top of page

Unveiling Tradition: Unpacking the "Why" Behind 5 Time-Honored Wedding Customs

As you plan your dream wedding or even as you attend the wedding of others, have you ever wondered the “why” behind wildly accepted wedding traditions?

Weddings, steeped in tradition and rich with symbolism, are timeless celebrations of love and commitment. Many of the customs we observe today have deep-rooted historical and cultural significance. 

Let’s take a moment to unpack the "why" behind some traditional wedding customs, exploring the meanings and sentiments that make these practices enduring elements of the matrimonial tapestry.

1. The White Wedding Dress: A Symbol of Purity

The tradition of wearing a white wedding dress can be traced back to the Victorian era when Queen Victoria chose to wear a white gown for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. White has since symbolized purity and innocence for a bride on her wedding day. However, it's essential to recognize that the choice of a white dress is a personal one, and many modern brides opt for colors that resonate with their individual style and preferences!

Photo By: Lindy Picciotti Photography

2. Exchanging Rings: A Circle of Eternal Love

The custom of exchanging wedding rings dates back to ancient Egypt, where rings were believed to symbolize eternity. The circular shape represents never-ending love, with no beginning or end. The tradition evolved through various cultures, and today, the exchange of rings is a universal symbol of commitment and the enduring nature of marriage.

Photo By: Macy O'Connell Photography

3. Throwing Rice or Confetti: Wishing Prosperity and Fertility

The tradition of throwing rice or confetti at newlyweds has roots in various cultures and symbolizes fertility and prosperity. The act is a wish for the couple's abundance in their life together. In some cultures, rice is considered a symbol of life and fertility, while confetti represents the joy and celebration surrounding the union.

Photo By: Macy O'Connell Photography

4. Cutting the Cake: Symbolizing Unity and Prosperity

Cutting the wedding cake is a tradition that dates back to ancient Rome when the cake was broken over the bride's head to symbolize fertility and prosperity. Today, the act of cutting the cake together represents the couple's first joint task as a married pair and their commitment to sharing their life.

Photo By: Bri and Brycee Photography

5. The Bouquet Toss: Sharing Good Fortune

The tradition of the bouquet toss originated in England, where it was considered good luck to touch the bride. To escape the eager crowd, the bride would toss her bouquet and make a quick getaway. Today, catching the bouquet is often seen as a symbol of good fortune and the belief that the next to marry will be the one to catch it.

Photo By: Marie Ellen Photography

As we unpack the "why" behind traditional wedding customs, we discover the wealth of history, symbolism, and cultural significance that these practices carry. While some couples choose to adhere strictly to tradition, others opt to put their own spin on these customs, creating a wedding ceremony that reflects their unique love story. Whatever path is chosen, the beauty of weddings lies in the depth of meaning behind each ritual and the joyous celebration of two lives intertwined in love and commitment! 


bottom of page