Wedding Traditions After The Ceremony
Wedding traditions have various ways of becoming traditions. Some wedding traditions cameabout for religious reasons and some are due to superstition and odd behavior. Once the actualceremony is over, there is more to the activities. Where did these traditions come from and whatis the meaning behind them? Whether it’s the bouquet toss, wedding cake, rice throwing orsomething else, most of these traditions hold a special place in our hearts.
Carrying over the Threshold
The main reason behind the tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold was for protectingthe bride from the evil spirits that were thought to be laying in wait for the bride. Therefore, thegroom would carry her over the threshold to protect her. During the Roman Empire, they thoughtthat if the bride where to trip on the threshold when entering the home for the first time, that itcould bring a lot of harm and bad luck to their marriage.
The word honeymoon was derived from the Irish words, “mi na meala,” which means the monthof honey. It also refers to how a couple would spend their time drinking a fermented brew ofhoney called Mead. After the ceremony, a lot of Mead was given to the groom and his bride inspecial cups so that they could have it for one full moon (which would be a month) and thus wehave honeymoon.
The Bouquet Toss
Back in ancient times, everyone thought that the bride was super lucky on her wedding day andwould try to tear at her dress, getting a souvenir for themselves in hopes that the luck would ruboff on them. To prevent from being bothered and having her dress ruined, the bouquet was usedas the gift of good luck to her guests.
The Garter Toss
According to legend, the tossing of the garter began in England and was derived from an earliertradition called “flinging the stocking.” On the wedding night, guests would follow the groomand bride and wait for them to get undressed; then they would steal the bride and groom’sstockings. The first one to hit one of them in the head was the next to marry.
The Money Dance
There’s one custom for arranged marriages that the groom would not get the dowry for the brideuntil the marriage was consummated. So to ensure that the couple would have money before theyleft the wedding reception, they would have the wedding dance for them. Another tradition stemsfrom when villages would give the couple livestock, pottery and planting seeds so that they
would have something to start out their lives together.
Shoes Tied to the Car
Romans would give the groom the authority over his bride after the bride’s father gave her futurehusband her shoes. This changed in later years as the guests began to throw their own shoes atthe new couple. To represent the older tradition, it has now evolved into the shoes being tied onto the back of the newlywed’s car.
The Tossing of the Rice
Guests would throw grains and nuts at the couple to ensure harvesting of their land would begreat and for many healthy children to work the land. However, during less plentiful times ricewas thrown instead of the grains and nuts. This continues today, but many people may opt to usebubbles or birdseed. Regardless of the method, the meaning of “sending them off in happiness”is still the same.
The Wedding Cake
During the days of the Roman Empire, wedding cakes were made with either barley or wheat.During the reception the groom would break the cake over the head of his bride to symbolizefertility, and then guests would run and try to get a piece of the broken cake for good luck. Thenthe tradition began of stacking the cakes one on top of the other, as high as they possibly could.Then the bride and groom would try to kiss each other over the cake without knocking it over.Back then there wasn’t icing on cakes until a baker added it during the reign of King Charles IIof England.
The Bridal Shower and Stag Party
One thought is that during the 19th century, a group of bride’s friends put little presents into herumbrella. Then when she opened it, she was showered with gifts. As for the man’s stag party,this began with the groom being taken to a feast with the Roman soldiers the night before thewedding to say good bye to his bachelorhood.