|| Giving the Bride Away?.
In times when women were granted few privileges and even
fewer personal rights, the bride was literally given away to the groom by the
father, usually in exchange for monetary gain.
|Today, it is seen as symbolic of the blessings and
support of her union as a promise of continued trust and affection. Often when
the question is asked by a clergy during the ceremony, "Who gives this woman to
be married to this man,?, the father's response is, "Her mother and I."
Why does the Bride Carry
Flowers?For centuries, flowers have stood for a variety of emotions and
values. Roses for love, lilies for virtue and so on. In ancient marriages, the
brides carried herbs beneath their veilsto symbolize fidelity. Greek brides
carried ivy as a symbol of never-ending love. Orange blossoms, (the world
renowned wedding flower) were chosen by the Spaniards to represent happiness
and fulfillment, because the orange tree flowers and bears fruit at the same
time. During even earlier times of "primitive marriage," when the fear of
demons was most prevalent, the brides carried stinking garlands of herbs and
spices for the purpose of frightening off evil spirits...Today, brides carry
flowers in the color scheme of their wedding, bringing beauty and elegance as
well as old world customs to their special day.
Why Does the Bride Wear White?
color white has been a symbol of joyous celebration since early Roman times. At
the beginning to the twentieth century, white stood for purity as well. Today,
it holds its original meaning of happiness and joy.
Why Does the Bride Wear a Veil?
The brides veil and bouquet are of greater antiquity than her white
gown. Her veil, which was yellow in ancient Greece and red in ancient Rome,
usually shrouded her from head to foot, and has since the earliest of times,
denoted the subordination of a woman to man. The thicker the veil, the more
traditional the impication of wearing it.
Why a Wedding Ring? The circular shape of the wedding ring has
symbolized undying, unending love since the days of early Egyptians. A
primitive bride wore a ring of hemp or rushes, which had to be replaced often.
Durable iron was used by the Romans to symbolize the permanence of marriage.
Today's favorite is of course, gold, with it's lasting qualities of beauty and
Why the Third Finger,
Left-Hand? In ancient times, it was believed there was a vein in the third
finger of the left hand that ran directly to the heart. Thus, the ring being
placed on that finger denoted the strong connection of a heartfelt love and
commitment to one another.
Wedding Cake? Beginning in early Roman times, the cake has been a special
part of the wedding celebration. A thin loaf was broken over the brides head at
the close of the ceremony to symbolize fertility. The wheat from which it was
made, symbolized fertility and the guests eagerly picked up the crumbs as good
luck charms. During the Middle Ages, it became traditional for the couple to
kiss over a small cluster of cakes. Later, a clever baker decided to amass all
these small cakes together, covering them in frosting. Thus, the modern tiered
cake was born.
Why the Honeymoon?
In ancient times, many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice.
When early man felt it was time to take a bride, he would often carry off an
unwilling woman to a secret place where her relatives would not find them.
While the moon went through all its phases, (about 30 days) they hid from the
searchers and drank a brew made from honey. Hence, we get the word,
Sharing the Kola Nut
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