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Wedding Traditions?what Do They Symbolize?

There are many traditions involved in getting married. From ?jumping the broom? to borrowing a piece of bridal jewelry?the traditions are many. Most people practice wedding traditions without having a full understanding of their origins. Have you ever wondered why the bride walks down the aisle on a white aisle runner? History tells us that using an aisle runner helps to ward off evil spirits. It was once believed that evil spirits lived beneath the floor and in order to keep the spirits away from the bride, the white runner was used to protect her purity. Today, the aisle runner is used to protect the brides dress from getting dirty.

What does the unity candle symbolize? The lighting of the unity candle is a portion of the wedding ceremony, which symbolizes the coming together of two individuals. The side candles represent the bride and groom, while the center candle is symbolic of their lives coming together as one. Often, the center unity candle is embellished with two metallic rings to represent the bride and groom?s bridal jewelry. Some couples have chosen to use the lighting of the unity candle as a demonstration of both families uniting. In this case, the parents are invited to participate during this portion of the ceremony.

Jewelry plays an important role in wedding ceremonies. Depending on the era and cultural background, bridal jewelry can have religious, superstitious, or sentimental origins. The traditional wedding band is a symbol of the bride and groom?s eternal love for one another. In Western culture, wedding rings are worn on the third finger of the left-hand because the Romans believed that this finger has a direct link to the heart. In some countries, the engagement ring is worn on the left hand and is transferred to the right hand after the couple is married.

It is a common practice for the bride to toss her bouquet after the wedding ceremony. In England, the women would attempt to tare remnants from the bride?s gown and bouquet in order to gain good luck. In an effort to escape these women, the bride would toss her bouquet in the air and run for dear life. Today, catching a tossed bouquet symbolizes that the holder will get married next. This superstition has evolved from a brides attempt to get away from her female guests to a fun celebratory episode between family and friends.

These are just a few examples of the many wedding traditions in which we participate. Understanding the symbolism behind the aisle runner, unity candle, bridal jewelry, and tossing the bouquet are important. Why follow a practice that you really do not identify with?

Michelle Lindsey writes for Silverlandjewelry, a Bridal Jewelry and Bridesmaid Jewery Gift Store.

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