? Our Wedding Traditions Explained series attempts to find out. We have no real evidence to back up these claims, but they were gathered from various online sources. Take them for what they’re worth, and if you’ve heard differing explanations, please share.

The Meaning of a “Wedding”

“Wedding” literally meant the purchase of a bride for breeding purposes. The word wedding comes from a root word that means to gamble or wager. The Anglo-Saxon word “wedd” meant that the groom would vow to marry the woman, but it also meant the money or barter that the groom paid the bride’s father. The term “bridal” came from the word “brew.” The bride and groom would drink something called the “bryd ealu” or “bride’s ale,” which evolved into “bridal.”

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We all know that wedding dresses are expensive, and brides usually spend a lot of money on a dress they wear once and then put in a closet for all eternity. Some brides sell or donate their dresses, which I think is brilliant, but most, I believe, stash them away for all time.

So when my friend Robin offered to let my sister Emily wear her dress, I was floored. She saw the dresses Emily loved on our recent bridal shop outing, and suggested that maybe she’d like to borrow hers, which was very similar. It’s kind of a perfect arrangement because Robin is excited to see someone get some more use out of her dress, Emily gets a gorgeous dress for free (though she will be paying to have it altered and dry cleaned), and Robin can still keep the dress for all eternity after Em’s wedding.

(Robin’s words were something like: “I know I’ll never wear it again, so I don’t care if she alters it, but I might want it back, for sentimental reasons.” No problem!)

I’m so grateful to Robin, and Emily is near speechless about her generosity. And I’m so happy that Em has a dress she feels beautiful in. She told me that it has taken so much stress off her shoulders now that the dress issue is solved.

So thank you, Robin. You’re a role model for all brides!

Here’s Robin looking stunning in the dress:

And here’s Em trying it on:

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Wedding traditions are traditions for a reason: they’ve been around a long time. But where did they originate? Our Wedding Traditions Explained series attempts to find out. We have no real evidence to back up these claims, but they were gathered from various online sources. Take them for what they’re worth, and if you’ve heard differing explanations, please share.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Sixpence in Your Shoe

Although the last line is usually left off today, this one is pretty straight forward. It dates back to Victorian times and many brides try to arrange their wedding attire accordingly.

“Something old” represents the bride’s link to her family and the past. The bride may choose to wear a piece of family jewelry or her mother or grandmother’s wedding gown.

“Something new” represents hope for good fortune and success in the future. The bride often chooses the wedding gown to represent the new item.

“Something borrowed” usually comes from a happily married woman and is thought to lend some of her good fortune and joy to the new bride.

“Something blue” is a symbol of love, fidelity and purity of the bride.

“A sixpence in her shoe” is to wish the bride wealth in her future life.

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