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The Tudor Wedding

Updated on August 24, 2017

Tudor and other Wedding Traditions

This article does not just tell you about Tudor wedding traditions, it also will give you a few other wedding Traditions. Have you ever wondered why we tie cans or shoes to the back a newlywed's car? Or what kind of flowers one of King Henry the 8th many brides might have had? I will tell you in this lens, which gives a very short history of Tudor weddings and a few other wedding traditions.

This can also tell you what you would need to do if you were to put on a Tudor Wedding. What is nice even though it is further in the past than say the Regency Era, there are so many accounts of the traditions and how they put on their weddings.

I painted this Tudor style woman.

Tossing the Shoe

Have you ever wondered why they tie shoes or cans to a car of a couple who have just gotten married? Well this tradition started in the Tudor times. The guest would actually throw shoes at the bride and groom. Great luck will be bestowed on the couple if the couple or their carriage were hit.

In the past some people would right messages in these shoes. I wrote a short message in these shoes of mine.

Wedding Flowers

Tudor tradition dealing with flowers. Tudor brides would carry bunches of marigolds dipped into rosewater. These flowers were later consumed by the bride. These dipped flowers were thought to be an aphrodisiac.

Flowers have almost always been a part of weddings. In the medieval times knights would wear his lady's colors, it was his way of saying I love you. Each color and flowers has it's own special meaning, by wearing certain colors he would be able to send his lady a message. Yellow roses mean friendship and red roses mean love. Not all of the flowers carry good tidings, some flowers stand for fear and mistrust.

This is a picture of flowers I took of my mom's garden.

Wedding Cakes and Reception

A wedding cake was actually little wheat cakes broken over the brides head, of course to bring good luck and also to bring fertility.

Maybe that is why brides and grooms try to smash cake into their spouses faces.

Grooms cakes started around this time in England. These were fruit cakes normally and they were made with almonds, raisins, cherries and marzipan. These days we keep the top layer of the cake for a year after the wedding and eat it as a couple. I've heard it also called a christening cake, which was kept until the birth of their first child. Today grooms cakes are more likely to be chocolate.

The bride's male attendants, would be older than the ring-bearers of today, but not yet men.

Most people would serve wine or ale in the churchyard. It would be their version of the modern day cocktail hour, as a person from a church that does not condone drinking in any way this is a tradition that I have only recently learned about. (I learned of it on Four Weddings, a TLC program.)

The richer people would host a feast at the brides or maybe the grooms home. This could include music, dancing and if they were really rich full plays. After this the wedding couple would be put to bed. Creepy tradition where witnesses took them to their chambers and then left. In the morning they would check the sheets to make sure they had...relations. Marriages could be easily made void if this did not happen. Henry the eighth married a woman, did not sleep with her, voided the match and from then on called her his beloved sister. Much better then losing your head over that fat, ugly, cheater.

The Dress

I bought the dress at good will for one dollar.

If you read my earlier lenses you might know that most brides didn't buy a new dress for their wedding day. They would wear instead their best dress. If they did have a dress made, that dress would become their new best dress and they would wear their wedding dress on other special events. A woman would wear many colors, light colors were often chosen because darker colors meant you had to work. Green was to be avoided at all cost and never would be used for any wedding. Green was said to be unlucky and not because of the evil spirits. "Marry in green, ashamed to be seen" was a saying stemming from the insult flung at young ladies. To say a girl had a green gown, meant that she was a loose woman, because her dress would have grass stains from rolling around in the grass with her lovers. Though some women had white wedding dresses, it was not popular until Queen Victoria wear white when she married Prince Albert.

This dress is handmade and is red velvet.

Evil Spirits

Many traditions today were actually started to ward off evil spirits. Of course so many things we do today were meant to stem off evil spirits and ghosts. We still say bless you when someone sneezes, which started because they believed that when you sneezed your spirit was escaping out of your body.

Wedding veils stemmed from the fact that people believed the bride was vulnerable to evil spirits. The veil was meant to disguise her face in attempts to trick the spirits. Tricking evil spirits is also why the wedding party wears the same thing. They would dress like the bride to fool them into leaving the bride alone. In olden times people would play tricks on the bride and groom so the evil spirits might feel sorry for them and let them be.

I drew this bride a couple of years ago.

Rings

In Tudor times each semiprecious stone had it's own special meaning. The Church of Rome were the ones who determined what those special meanings were. Emerald green meant tranquility and or happiness. Diamonds were not forever, but it did stand for invulnerable faith. Ruby was for glory and sapphire was for hope. Crystal indicated that you had simplicity and purity. Amethyst was for humility and onyx meant sincerity.

Sometime later they started putting your lover's hair in a ring instead. This was for a long engagement. The male would wear this.

This ring is the classic cameo, I got this from my mother for Christmas and it is by Park Lane.

The Invited Poll - This is a photo that I took of my classic writing items.

Invitations were often informal. One would either ask the invitee in person or it would be spread by word of mouth. If the invitee lived faraway a hand written note would have been sent.

How Would You like people invited to your party?

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Learning Poll

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Tudor Wedding Costume

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    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      I loved the pictures of the dresses. I love tudor and medieval fashions (but only what the rich would wear, and I'd probably have been a serf in a muddy brown sack if I'd been born then haha)

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      This was interesting. I especially enjoyed the segment with your Henry the VIII comment. :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Very interesting how our beliefs today were shaped by old traditions. Loved this.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

      Good to know where some of these rather strange customs began!

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 5 years ago from USA

      It's very interesting to read about these wedding traditions.

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      Very nice pictures. Nice presentation.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Learned some really cool stuff from your lens.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Great lens and beautifully presented and well researched information. *Blessed* and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • Stacy Birch profile image
      Author

      Stacy Birch 5 years ago

      @JZinoBodyArt: I haven't read that, but I'm sure that's true.

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      Very cool lens! I've been to a couple weddings in the past year and wondered quite a bit about tradition and where it came from. I don't know if its true but I was told that the bride's maids and groom's men walk out of the church as couples before the actual bride and groom to confuse the spirits. Interesting stuff!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Very interesting lens. I think we would live in better world if everybody knew a little bit more about traditions. Thanks for your beautiful presentation.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      Great lens. Now I know the reason behind some of those wedding traditions.

    • TZiggy profile image

      TZiggy 6 years ago

      Interestingly, my sister insisted on marigolds for her wedding. I will have to refer this lens over to her. I do not believe it was due to the tudor theme. She would be greatly interested.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 6 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Great lens! Love learning things about traditions such as in weddings. I had no idea where some of these things we do in a wedding comes from! Very informative. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Stacy, once again you have created a delightful bit of history. Oh to be so lucky to be hit by a shoe for good luck!