Wedding Etiquette & Superstitions

The Wedding Toast

Toasts to the Bride and Groom-The bride and groom should not raise their glasses like everyone else. Since they are the ones being honored, it is not considered polite to toast themselves.

Why do they call it a ‘toast’? It comes from the French custom of putting a piece of bread at the bottom of a wine goblet. The goblet was passed around to honored guests and the guest who got it last would eat the bread.

 

The Receiving Line

It was believed in ancient times that the bride and groom were blessed, and those who touched them would receive good luck and fortune.

The Garter

Tossing the garter is much like the bouquet toss, but for the single men. The single man who catches the garter is believed to be the next to marry. This custom originated in the 14th century when it was believed lucky to have a piece of the newlyweds’ clothing. Many times, the bride’s dress would be destroyed by the eager and drunken guests in their attempt to gain a lucky charm. In order to prevent this from happening, the bride’s garters were removed and thrown to the unruly crowd to distract them. Today, the tradition of tossing the wedding garter is much tamer.

Why on the Left?

Have you ever wondered why the bride’s family is seated on the left side of the church and the groom’s side is seated on the right? The tradition stems from Medieval times when men wore swords on their right side. It is said they needed that side free in order to draw their sword and protect his bride.

The Wedding Kiss

The wedding kiss symbolizes more than just an endearment. In Roman times, a legal bond or contract was always sealed with a kiss. Therefore, when newlyweds kiss, it represents an agreement to enter into a life-long binding contract with each other. Some believe the wedding kiss symbolizes and exchange of one’s soul with another. When the bride and groom kiss, their souls mingle together.

The Garter

Tossing the garter is much like the bouquet toss, but for the single men. The single man who catches the garter is believed to be the next to marry. This custom originated in the 14th century when it was believed lucky to have a piece of the newlyweds’ clothing. Many times, the bride’s dress would be destroyed by the eager and drunken guests in their attempt to gain a lucky charm. In order to prevent this from happening, the bride’s garters were removed and thrown to the unruly crowd to distract them. Today, the tradition of tossing the wedding garter is much tamer.

History of Wedding Favors

Wedding favors have become an important part of marriage celebrations around the world. The tradition dates back thousands of years. Favors were given to guests in appreciation for sharing in the newlyweds’ special day.

Favors are considered among the most important wedding accessory. Some couples like to use unique favors, while others like to give more practical gifts to their guests. Chocolates, picture frames, candles and candleholders are some of the most popular wedding favors. Brides seek to make a statement with their favors. Personalized wedding favors provide an especially effective way to display a brief message to the reception guests.Wedding favors are as diverse as the cultures surrounding them. Different cultures have various traditional wedding favors that they use. There are some similarities among many of the traditions. For example, it is quite common for many cultures to provide each guest with a wedding favor that contains five candies. Each piece represents one of the five common wedding wishes: health, wealth, happiness, long life and fertility.

Historically favors were initially given in the form of sugar, which was a costly commodity and only given by the wealthy. These sugary treats were fancily packaged and presented to guests at celebrations such as nuptial celebrations, birthdays, christenings, by only the wealthy. When sugar became more accessible, this custom was no longer limited to the wealthy. The most common sugared treat was the almond. Almonds represent the bitter aspects of life and the sugar represents the sweetness of life. Today, the tradition of giving five sugared almonds is still practiced. Many brides package them in netting, favor boxes, tins and gift bags.

Bridal Showers

Some believe the tradition began in Holland when a poor couple was denied the bridal dowry because of the groom’s lowly status as a miller. The groom’s friends showered the bride with gifts to help them set up housekeeping.Wedding showers derived from the time when men would prove their intent by bringing gifts to the bride’s father. Livestock, food, land and cloth were given to the bride’s family as “payment” for the bride. Eventually, this ritual evolved into men giving gifts of enticement to the daughter to show he was a man of good intentions. Fabrics for clothes, the finest dishes and jewelry would prove that he could provide a good home for her.

Today, friends of the bride and groom ‘shower’ the bride (and sometimes the groom) with gifts to start their new lives together. It is believed to be good luck if the first gift the bride opens at her shower is the first gift she uses after the wedding.

Bachelor Parties

Bachelor parties originated with the soldiers of ancient Sparta. The groom feasted with his male friends the night before the wedding, pledging his loyalty and friendship to them. The soldiers provided the loose women, food, drinks and good times for true male bonding. The function of this rite of passage was simply to say good-bye to the wild escapades of bachelorhood while swearing the groom’s continued allegiance to his comrades.

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