Topic 51: Weddings

Weddings are a sacred ceremony that has been committed for generations. It is a beautiful and amazing thing. It is traditionally committed by men and women and is considered to be a pledge that will last until they die. The definition for a wedding is: a marriage ceremony, especially considered as including the associated celebrations; the act or an instance of blending or joining, especially opposite or contrasting elements.

Wedding History:

It all started in around the eighteenth century. Organised religions got together and marriage became a spiritual and holy act. It was no longer just a new relationship commitment it became a man, his wife and the lord. A wedding is the most important contracted a couple and commit to. The word ‘wedding’ came from the Anglo-Saxon word wed. It was a security placed between the grooms family and the brides family when the betrothal between the two families were placed. This could happen at any age of the children, sometimes as young as 2 months. The wedding was the name given to the ceremony after the betrothal, the marriage.  From then to now many of the laws and thoughts about marriage has changed.

Traditional weddings:

Although the fashion of each wedding is different lots of people still try to keep to the traditional version a wedding but what is traditional? A traditional wedding is thought to be a white dress, 3 tower cake, church, a bouquet of flowers, The Garter etc. But what are the origins of these ‘traditional’ things.

  • The bouquet of flowers: it was traditionally a bundle of garlic and dill not flowers. It originated in the time of the Plague, where people use to carry a bunch of herbs under their noses to try and clean the air in an effort to survive. Survivors tend to have affix tremendous protective powers to anything that has provided comfort. Over time brides added flowers.
  •  The Garter came from medieval England and France guests would go into the wedding chamber and check the brides stockings to see if the wedding had been consummated. Later in France at the end of the wedding ceremony the guest would run up to the bride and rip off pieces of the brides dress, it was thought as good luck. The bride would be left in a crying mess of tattered rags. Some time in the next few generations, it was thought to be intrusive and invasive, some changed the idea and made up the idea of the Garter toss.
  • Bridesmaid dresses: Bridesmaids use to dress just like the bride so any bad spirits around could not go after the bride. Overtime a new idea of coloured dresses were introduced and the thought of the bride being the best looking girl became a more interesting idea.
  • The bridal veil: it was once used to hide the bride form evil spirit it was also used in arranged marriages to hide the brides face in case the groom didn’t like how she looked. It was/is of humility and respect before God during a religious ceremony. The Victorian ear decided that the weight, length and quality of the veil was a sign of the bride’s status. In modern times it is used as ‘icing on a cake’ to improve the look of the bride.
  • The wedding ring: it was/is a sign of commitment
  • The white wedding dress: it was meant to show the innocence of the bride and cleanliness.

Although over time the thought of a tradition wedding has changed. What was known as a traditional wedding now was completely different version of traditional in the 18th century.


  • February the 10th is World Marriage day
  • A new young bride use to need to wear her hair long and loose to show her innocence and youth
  • If the groom drops the ring during the wedding the wedding is doomed
  • seeing a rainbow, a black cat or having a cat sneeze on your wedding or the day before is thought as good luck
  •  Brides in ancient Sparta had their hair cut or shaved on their wedding night
  • About 300 weddings are held in Los Vegas each year

“I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ” -Rita Rudner 



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