Lizzie and Alex Anderson’s wedding.
Stratford-Perth Archives

jpg, SF

Cindy J. Sinko

Stratford-Perth Archives

“Something old, something new

Something borrowed, something blue.”

We all know this verse and, when we hear it, we know that it is associated with weddings. Spring is in the air and so is wedding season. Many couples are preparing for their upcoming nuptials, with May and June being the most popular months to get married. There are many interesting facts, customs and traditions from around the world when it comes to weddings.

Some believed that June is the best month to marry, as June derives its name from Juno the Roman goddess of marriage. It is also believed that if you married in June you would be blessed with prosperity and happiness. Another idea regarding why people married in May and June is associated with hygiene. Many only took baths once a year, and it was usually in May or June. The custom of the bride carrying flowers came from this, as it was common for the happy couple not to smell the best. Flowers could cover up the odour. These days, brides carry flowers out of tradition.

The ancient Greeks and Romans thought wearing a veil protected the bride from evil spirits, and brides have worn veils ever since. The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revellers broke a loaf of bread over the bride’s head for fertility’s sake.

And wearing a white wedding dress only came into fashion after Queen Victoria wore one for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840; prior to this, a bride just wore her best clothing.

According to Hindu tradition, rain is actually good luck on your wedding day. In Egypt, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day for good luck. In Czechoslovakia, peas are thrown at the newlyweds instead of rice. In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds’ home as a symbol of luck and fertility.

In Finland, a tradition is for the bride-to-be to go door to door with a pillowcase to receive wedding gifts. She is usually accompanied by an older man who represents long marriage. He may even be holding an umbrella over her head. This symbolizes protecting and sheltering the new bride.

In Poland, the tradition to invite the wedding guest in person is still upheld. Many couples, accompanied by their parents, visit their family and friends to hand them their wedding invitation personally. The married couple is welcomed at the reception by the parents with bread and salt. The bread symbolizes the prosperity, and salt stands for hardship of life. The parents wish that the couple never go hungry and learn how to deal with everyday hardships together.

In Sweden, the bride and groom usually go down the aisle together, rather than the bride being escorted by her father. The symbolism is that of a free man and a free woman voluntarily uniting in marriage.

There are many more interesting facts, customs and traditions associated with weddings. Some of us still adhere to traditions while others like to make new ones.

The Stratford-Perth Archives is located at 4273 Line 34 (Highway 8), just west of Stratford. We are open for research from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Please call 519-271-0531 ext. 259 or email with any questions.

Source link