Wedding ceremonies are steeped in centuries of tradition – in everything from the bridal bouquet to the glorious white wedding dress . It seems that when it comes to weddings , everyone is a little superstitious, and not just when it comes to white custom made wedding dresses . It’s almost a guarantee a bride will do everything in her power not to see her fiancée on the morning before the wedding, and will absolutely insist on being carried across the threshold. So where do all these old traditions come from? There are long litanies of wedding traditions that curious brides can discover, with several interesting facts behind each one. Here are a few favourites.
Something Old, Something New…
… something borrowed, something blue. So goes the classic rhyme which originated in Victorian times. ‘something old’ signifies that the couple’s friends will stay with them, while ‘something new’ looks to the future as a predictor of health and success. In one interpretation of the rhyme, the ‘something old’ that was given had to be a garter given to the bride by an older, happily-married woman to ensure the happiness of the new marriage. ‘Something borrowed’ represents the trust and love given to the bride by her family, while ‘something blue’ is thought to be lucky because the colour blue represents fidelity and constancy. It’s been an inclusion, along with custom made wedding dresses , ever since ancient Israel, when brides wore blue ribbons in their hair to symbolise their fidelity.
The Dress and the Rest
Up until the 1900’s, brides hardly ever had custom made wedding dresses made up, opting for their best and finest regular outfit instead. However, the colour green was especially avoided, as it was thought to be unlucky. There was also a different connotation to avoiding the colour green. To say a girl had a ‘green gown’ implied the girl in question had loose morals, because her dress would be grass-stained from rolling around in the fields! It led to phrases such as ‘married in green, ashamed to be seen!’ White custom made wedding dresses were made popular by Queen Victoria, who broke the tradition of royalty always marrying in silver. Although green was definitely a colour to avoid, and silver was the hallmark of royalty, there were many other colour associations with wedding attire:
Married in white, you have chosen right
Married in grey, you will go far away,
Married in black, you will wish yourself back,
Married in red, you will wish yourself dead,
Married in green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in blue, you will always be true,
Married in pearl, you will live in a whirl,
Married in yellow, ashamed of your fellow,
Married in brown, you will live in the town,
Married in pink, your spirit will sink.