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Wedding Traditions

Wedding Traditions Let's get the skinny on some very familiar and maybe not so familiar wedding traditions. Very few times in your life are you confronted with traditions and customs than on your wedding day. Some may be family traditions passed down through the generations while others might have been observed at a friends wedding. Either way the customs and tradition you choose to include in your wedding have special meaning for you or a close family member. Probably the most familiar tradition you will run into is the selection of your rings.? This custom dates back to the days when a price was paid for a bride. The first engagement rings date back to medieval Italy, but diamond engagement rings didn't become popular until the last few decades with the help the industry. The engagement ring has the same meaning in many cultures. The circular wedding band has been used as a symbol of unending love as far back as ancient Egypt. The Romans used iron bands to show a long lasting bond between a husband and wife. Back in the day a bride came at a price so the gold band, which was easily valued, became widely used. Another tradition which is widely used and accepted in our culture is placing the wedding band on the third finger or the left hand. The Ancients believed the vein of that finger led straight to the heart, hence the placement of the wedding ring there. The English Book of Prayer, written in 1549, specifically mentioned the left hand as appropriate for both men and women. Since that time virtually all English-speaking people have worn their wedding rings on their left hand. There are a few exceptions to this tradition, though. Greeks initially put the rings on their left hand then move them to the right hand after they are officially married. Jewish tradition holds that the rings are placed on the right hand during the ceremony and later switched to the left hand. The use of a wedding veil also dates to ancient times. It is most likely symbolic of sexual modesty or innocence. The use of a wedding veil became widely fashionable in the eighteenth century. The white wedding dress also dates back to the same time frame and is traditionally equated with purity. One of the most familiar traditions is in the following poem, Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue--- And a lucky sixpence in your shoe. It isn't often a bride ignores this old custom which implies a lifetime of prosperity and fulfillment. A necklace or some other piece of jewelry can serve as something old. Traditionally the wedding dress is the something new. Something borrowed is a clothing accessory usually lent by one of the bridesmaids. Something blue can be a garter, or a small ribbon attached to the underneath of the gown. A dime hidden in one shoe usually serves as the sixpence which, is saved and later is passed on to a daughter or niece. The prenuptial parties are also have roots in the past. The bridal shower is said to originated in Holland when a father didn't approve of his daughter's marriage to a commoner so her friends "showered" her with gifts to take the place of her dowry. Another tradition at the wedding shower or the bridesmaids' party is to bake a pink cake with a coin, ring or thimble cooked inside it. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the trinket will be the next bride. The bachelor party, like the bridesmaids' today represent a last fling, and also gives the groom an opportunity to show his appreciation to his groomsmen. The glasses used to toast the bride are traditionally thrown into the fireplace and broken, never to be used for a lesser purpose. Because of the imbibing that takes place at these parties they are now held a few days before the wedding. This is just a few of the more widely practiced customs that have roots in the past. In todays wedding planning there seems to be a varied use of traditions along with just about every aspect that is included in the schedule of events from the most widely known and accepted traditions to the more nuanced of wedding customs. Plainly put, if it's not immoral or illegal it probably will be at least considered in todays wedding plans.

By Bob Ragman, For a free wedding music tutorial and video goto Free Wedding Music

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