Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Wedding Traditions~ Sherri Easley

 I can’t believe it is already June. I would love for just once to write this blog without saying my life has been hectic. Back in the office two days a week with special projects, and DFW Fiberfest are all hitting at the same time.

True to nature, I requested a double booth this year at Fiberfest, because preparing for a single booth wasn’t stressful enough last year. I have been busy sewing up my Harris Tweed and knitting project bags just like I waited until the last minute to prep (because I did).

Now for my blog:

When I think of June, I think of June Brides, dressed in white, carrying floral bouquets, and the happy couple eating a beautiful cake at the end.  

Today, on a radio talk show, they were talking about the weird history of a certain wedding tradition and it got me thinking…what else did I not know…

Here are a few wedding traditions and their histories from Am I the only one who didn’t know this?


From an Old English rhyme, this saying refers to the four good-luck objects a bride should have on her wedding day.

“something old” represents the couples’ past lives.

“something new” symbolizes their happy future.

“something borrowed” means incorporating an item belonging to someone who is happily married, hoping some of their good fortune rubs off.

“Something blue” represents fidelity and love.


The bouquet that a bride carries today is different for every bride, and while traditional bouquets are floral, I once saw one that was creatively made from antique broaches.

Back in ancient Greece and Rome, it was all about herbs. During that time, it was en vogue to hold aromatic bouquets of garlic, dill, and other herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. Carrying a favorite floral variety is a tradition that became popular in 1840, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert and carried a bouquet of snowdrops, his favorite flower.

*The radio station I mentioned earlier stated the reason for the bouquet was because in old days, people didn’t take baths but once a year, usually in June, and carried flowers to mask the smell. 😉


In Roman times, matching outfits meant good luck and were a common wedding tradition. Ancient Romans believed evil spirits would attend the wedding in an attempt to curse the bride and groom. To confuse the spirits, bridesmaids acted as decoys and dressed identically to the bride with the idea the spirits would be confused, leading them to leave the couple to wed.

During the same time period, the bride would walk down the aisle wearing a veil over her face to disguise herself from any evil spirits looking to ruin her wedding day.


Also traced back to the Romans, the fourth finger on the left hand was believed to be connected directly to the heart by a vein called “the vein of love.”


In olden times, it was only England’s aristocracy who used wedding invitations. The noble class would commission monks, skilled in calligraphy, to hand-write the announcements. The invitations would often depict the family crest or coat of arms and would be closed with a wax seal.

The tradition of double envelopes where the wedding invitation is enclosed in both an inner envelope and an outer envelope also originates from this practice. The courier’s journey might damage the outer envelope, so upon delivery, the outer envelope would be removed and the sealed inner envelope, with the invitation inside, would be presented to the invited guest.

Higher-quality printing became possible with the invention of the metal-plate engraving printing press in 1642, which allowed artists to engrave the invitations using an inked metal plate in reverse that was stamped onto paper. Since engraved invitations needed time to dry, tissue paper would be placed on top to prevent ink smudges. This tradition remains to this day.

We request the honour of your presence. Have you ever received a wedding invitation with “honour” spelled out with the British-style “u”? This formal spelling style lets guests know that the wedding ceremony will be held in a place of worship, like a church.


This wedding ceremony tradition dates back to a time of arranged marriages, where the “giving away” of the bride represented a transfer of ownership. Back then, young women were used as collateral and were given away in exchange for a “bride price” or dowry.


In Celtic and Hindu weddings, the bride’s and groom’s hands are joined and tied together to symbolize the couple’s commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple. The Celtic ceremony ritual is called handfasting, while in Hindu weddings, the ceremony is called the hastmelap.


Back in the day, marriage meant expansion, from starting a family to increasing one’s assets. Rice symbolized both fertility and prosperity, and tossing it at newlyweds at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony conveyed best wishes and good luck—for babies, bountiful harvests, and everything in between. Nowadays, the wedding tradition of tossing things on the couple takes many forms, from dried lavender buds and blowing bubbles to biodegradable confetti.


The tradition of a wedding cake also comes from ancient Rome, where guests broke a loaf of bread over the bride’s head to symbolize fertility. The newlyweds would share a few bites while guests would scoop up the leftover crumbs for good luck. In medieval England, the bride and groom had to try to kiss over a pile of stacked spiced buns, scones, and cookies—a precursor to the tiered wedding cakes of today—supposedly ensuring a prosperous future if they were able to successfully smooch without toppling the whole thing over.

Saving the top tier of the cake

Traditionally, the top tier of the wedding cake was saved and kept frozen to be enjoyed by the wedding couple once again at their future child’s christening. Back in the olden days, many people assumed the couple would have a baby within a year, so by preserving the wedding cake, they wouldn’t have to buy another dessert to celebrate the pregnancy or birth.


Like many Western wedding traditions, candy wedding favors also date back in history to the European aristocracy. In the 16th century, as a show of wealth, couples gave guests a bomboniere, which was a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain, and precious stones that was filled with candy or sugar cubes. Sugar was an expensive delicacy during this time period. As sugar became more affordable, bombonieres were succeeded by sugar-coated almonds. The now-traditional wedding favor of five Jordan almonds symbolizes five wishes for the newlyweds of health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.


There you have it. I knew a couple of these, but I am skeptical about a few of these. At least next time you are sitting teary eyed at a wedding, you have something else to think about.


  1. This was really interesting. I am skeptical about thinks found on the internet as the truth, but at least it is entertaining!

    1. Totally agree! As I was researching, I was skeptical on a few- especially after the radio stations reasoning for bouquet was different than this article. We may never know the truth but was especially interesting the power given to “evil spirits”


Thank you for commenting on Smart Girls Read Romance. We love readers and love their comments. We apologize that due to a few unethical spammers we've had to institute comment moderation. Please be patient with us... we DO want your genuine comments!