From giving a knife as a wedding gift to carrying the bride across the threshold, many superstitions have surrounded weddings throughout history. Each country has their own beliefs, but there are many customs in Western weddings that are still practiced today. This blog post will go over some traditions regarding the bride’s dress and apparel, and where these traditions originated from.
Here Comes the Bride, All Dressed in White
Until Queen Victoria donned a white gown for her wedding in 1840, white wasn’t a traditional color for wedding dresses. Since white fabric was costlier and harder to keep clean compared to other colors, only the rich brides wore it in order to flaunt their high status and affluence. Because of this, the color white was only associated with wealth and power.
Instead of all the fur, gold, jewels, and luxurious colors that most royal brides wore during that time, Queen Victoria wore a simple white lace dress with a flower crown. This was thought of as unusual, and her underwhelming dress was reported on for months. Surprisingly, this minimalistic gown caught on and spread all throughout the Western world. It was with Queen Victoria that the color white became associated with purity, virginity, and innocence. Today, most brides continue on with Queen Victoria’s bold yet simple statement and choose white for their bridal gowns.
Wearing a Veil
This tradition started with the ancient Romans. They believed in evil spirits that roamed the world, looking to curse anyone that was weak and vulnerable. During her wedding, a bride would wear a veil to protect herself from evil spirits that were jealous of her happiness. The veil disguised her from demons and to helped ward off any ill will they would bring upon her and her marriage. While we do not hold this belief today, many brides love to wear veils because of their elegant, flowing appearance.
Tossing the Garter
Legend has it that the person who catches the bride’s garter will be the next one to get married. However, this tradition has some rather crude origins. In the Dark Ages, family and friends would wait outside of the bedchamber until they were shown any sort of evidence that the marriage had been consummated, such as sheets, stockings, or a garter. The bride’s garments were seen as a symbol of good luck, so everyone wanted a piece.
This turned into a game of rowdy guests that would try to strip the bride of her garter. They would even break into the newlyweds’ room to take the bride’s clothes right off her body. To distract the crowd, the bride would throw her garter into the crowd and make a quick getaway. Today, we celebrate this with much less vulgarity. After the groom removes the bride’s garter, he throws it to his groomsmen, and the man who catches it is said to be the next to marry. The bride does the same with her bouquet to her bridesmaids – a much more respectable tradition!
Most brides would scream upon seeing a spider on their wedding dress, but this is actually good fortune! According to old English folklore, seeing a spider on or inside of your wedding dress is good luck. Maybe let the spider hang out a while before you swat it away – it could cast a positive omen on your marriage.
Weddings have taken place throughout all of history, so it makes sense that some weird superstitions and traditions have developed over time. Get your good luck dress at All About the Gown by Judy, Inc.! We’ll get you and your groom perfectly suited up for your special day!