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Bridebook’s 10 Favourite Wedding Traditions

Bridebook.co.uk- phillipa lepley gown with blue bow sewn in
By Chris Giles Photography

1. Something Old, Something New…

Everyone knows that there are four must-haves for your wedding: something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Traditionally, these have been carried by the bride (along with a silver sixpence in her shoe!) but we love seeing anybody take up this tradition. The something old represents the past, while the something new symbolises the couple’s bright future together. The something borrowed should be from a happily married friend or relative, in the hope that their good fortune will rub off on this couple! Finally, the something blue is connected to ideas of fidelity and love.

Bridebook.co.uk- something old borrowed new and blue
By Chris Giles Photography

2. The Wedding Veil

This tradition originated in Ancient Rome, where brides used their wedding veil to hide from evil spirits who envied and wanted to steal her newly wedded bliss. Scary stuff! (For help choosing your veil – whether you’re fearful of spirits or not! – check out this article.)

3. A Rainy Wedding

Rain, rain, go away? Not at all! Rain on a wedding day is believed to symbolise fertility. According to Hinduism, it’s also good luck. Plus, it makes for fab photos – so get your wellies on!

4. The Threshold

The tradition of the groom carrying the bride over the threshold originated in Medieval Europe. It was believed that the bride was extra vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet! Not hard to believe if she’d spent the whole day in heels… Nowadays, we love this super cute tradition for any couple, not just ones made up of a bride and groom.

Bridebook.co.uk- bride tearing up
By Jamie Bott Wedding Photography

5. Tears of Joy

Feeling teary on your wedding day? Don’t worry – it’s a good thing! If a bride cries on her wedding day, it’s believed that she will have used up all her tears for years to come, meaning she’s looking forward to a very happy marriage. We reckon this goes for anyone getting married, not just the brides! So our advice? If you’re wearing mascara, make it waterproof…

6. The Garter Toss

Believe it or not, there’s actually a meaning to the garter toss. In France, it used to be believed that the bride’s dress carried good luck. Unfortunately, this meant everyone wanted a piece of it! To stop the crowd rushing towards the bride to rip off pieces of her dress, some bright spark decided to distract them by throwing a garter. It worked a treat – and it’s stuck around since!

Bridebook.co.uk- groom lifting bride as guests applaud
By Allister Freeman

7. The Honeymoon 

Did you know the honeymoon wasn’t always a fancy holiday? The idea of the honeymoon actually originated from the (thankfully!) long-abandoned practice of grooms abducting their brides. Over the decades, this turned into a tradition where the newlyweds would hide away for thirty (yes, thirty!) days. That’s one month or the length of the lunar cycle – so that’s where we get the “moon”! On each day, a close relation would bring them honeyed wine – and that’s where “honey” comes from. Anyone still up for a honeymoon like that?!

8. Decorating the Wedding Car

Does tying cans to your wedding car seem like a silly idea to you? Well, it didn’t to French gentlemen a few centuries ago! They punished the groom for taking a single girl “off the market” by waking him up in the middle of the night and demanding he repay them with a feast.

Bridebook.co.uk- wedding rings and engagement ring on top of pink flowers
By Chris Giles Photography

9. Wedding Rings

Ever wondered why we wear wedding rings? And why do we wear them on the fourth finger of our left hands in the UK? Well, this tradition comes from the romantic Romans. They believed that a vein ran directly from this finger to the heart – and the ring’s circle symbolises eternal love!

10. The Best Man

Bridebook.co.uk- groom and best man hug before the ceremony
By Allister Freeman

Believe it or not, the best man has been around for a while – even if they weren’t quite the speech giver they are today! This tradition originated in Anglo-Saxon times. Back then, the groom abducted his bride – so to defend himself from the bride’s family, he took his closest (and strongest) friend as a partner in crime!

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