Butler Wedding Rituals Explained (pg. 2)
The Wedding Ring
The idea of the wedding ring itself dates back to ancient times. At that time, a cave-man husband would wrap circles of braided grass around his bride's wrists and ankles, believing it would keep her spirit from leaving her body. The bands evolved into leather, carved stone, metal, and later silver and gold.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
The odds are pretty strong that you'll be wearing all of the above on your wedding day, but do you know why? The old stands for a bride's ties to her past; the new represents good fortune and success in the bride's new life. The borrowed symbolizes the love and support of her family and friends; and the blue is for faithfulness and loyalty.
Carrying The Bride Across The Threshold
This wedding custom originated in Rome. The bride had to be carried across the threshold because she was (or pretended to be) reluctant to enter the bridal chamber. In those days, it was considered ladylike to be hesitant at this point - or at least look hesitant. (Another legend has it that the bride was carried over the threshold to protect her from any evil spirits lingering there).
The Best Man And Ushers
Many years ago, a potential groom would take a group of his friends with him while in pursuit of the bride to help him capture her. Often as not, young brides were "kidnapped" from a protective family which typically included a few big brothers. Sometimes there would even be a battle between competing suitors. If a potential groom wanted to show that he meant business, he took along the "best man" for the job of helping him fight for his love.
The Maid Of Honor And Bridesmaids
These were the women who helped the bride get away from her overprotective family and other suitors, so that she could be captured by the groom she wanted. When such quaint methods of getting the bride and groom together faded in popularity, the honor roles survived.
Giving Away The Bride
Back when a daughter was considered her father's possession, some formal transfer was necessary during the wedding ritual. Today, the custom symbolizes the parents acceptance of the brides passage from child to adult, and a sign of their blessing of her marriage to her chosen groom.
Veils were originally meant to symbolize the virgin brides innocence and modesty. These days, our society considers the veil a purely romantic custom. Although, in parts of the Middle East and Asia, the veil is still used to hide the brides face completely. The first lace veil is said to have been worn by a woman named Nelly Curtis, George Washington's adopted daughter, who married one of his aides. Apparently, the first time the aide ever saw her, she was behind a lace curtain. He was mesmerized by her beauty. As the story goes, Nelly made herself a lace veil for the ceremony, in an effort to duplicate the effect.
Tossing The Bouquet And Garter
This dignified custom began in the thirteen hundreds in France, where the guests used to chase the bride and tear off her garter because they believed it was good luck. To save herself, her leg, and her dress, the bride began removing it voluntarily and tossing it into the eager crowd. Later, the bouquet was added to this toss. The lucky recipient of the bouquet is now believed to be the next woman in the group to get married. The man who catches the garter is supposed to be the next groom.