Wedding Traditions Plus Vintage Wedding Fashions
Old Wedding Traditions
By Sharon Stajda
I loved putting this article together as I went about researching Wedding traditions, I was surprised to find so many old traditions that we still do today. So many of these old wedding customs have literally been around and upheld for many centuries. Are you planning your wedding? If so, I hope you will incorporate a few of these old traditions in your wedding plans. Perhaps you will include something borrowed or blue or maybe you will toss your bouquet to the unmarried ladies. Do you know how those traditions got started? Well, if not I think you will enjoy this article, and be as surprised as I was about just how some of these traditions got their start! Plus while doing my research I discovered so much about bridal fashion I want to share. Did you know in the 1850s brides did not often wear white? I think you are going to love all the fashion trivia I have added for your enjoyment.
1850s Wedding Gown - puffed sleeve, and well fitted waistline...
Weddings In The 1850s Were Kept Very Solemn
Did you ever wonder when it became a tradition to use Wagner's "Here Comes the Bride" melody to walk down the Isle? Well, it was made popular in the mid-1800s. in Weddings in the 1850s were often a very solemn affair. The over-piety of earlier years still held for most church ceremonies. However, sometimes, organ music before or after the marriage vows was permitted, and actually soon became customary. At first, the organist was left to select the music as he pleased, and most often he would make a selection from Bach or a piece from one of the other classical composers of the day. However, Gradually two favorites pieces of music appeared, The Bridal Chorus from Wagner's Lohengrin, and the Wedding March which Mendelssohn wrote for Midsummer's Nights Dream. Everyone knew the opening strains of Wagner's "Here Comes the Bride", also the gay Mendelssohn music which accompanies the wedding party as they march away from the altar. Thus was set the wedding's traditional musical entrance and exit, which has now been traditionally used now for over 100 years.
Wedding Gowns Fashion - In the early to mid-1800s wedding gowns were full with a puffed sleeve and a waistline that would accentuate the bride's hourglass figure. White bridal gowns were not always the choice of a bride in the 1800s.
Traditions of 1860s "One Must Try To Out Do The Other"
Beginning in 1860, "Godey's Ladies Book" began to publish its first annual color spread of bridal costumes. The "Godey's Ladies Book " thereafter made this spread of bridal costumes a standard feature in each issue. In these issues, it became apparent that bridesmaids sometimes also wore white, and that brides veil was more often light in color to add a contrast to the bride's outfit. In America, with its aristocracy of wealth, It became a trend among the wealthy to make all attempts to out dazzle one another when it came to the bride's trousseau.
The 1870s Diamonds Became Popular
The Bling Had To Be In The Ring ... In the 1870s
In 1870 brides hope to receive an engagement ring that had diamonds as well as pearls... Diamonds and pearls were coveted and the preferred engagement ring to receive in 1870. It was thought of as a trendy little bling that was suggestive of a diamond tiara across the bride's finger.
Weddings In The 1880's - It became Important To Document The Day With Photos
In this decade the family picture album became quite general throughout the land. Even our relatives who were farming the western prairies took time out for a wedding photographer or two. George Eastman's Kodak camera also came on the market, and with it the opportunity for the informal snapshots to document a wedding with personal photos.
Weddings From The 1890s - Home Weddings Were In Vogue
Let The Good Times Roll - Weddings Now became very joyous and gay... And often held in the bride's home.
In contrast with the over-formality of the preceding decades, the 1890s were truly "gay." This is revealed by the photographs of our relatives who married in the 1890s. The home rather than church weddings came back into favor. The weddings of the early 1800's were formal, with large bridal parties held in a church. In the late 1800's it went from having many bridesmaids to smaller wedding parties, held in the family home.
Something Old Became Popular in the Early 1900s
"Something Old" symbolizes a link to the bride's family and their past. The item most often will be a family heirloom, that the bride will wear or carry on her wedding day. Perhaps a piece of jewelry or a hankie from Grandma. The bride may also choose to wear a family members wedding dress to honor, and represent an old object. "Something New" represents good fortune and success, for a wonderful new life. A bride may choose to say her shoes are new or use her wedding gown as the new item. Many choose to wear a new piece of jewelry. This newly purchased jewelry may then be handed down as "Something Old", to future children. "Something Borrowed" symbolizes the love, and support of family and friends in times of need. A borrowed object can be a token from a friend, such as a lace handkerchief. Again a wonderful piece of family jewelry, to be used just for the day. "Something Blue" is an object that symbolizes faithfulness, and loyalty. Most Brides choose a blue garter or ribbon. Many have blue added to their flowers. "A Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe," is a blessing for wealth.
The 1900s - Gibson Girl and Arrow Collar Boy
Something old, something new, something borrowed
This was the era of the Gibson Girl and Arrow Collar Boy. The dawn of a new century. Our relatives married in that era wanted would most likely desire something new as well as something old. New indeed was the diamond engagement ring, brides preferred a diamond solitaire in a high gold-prong" Tiffany ring". The Tiffany solitaire setting-became America's favorite engagement ring, and remains a favorite even today. New also was the high pompadour be-ribboned hairdo, and the tie wore ascot fashion for the groom to wear on his special day. The "scarf pin-bows" made suitable inexpensive gifts for bridesmaids and ushers.
Wedding History 1910 - The Decade of The New Woman...
The Bride Now Wore Long Flowing Skirts, With Empire Waist And The Merry Widow Hat...
This was the decade when the "new woman" of suffragette equal rights era was coming into vogue. However, even with such a tradition-hallowed ceremony as marriage, most brides found themselves thinking about the latest in wedding finery. Fashion trends of the day gave way to the "Merry Widow" hat and the high waisted long flowing wedding gown.
Wedding History 1920s - Let's Elope !
Gone were many time-hallowed institutions-along with the corseted figure. The woman of the 1920s bared her legs.
Hip-hooray! The world has been made "safe for democracy", and we in America had not a care in the world. Unlimited industrial production, increasing stock dividends, silk shirts for day laborers, chicken in every pot, and two cars in every garage. The spirit of these gay irresponsible times was carried over into many a wedding picture of the day... Informality, and more informality! Elopements galore, with a justice of the peace instead of a minister. Gone were many time-hallowed institutions-along with the corseted figure bridal gown. Now a girl could show her legs.
So, Where Did The Tradition Of Throwing The Bouquet Come From?
Throwing the wedding bouquet dates back many centuries with its origins being in England.
So, have you ever been the one who caught the bouquet at the wedding? Tossing the bouquet has been a long-standing tradition.
Throwing the wedding bouquet dates back many centuries, with its origins being in England. It all started long ago when it was a custom for wedding guests to grab at the brides clothing and flowers. They did in hopes of share in the joy and happiness of the new bride. It would seem they thought a memento of sorts from the bride's dress or flowers would help to pass the joy on among the guests.
The bride would naturally try to protect her clothing and to escape the mad rush of people. It came to be that the bride would toss her bouquet of flowers into the crowd in hopes of satisfying the guests need to grab a memento. Luckily the tradition of the bouquet toss is a little more civilized today, and perhaps more fun than it was long ago.
There Are All Kinds Of Weddings?
What kind of wedding would you prefer?
Wonderful Vintage Wedding GownsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Wedding Ring Trivia...
Some theorize the circlet is derived from fetters ( chain or shackle for the feet) women by captive women in medieval times. While others accredit it to the exchange of tokens to signify good faith or friendship. Whatever the origin, the wedding ring is certainly here to stay. Manufacturers have proof of the fact. Wide wedding bands, which are again popular, have their inspiration deep in history. The wide gold band ring became popular in Shakespeare time, they were of chased designs, and sentimental inscriptions were added to the inside of the band.
So, why is the wedding ring worn on the fourth finger? The habit of wearing the wedding symbol on the fourth finger of the left hand is based upon a Grecian fable that the artery from that finger flows directly to one's heart.
During the Elizabethan era, the trend decreed that the wedding ring is worn on the thumb. Use of the wedding symbol was also evident in Egyptian culture, and it is present in the form of hieroglyphics on walls of ancient tombs archaeologists have discovered. Generally, the Egyptian circlets were depicted as heavy metal bands, encrusted with precious or semiprecious stones.
The Smallest wedding circlet (ring) is believed to have been made for Princess Mary, daughter of King Henry VIII. The Princes was betrothed to the Dolphin of France, Sor. of King Francis I. The ceremony was performed Oct. 5, 1518. The princess was two years of age, and her spouse was born Feb. 28, 1518.
The ring came into use in Christian ceremonies about 870, authorities state and was in use in biblical times by the Hebrews. Though fashion decreed trends towards narrow bands and introduced other whimsies, the gypsy always has held firm to tradition. The broadness and weight of the golden ring decree and denote the position of the gypsy couple in the tribe. The bigger and heavier the circlet, the bigger and better the standing of the wedded pair.
Before 1940-only 15% of the bridegrooms received rings. Then with the outbreak of World War II, the double ring ceremony increased to 6O %. With the Korean war, the number increased to 70%.
A Bit Of Trivia On The Wedding Cakes
Wedding cakes in the early 1900s began to be made of white cake, and white frosting. As a rule, they were a one large layer cake, that would be decorated with real flowers. This was a big change from the typical wedding cakes of the 1800s, which were made of currant and nuts. Somewhat like our Christmas fruitcake of today, with a sugar glaze. In the 1900s a grooms cake was also included in the wedding feast. The groom's cake was of the dark fruity nature, it was meant to last. You see the groom's cake was to be cut and wrapped, and single girls were to take it home to tuck under their pillow, for perhaps sweet dreams.