Truth Behind Traditions
The history of the “White Wedding” dates back to the famous marriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, but the history of the ceremony and all the traditions and superstitions that go with it can be traced back to Roman times!
Weddings are celebrated in thousands of different ways around the globe, varying from religion to religion and from country to country. Yet despite the fact that secular, non-religious weddings are becoming massively popular especially in Europe and North America, some customs have lived on. Take a look below at some of the traditions many couples follow before, during and after their wedding and find out what they actually mean!
Where Does the Hen Party Come From?
Despite its association with pre-wedding celebrations, the term dates back to the 19th century when a “hen party” was used to refer to a general get-together between women. Hen parties didn’t become the massively popular pre-wedding celebration it is today until at least the mid-1980s.
Since then, hen parties have often been portrayed in the news and media in a negative light, often drawing a connection between hen parties and over-consumption of alcohol. However, this is a common misconception as there’s so many different hen party activities out there to take part in without involving any alcohol or boozy antics!
How Do You Choose the Wedding Date?
A massively important part of planning any wedding is choosing what date to host the occasion. Couples may choose or avoid certain dates for superstitious reasons, clashes with public holidays or other significant personal or financial reasons. For example, many people tend to avoid getting married on a Friday 13th, which is considered an unlucky day in Western culture.
While many avoid public holidays due to increased costs and a lack of availability, a common tradition in the 1800s were Christmas Day weddings! Before the rise of trade unions and better employment rights, this was the only day of the year that poorer couples could get off work. These days, however, it’s much easier to take holidays at work and decide what the exact date of your wedding should be.
What Does the Bouquet Represent?
The history of flower arrangement is an entirely different story in itself, dating back over 4000 years to the time of Ancient Egypt. Over time, the symbolism of the flowers chosen for the bouquet emerged in the Middle East and Asia. This became popular in Britain during the 18th century and became a big part of wedding ceremonies in the Victorian Era just as they are today.
Traditionally, the maid of honour holds the bouquet during the actual wedding ceremony. When the bride and groom leave the service, one well-known tradition is the tossing of the bouquet into the crowd. According to folklore, the person who catches the bouquet will be the next one to get married. While the origins behind this practice are somewhat confusing, it’s believed that it could originate from the Greek myth known as “The Golden Apple of Discord”. According to legend, goddess Eris threw the apple into a crowd at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis and claimed it to be a prize for beauty, causing outrage.
Where Does the Stag Do Come From?
Unlike the hen party, stag do’s can be traced back over 2000 years to Ancient Greece where the Spartans would honour a soon-to-be-married with a toast. The American term for the celebration is “Bachelor Party”, but the first mention of the word “Bachelor” when used to refer to a single man first appeared in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
Nowadays, stag dos, like hen parties, can take many different forms and don’t necessarily follow the stereotype portrayed in the media. With changing attitudes, more people are now opting for alcohol-free stag dos for many different reasons. Whatever they may be, it’s a great way to save money and an even better way to make sure that you remember your stag do celebrations!
Why is it Called a "White Wedding"?
It’s rare these days to see a bride that isn’t wearing a white wedding dress. Whilst some choose to go for a different colour, many stick to the tradition of having a “white wedding”. However, this wasn’t always the norm… in fact, it was only made popular through the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. White was seen as a sign of wealth and sophistication, but also as a symbol of purity.
Why Do We Get on One Knee for The Proposal?
We all know that getting down on one knee and presenting the ring to your significant other is how the majority of couples start their journey into married life together. However, not many people know the exact reason why getting down on one knee is a custom that millions of people follow even today.
It’s speculated that the practice dates back to the Middle Ages when men would bow in front of the woman they loved. This can also be attributed with religion, where bowing in front of someone is seen as a sign of respect. Another theory is that it symbolises surrendering yourself to your partner by placing yourself in a vulnerable position. If that’s not the most romantic thing you’ve read all day, we’re at a loss!
If you’ve got a date for the wedding, then you’re going to want to start thinking about the hen party! Make sure you don’t waste any time and take a look at the fantastic hen party activities we have to offer and get organising the perfect last night of freedom!