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9 Wedding Traditions And Decisions, Decisions

So you're engaged and you've got a wedding to plan. You begin to decide what traditions you wish to include in your wedding. Would it help to know how some of those traditions got started?

What is one of the first things that come to mind when hearing the word wedding? More often than not you think of the wedding dress. Chances are pretty high that you are going to opt for a white wedding dress although this is by no means always the case. Believe it or not many centuries ago women actually wore gowns that were colorful and bright. A wedding is a joyous time and they wanted to wear colors that reflected this joy. Somewhere along the way, the white wedding gown was introduced. Some people say that the tradition of wearing white was actually started by Queen Victoria. Another reason white has often been used for the wedding gown is to signify purity.

To complement your perfect dress you'll almost certainly want the perfect veil. Not all women agree on the length or style -- some prefer long veils while others like short ones, some like the simple look while others want it to be ornate -- but most agree the veil is almost as important as the dress. Traditionally, the bride wears her veil down until the couple is officially married at the end of the ceremony, a tradition that has its origins in the belief that the veil provided protection against evil spirits, but even this is becoming less common these days as some brides choose to have their father lift the veil before giving her away.

"You may kiss the bride." This is a familiar phrase. Everyone eagerly anticipates the first kiss as a married couple. Believe it or not kisses used to serve as a legal bond in ancient Rome. In fact, engagements were not valid unless sealed with a kiss. On wedding day, the first kiss is usually the first of many more.

When the bride walks down the aisle to stand next to her groom she is traditionally accompanies by her father, but today more and more women choose to have both parents walk down the aisle with them. If the father is unable to be at the wedding, normally another family member (not the mother of the bride) escorts her to her groom. The origins of this tradition are not well-established, it has been with us for many centuries.In my research this was one of the few traditions I could not discover a well-established origin for.

Most couples have the ring presentation at their wedding. The man slips the wedding band on the woman's finger and she does the same with his ring. Wedding rings are to be work as a symbol of everlasting love. The circle should never be unbroken. Today much time and thought is often put into the selection of the wedding bands. Wedding bands have been around for a long time. They were first made of grass that was braided or made with hemp. Diamonds that could be found in wedding bands came roughly around the 1400's.

Rice was traditionally showered over the newly-weds just after the ceremony because it is a symbol of fertility, and of course all the older relatives want the newlywed couple to start having kids! Often people will substitute birdseed or wedding bubbles these days because it is widely believed that if birds eat the rice, their stomachs will explode. This is patently false, but that is another story altogether.

Many wedding traditions continue on to the wedding reception. There is usually a first dance by the couple. Many daughters also dance with their father for a traditional father-daughter dance. This has been common practice at many weddings. Some traditions just happen by themselves :)

Another common tradition at the reception is when the new bride throws her bouquet. This is just done for fun although the woman who catches the flowers is to be the next to marry. This tradition has an interesting history that can be traced to England. Long ago in England guests at a wedding would try to get the woman's flowers or part of her clothes. This was to be their way of sharing in the joy. It got to be so bad that a woman would run away from guests and would toss her flowers to try to get them happy and away from her as she ran.

A wedding would not be complete without the cutting of the wedding cake. In the days of yore cakes made of wheat would be broken apart above the head of a bride. This was to bring the couple fertility as well as good luck. Wedding cakes are traditionally tiered. A baker in England started baking these cakes which date all the way back to the time of King Charles II.

Weddings certainly do not need to be traditional. Traditions vary among different cultures and even different families. However, it is often fun to implement some of the traditions into a wedding. These traditions may not really bring good luck, but then again maybe they will.

Alex consults for an online gift shop specializing in and bridesmaids gifts. Alex is recently married.

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