12 Vintage Wedding Traditions That Should Have Never Gone Out of Style
While brides today still often make sure to have something borrowed, something old, something new, and something blue on their wedding days, the famous saying actually ends with "...and a sixpence in her shoe," a lucky coin traditionally give to the bride by her father to symbolize good health and wealth for the newlyweds. On Etsy, you can find .
These days, newlyweds typically head off to the after-party once the wedding ends, but we think it's time they started decking out their cars with "Just Married" signs and tin cans again. And while we're at it, let's bring back the "going away" outfit change. There's something special about sending off the bride and groom, smartly dressed for their next big adventure, as the bride throws the bouquet to her guests.
This Southern tradition dates back to Victorian times, when tiny charms with ribbons attached were placed inside wedding cakes. Charms would be decorated with a fortune for the future, and guests would then pull them out of the cake in a ceremony called a "cake pull" before it was sliced and served.
It used to be common for brides and grooms to write love letters to each other, which would be placed in a box and opened on their first anniversary.
Traditionally, pine trees were thought to symbolize new beginnings. In places like Holland and Switzerland, couples would plant a tree at their new house as part of the ceremony for good luck. We love the idea of a bride and groom doing this together the day before their wedding to start their lives together.
Nowadays, brides and grooms serve all kinds of desserts at their weddings (cookies! doughnuts! pie!), but there's nothing more classic than a good ol' fashioned cake. It's not as common of a practice today, but it used to be very common to freeze the top tier of your wedding cake to break out and eat together on your first anniversary.
Embraced by the South (we all know the hilarious red velvet armadillo cake scene fromSteel Magnolias!), groom's cakes are a tradition that was actually started in Victorian England, when there would be a wedding cake, a groom's cake (for the groomsmen), and a bride's cake (for the bridesmaids). While the wedding cake is usually vanilla, the groom's cake is a place to have fun with chocolate and other less traditional flavors. Because more cake = a better wedding.
Couples today often make the decision to see each other before the ceremony so they can get portraits out of the way and enjoy the post-ceremony festivities. But while the tradition of not seeing your betrothed before walking down the aisle has some icky origins (essentially, back when marriage was considered a business transaction, this was a way to ensure the groom didn't back out of the deal), we think it makes for a more emotional experience.
At the turn of the century, wedding guides advised brides that the ideal time to marry was high noon, following the British practice of lunchtime wedding receptions. (Ever wonder where the morning suit got its name? Morning weddings!) In the U.S. today, a lunchtime wedding is a great way to save some money, too, since they're not as popular as nighttime affairs.
While modern weddings often involve hors d'oeuvres, full sit-down meals, dancing, open bars, and other elaborate trappings, weddings have traditionally been much simpler affairs. As late as the 1960s, couples often skipped the post-wedding reception, and if theydidhave one, it typically involved just cake and punch.
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