7 Wedding Traditions & Origins (2021)

If you've attended any weddings in the last decade, you've most likely seen trends that remain the same with each couple who walks down the aisle. Although every wedding ceremony is somewhat unique, many couples rely on wedding traditions to help them plan the flow of their marriage ceremony and reception.

Do you have to partake in every tradition? What are the common customs that most people keep in their modern weddings? Let's explore more about wedding old and new practices.

Seven Common Wedding Traditions and Their Explanations 

If you're currently thinking of planning your wedding, you might be starting to wonder which traditions you'll incorporate and which you might leave behind. Today, let's check out some common wedding traditions and the stories behind them. Then, we'll show you where you can find the best high-quality jewelry to wear on your favorite day.

1. The Four Things a Bride Needs on the Big Day 

You have most likely heard about the old rhyme for brides on their wedding days. It includes four categories of elements brides should wear along with their dress when they say their vows, and each item represents something else.

  • Something old: Wearing something old is a way for each lovebird to hold onto a piece of their old life before marriage.
  • Something new: Incorporating something new into the bride or groom’s outfit indicates the new life that the couple will share together.
  • Something borrowed: Including an item from a friend or loved one holds a connotation of good luck. Many people choose heirloom jewelry.
  • Something blue: People include a blue element in their wedding attire because it symbolizes fertility and good luck.

2. Wearing a Ring on the Ring Finger

From a young age, you likely learned that people wear wedding rings on their left hand fourth finger. You might have accepted this custom without question for years, but do you know the purpose behind this tradition?

Hundreds of years ago, Egyptian people began exchanging eternity snake rings to signify eternal love and commitment. Some also claim that Roman people later wore their rings on the left-hand ring finger because they believed that finger connected to a vein that led to the heart.

3. Tossing Rice During the Send Off 

Although this practice is becoming less common, it was one that you could see at many weddings for decades. It's more than a fun way to make the newlywed couple have to run a bit faster to their getaway car. Historically, tossing rice during the honeymoon send-off was a way to wish fertility and prosperity for the couple, but today, confetti or bubbles are more common.

4. Saving the Top Tier of the Wedding Cake 

Why do people save the top tier of their wedding cake? Long ago, people expected that a newlywed couple would have a child within the first year of marriage. A religious couple would keep the top tier of their wedding cake to celebrate their first child's christening around a year later. Today, couples sometimes freeze the cake and eat it on their first anniversary.

5. The Bride and Groom Not Seeing Each Other Before the Ceremony 

This custom has somewhat archaic roots. During the time when arranged marriages were customary, a bride's parents would not allow the groom to see her before their marriage for fear that the groom would change their mind. Somehow, the tradition stuck, and the newlyweds-to-be still avoid seeing one another to avoid "bad luck."

6. Tossing the Bouquet or Garter 

People considered it good luck to have a part of a bride's dress after her marriage ceremony in medieval times. In some instances, they would take pieces of her dress without permission. Eventually, the bride and groom began including a bouquet and garter toss to distract people and give them something directly. 

7. Giving an Engagement Ring Before the Wedding 

The concept of a diamond ring to mark the engagement period is around 1200 years old. In rituals from the 1800s, the Pope recognized the gift of a gold ring as a man's intention to marry an individual. Surprisingly, diamond engagement rings did not come into play until nearly 600 years later. 

Today, beautiful engagement rings are symbols of the promise between two people and the commitment they will make to one another on their wedding day. If you're just beginning your search for the best engagement rings, you can click here for excellent options that suit your relationship.

What Are Modern Wedding Traditions?

We've talked somewhat about old wedding traditions. What about the new American wedding traditions that modern couples are practicing in the 2000s? Here are some of the most popular modern wedding customs today.

  • Having a lingerie shower: Holding a party with the bride's closest friends is one tradition that many find exciting. Guests bring anything from nightgowns to lacy undergarments the bride can wear with their lover.
  • Creating a wedding hashtag: Many couples today opt to implement a wedding hashtag where guests can tag the photos they take on social media. Then, the guests and couple can search the hashtag and find pictures from their favorite event.
  • Videography: Lots of couples are beginning to prioritize videography at their wedding. Not only do they hire a photographer for gorgeous photos, but a videographer helps capture the day with cinematic excellence.
  • Creating a wedding registry: A wedding registry is essentially a list of items that the couple would be happy to receive as gifts from the attendees of the wedding. This takes the guesswork out of gift-giving!

What Wedding Traditions Are for the Bride? 

As you look at these wedding traditions, you could be beginning to contemplate which you'd like to incorporate in your own wedding. You might also be wondering about which wedding traditions are specific to brides on their big day. Let's take a look at bridal customs and their purposes.

  • White wedding dress: In 1840, queen Elizabeth influenced the future of weddings with her white wedding dress. Though it wasn't a tradition before, many began choosing white dresses for their bridal gowns.
  • Bridesmaid dresses: Historically, bridesmaids would wear the same color dress as the bride to confuse any evil spirits trying to curse the bride and groom. 
  • Wearing a veil: Wearing a veil is another custom that has mystical roots. Some attribute this clothing article to modesty and purity, while others claim wearing a veil was another attempt to ward off evil spirits. 
  • Wearing elegant wedding jewelry: You may have noticed many brides wear more jewelry than their engagement ring on the wedding day. Many brides opt for elegant pieces to accent their gown as part of their "something new."

The Best Jewelry To Wear to Your Wedding Ceremony

Whether you're someone who enjoys simplicity or bold luxury, choosing the right wedding jewelry can help you feel entirely ready as a bride. Here are a few of our favorite wedding jewelry you can find online to help you find what suits you best.

Huggie Baguette Earrings: These baguette diamond earrings are a perfect detail to add if you enjoy subtle luxurious accents. Select your preferred color of 18-karat gold for a personalized touch.

Micro-pavé Diamond Earrings: These earrings' rows of tiny diamonds make for an illustrious shimmer. Wear them with your hair up or down for an elegant touch to your bridal look. 

Tennis Bracelet: The Noémie tennis bracelet is our spin on a timeless piece of jewelry. Wear it for an elevated luxurious feel to your bridal ensemble.

Make Your Own Tradition With Noémie

You're free to create customs that excite you. Wearing a veil, having bridesmaids, seeing your partner before the wedding, and throwing rice are all activities that come second to your commitment to your beloved.

Ultimately, this celebration day is about you and your love. As you choose your favorite traditions and your wedding jewelry, know that at Noémie, we're here to make your wedding that much more personal. 

Sources:

The Surprising Truths Behind Common Wedding Superstitions | bridal Guide

8 New Wedding Traditions for Modern Couples - Tips on Wedding Traditions | Instyle

The Surprising History of Engagement Rings | Brides