Why are Proposals done on one knee?
Speculated to be a gesture of loyalty, from the Middle Ages, during the great days of chivalry and knighthood, the act of knelling symbolized loyalty and obedience to their Lords. In religious context, knelling on one knee represents respect and submission to a higher power. In a modern context, it’s a humble acknowledgement that demonstrates inherent trust between partners, as well as devotion.
The tradition of toasting originates in ancient times, when the Greeks and the Romans would raise their cups in homage to their Gods, as well as drinking to each other’s health. The term “toast” was first used in the 16th century, from an ancient tradition that attempted to improve the taste of wine, by dropping a piece of toast into the bottom of the wine pitcher to determine the liquid’s acidity and cure its rancidness. As a sign of good hosting, the host would then eat the piece of bread after all the wine was consumed.
The Groom always stands on the Right
Although Weddings are much more civilized today, in the olden days, the man has to stand on the right so he could use his left hand to hold his beloved and draw his sword with his right, should anyone try to kidnap her. Now that’s chivalry.
Nowadays, Bridesmaids are filled with sisters, best friends and family to help you with the wedding planning and enjoy the celebrations with. But traditionally, having a bridesmaid started in Roman times. These Bridesmaids were instructed to all dress alike, so they could cause confusion and act as decoys to evil spirits trying to harm the Bride. The concept of identically dressed bridesmaids can be seen as far back to Victorian wedding photographs, as giving the bride extra protection from being kidnapped.
The Best Man
The best man was once referred to the quality of a man’s swordsmanship. Originally, when weddings were used as a business transaction rather than a union of love, the groom needed a good swordsman to help either retrieve a run-away bride or fend off a bride’s angry family that may not approve of the the union.
The Ring Finger
In the days before anyone truly understood the body ‘s circulatory system, the ancient Greeks believed there was a vein that connected this finger directly to the heart. Technically, all veins lead to the heart, but it’s a lovely meaning nonetheless.
The Wedding Veil
Roman brides wore bright veils to ward off evil spirits. For arranged marriages, it was to ensure that the Groom did not recourse based on looks. The long white veils began thanks to the Victorians in the 1860s, as a sign of wealth. The longer, whiter and heavier, the bigger the status symbol.
A White Wedding Dress
Queen Victoria started this tradition when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Prior to this women wore the most expensive dress their owned to their wedding day. Victoria selected white because it was the colour of her favourite lace. Later, the colour white was additionally associated with purity and the “virgin” bride. Lastly, it remained a sign of wealth, as only the wealthy could afford to keep a dress “white”.
Throwing of the Bouquet
An evolution of the concept of having a piece of something of the Bride’s as good luck. In the Medieval Times, at the end of the evening guests would rip the bride’s dress to keep a piece for themselves. Later, this morphed into the groom throwing the garter as a keepsake, to keep the luck-hunters at bay. Finally during the French 14th-century, they introduced tossing the bouquet as a more civilized alternative.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed & Something Blue
Originating from a Victorian rhyme, something old was to link the Bride to her past, more specifically to her life with her family she was leaving behind, traditionally gifted as a grandmother’s heirloom. Something new represented starting a new chapter in life, the future, and having something fresh to kick off this new chapter. Shoes are commonly the selected “new” option. Something borrowed was to remind the Bride that her family will always be around for her, typically borrowing her father’s handkerchief, to be returned after the honeymoon. Some opt to borrow from a successfully married relatively, as a sign of good luck. Lastly, everyone’s favourite, something blue, back in Biblical times, the colour blue meant purity, so wearing something blue gave you two chances to ensure you were “pure”. Typically something blue is stitched into the dress, worn under the dress or written under the shoe, as it was not meant to be explicitly seen.
The custom of bouquets, actually began with carrying aromatic bunches of herbs, garlic and spices to ward off evil spirits. It was also believed to be a preventative measure in contracting the plague. Modernly, this has been adapted to florals, as a symbol of the bride’s style, and they smell wonderful too. Bridesmaid’s also carried florals to ward off evil for the Bride. As Bridesmaids walked down the aisle first, the aroma also helped to ensure the Bride (in times without deodorant) smelt nice for her suitor. First impressions, do matter.
Saving the top layer of the Wedding Cake
“The cake we had at our wedding, then froze and ate one year later, was amazing!” - said no one ever. The top layer of the wedding cake was traditionally saved by the Bride and Groom to be used at their first child’s christening, as it was expected that the bride bare a child within the first year.
Tossing rice at the end of the ceremony is meant to symbolize rain, which is a sign of prosperity, fertility and good fortune. As most Bride’s would agree, they’d must rather be hit by flying rice, then have rain on their wedding day. This tradition has evolved into bubbles, confetti and many other fun variations. It looks great in pictures too!
The Threshold Carry
This custom, yet another safekeeping of the Bride. In Europe, it was believed that the Groom must carry the Bride over the threshold as she was vulnerable to evil spirits through her feet. The Bride and Groom wanted to prevent such spirits from entering the house, which may be lingering in the threshold. Now, it’s simply fun, and a test at how strong your partner really is.
The Ring Bearer and his Pillow
The ring bearer’s pillow symbolizes the promises of the dreams you have while sleeping, coming true. A small child is typically asked to carry the pillow which innocence, the future and new beginnings. Plus, it looks really cute.
xx Kalla’s Galas