The History of Our Wedding Traditions

Couples usually follow a few traditions during their ceremony and reception. Some couples adopt traditions from different cultures to make their wedding unique. Where did our traditions come from? Keep reading, because we are sharing a little history about our wedding traditions.

Wedding Traditions

Roman Wedding Traditions


Ancient Roman law required ten witnesses. That is probably how the first wedding party formed. Weddings were much like a business transaction. The best man was a representative with good swordsmanship to help the groom deal with the business transaction and round up a runaway bride. Today, the groom brings his friend for emotional support. In ancient Greek and Roman ceremonies, brides and grooms were adorned with garlands to represent fertility and the beginning of their life together. The 1840 marriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert changed wedding bouquets to the beautiful variety of flowers we love today.

Wedding Traditions

Wedding Traditions from the Dark Ages


The garter toss originated in the Dark Ages. It was thought to be good luck to rip a piece of the bride’s wedding gown for a keepsake. To appease the guests and save the gown, the groom tossed the garter to the crowd. Tossing the garter provided a decoy for their escape. The honeymoon was something quite different during those times, and the garter was a needed diversion. Today, the groom removes the garter during the reception and tosses it into the crowd.


Native American Wedding Traditions


If you are searching for customs to incorporate into your wedding ceremony that acknowledge nature and spiritual forces, you might consider Native American wedding traditions. Native American culture involves rituals that revolve around a deep respect for the universe and natural forces. Weddings typically take place in the evening. Water is a powerful symbol during the ceremony. The bride and groom wash their hands to symbolize washing away the past and embracing the future together. Traditionally, a vase is made by the groom’s family, and given during the ceremony for the bride to drink from one end, and for the groom to drink from the other. This ritual symbolizes a union of the couple. Contemporary wedding traditions incorporate silver wedding rings with turquoise for the bride, and opal for the groom. You might include flutes, drums, vocal performances and dancing during the reception.

Wedding Traditions

Irish Wedding Traditions


While you are choosing something borrowed and something blue, you might also choose some unique Irish customs. Add horseshoe charms to your jewelry or bouquet for some added luck. One of the oldest Irish wedding traditions is a handfasting ceremony. Handfasting dates back to 7,000 B.C., at a time when ancient Celts officially joined in the bonds of matrimony by handfasting. The couple was met with a feast to celebrate their engagement. During an engagement ceremony, a Druid priest bound their hands together with a braided chord. The handfasting ritual was later adopted by Christian Irish as the exclusive method of marriage, and is still recognized as a legal marriage today in some villages in Ireland.


Wales, Scotland and England


These countries have a common tradition that dates back to the 1700’s in Wales at a time when the marriages of gypsies were not accepted by the church. The ritual was known as a Besom wedding, named after the Besom broom. Broom jumping became a popular trend and marriage right in Scotland and England in the 1800s. A broom jumping ceremony involves placing a decorative broom on the ground in front of the bride and groom. The couple holds hands and jumps over the broom together. This symbolizes jumping into a new life together.


Pacific Islander Traditions


Pacific Islander wedding traditions are focused on the beauty of the islands and family. Necklaces are made from island flowers and placed on the bride and groom. These garlands are commonly known as a lei. The lei symbolizes respect and love between the couple. The couple usually wears all white during their ceremony. Traditionally, the groom wears a red or black sash around his waist. In some cultures, the bride wears a gown from tapa cloth, which comes from the bark of Mulberry trees. The bride wears a different gown during her reception. The Hawaiian Wedding Song is performed during the reception. Two white doves are released, symbolizing the beginning of a new life together in love and peace.


Greek Wedding Traditions


11th century Greek wedding traditions give us a crown. The bride and groom are both crowned by a priest, and the crowns are tied together three times by the Koumbaros or sponsor. A tied ribbon completes the ritual and symbolizes the union. The ceremony, the Koumbaros distributes a lapel pin with a ribbon to the guests. Food is an important part of Greek wedding traditions. The traditional foods include lamb or beef stew with orzo, tiropita and baklava. Add Jordan almonds to your candy bar. You might want to do the dollar dance. This is where guests toss dollar bills at the bride and groom as they dance.

Crystal Ballroom at Sunset Harbor

Crystal Ballroom at Sunset Harbor


Bring imagination to Crystal Ballroom at Sunset Harbor. This all-inclusive wedding venue includes the furnishings, décor and services for the ceremony space and reception ballroom. Meet with professional wedding designers to create an unforgettable experience. Choose your flowers, colors and décor, and let the designers bring your dream wedding to life. Contact Crystal Ballroom to begin planning.