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Wedding Traditions, Customs, Superstitions and Symbols...Page 2

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the wedding tradition of the wedding cake The Wedding Cake...

Saint Brides Church in London is believed to inspired the wedding cake The 3-tiered cake is believed to have been inspired by the spire of Saint Bride's Church in London, England
Click here for more information about the Saint Bride's Church.
Sleeping with a piece of wedding cake (or a piece of groom's cake) under her pillow is said to make a single woman dream of her future husband.
In medieval England, guests brought small cakes and piled them on the center of a table. The bride and groom then attempted to kiss over them.  A baker from France conceived the idea of icing all the small cakes together in one large cake.
According to one long-forgotten tradition, the bottom layer of a wedding cake represents the couple as a family, and the top layer represents them as a couple.  Each layer in between represents a child you hope to have.
Cutting the wedding cake together symbolizes the couple's unity, a shared future, and their life together as one.  The groom traditionally places his hand over the bride's hand as a symbol of his desire to take care of, it is good luck if the bride's hand is the first to cut the cake.
After cutting the cake, the newlyweds usually share a taste by feeding cake to each other.  The ancient Romans believed the joint partaking of the cake created a magical bond.  The sweetness symbolized the future happiness of the couple and the grain held the promise of a fruitful union.
The top layer of the wedding cake is customarily taken home and frozen by the bride and groom.  They share it in celebration of their first anniversary.  It is believed that a cake that lasts a year is the guarantee of a long marriage.
The Groom's Cake - Traditionally, the Groom's Cake was a fruitcake that is said to bring fertility to the newlyweds.  It was a gift from the bride to the groom.
Today, there are different ways to incorporate the Groom's Cake into the festivities.  Some couples have as the main dessert Groom's Cake at the rehearsal dinner.  Some couples have the Groom's Cake More displayed next to the wedding cake and cut up and put into small pieces for the guests to take home.
*Check out our Wedding Cake Charms*

the wedding tradition of toasting the newlyweds, wedding champagne toast to bride and groomToasting The Newlyweds...

In China, two goblets of honey and wine are joined with a red ribbon - the centuries old color of love and joy - and the couple enjoy a drink of unity.  Lithuanian parents serve the wedding couple symbols of married life - wine for joy, salt for tears and bread for work.
Today, French bridal couples drink a reception toast from an engraved silver two-handled cup, called a "coupe de mariage."  This cup is passed from generation to generation.
In Italy, couples still follow ancient Roman wedding tradition by walking through their village passing out cakes and sweets.
Even the word "bridal" comes from a British toasting tradition where newlyweds-to-be drank a marriage mead known as "bride-ale" for thirty days prior to their wedding day as part of the festivities.
*We have sterling silver Champagne charms*

the wedding tradition of tossing the bouquet and garterThe Bouquet and Garter Toss...

Tossing the bridal bouquet is a custom which has it's roots in England. It was believed the bride could pass along her good fortune to others. In order to obtain this fortune, overzealous guests and spectators would try to tear away pieces of the bride's clothing and flowers. In an attempt to get away, the bride would toss her bouquet into the crowd. Tradition says single women who catch the bouquet will marry next.
In the 14th century, Europeans would gather around the bride and try to remove her garter for good luck. Today, the groom has the honor of removing the bride's garter and tossing it to single men.
Have you heard of a Fortune Bouquet?

jumping the broom wedding traditionJumping The Broom...

Some newlyweds "jump over a broom" to symbolize the beginning of a new life together.  Jumping the broom was created during slavery, when African-Americans could not legally marry.  The couple would jump over a broom in front of their family and friends to announce their love and commitment to each other.  It is a public declaration of the joining of two families.
This wedding tradition probably came from an old African tribal marriage ritual of placing sticks on the ground that represented the couple's new home.  Today, jumping the broom is a symbol of sweeping away the old, and welcoming in the new.
Broom-jumping can be performed at the wedding ceremony...just after the minister pronounces the newlyweds husband and wife, or at the wedding reception...just after the bridal party enters the reception area.  At some wedding receptions, guests may participate in the ceremony by tying ribbons around the broom before the newlywed couple make the jump.
*We have sterling silver Broom charms*

the wedding tradition of throwing rice on the newly wed couple Throwing Rice...

Throwing rice (rice, as well as nuts and grains, are considered to be life-giving seeds) at the newlywed couple symbolizes fertility. Pieces of cake are thrown in some cultures.  The word confetti has the same root as the word confectionery in Italian and was used to describe "sweetmeats" (sugar-coated grain and nuts).

throwing rice at your wedding does not harm the birdsWhat about the birds?

There is a myth that rice is harmful to birds.  This is not true according to Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (Click Here for more information.)  If you want to avoid tossing rice, opt for bird seed, confetti, rose petals, bubbles, sparklers, etc.  Never fear, the symbolism remains the same!

wedding tradition of decorating the newlywed couple's carDecorating the Car and Playing Pranks...

Noisy items were tied to the back of the couple's carriage to scare away evil spirits. Loyal friends of the couple would play pranks on the newlyweds in the hope evil spirits would leave the couple alone since the couple had already been picked on. Honking horns (more loud noise) was also believed to keep the evil spirits away.
We have sterling silver old shoe charms available in our wedding day good luck charm collection.Use old shoes...
Down through history, shoes have symbolized power and authority. Egyptians would exchange sandals when they exchanged goods, so when the father of the bride gave his daughter to the groom, he would also give the bride’s sandals to show that she now belonged to the groom.
In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom would tap the heel of the bride’s shoe to show his authority over her. (I prefer to think of it as the shoes representing the creation of a new family unit.)
During the Tudor period in England, people would throw shoes at the couple in their carriage. It was considered good luck if the shoes hit. Later, the shoes were tied to the carriage....thus, shoes tied to a car.
Shoes also symbolize fertility to some (Mother Goose lived in a shoe).
It is also supposed to be lucky if you get married in an old pair of shoes.

the wedding tradition of the guest book The Guestbook...

In ancient times, the guest book was a necessity and everyone who attended a wedding was considered a witness. They were required to sign the marriage document. Today for the wedding couple, the guest book is a wonderful remembrance of those who attended their wedding.

the wedding tradition of carrying the bride over the thresholdThe Threshold...

There are two explanations for the tradition of the groom carrying his bride over the threshold when entering the home as a married couple for the first time. The first is to protect the bride from evil spirits that were thought to be lying in wait under the threshold. The second explanation dates back to Roman times. Tradition dictated the new wife must enter her home through the main door; and to avoid bad luck, she must never trip or fall - hence the custom a bride should be carried over the threshold.

the wedding tradition of the honeymoonThe Honeymoon...

In ancient times, the Teutonic people (German order of knights) began the practice of the honeymoon. Teutonic weddings were only held under the full moon. After the wedding, the couple would drink honey wine for thirty days (while the moon went through all its phases). Therefore, the period immediately following the wedding became known as the honeymoon. While the name has survived, the purpose of the honeymoon changed (now we throw in a romantic get-a-way).
During the Renaissance, the newlywed couple were supposed to drink Honeymead (wine mixed with honey, cardamom, and cloves) each night for the period of "one moon".

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Copyright 2010 Jewelry by Rhonda.  All Rights Reserved.  Date of Last Update:  Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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