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Wedding Traditions Plus Vintage Wedding Fashions

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Old Wedding Traditions

I loved putting this article together as I went about researching Wedding traditions, I was surprised to find so many old traditions that we still do today. So many of these old wedding customs have literally been around and upheld for many centuries. Are you planning your wedding? If so, I hope you will incorporate a few of these old traditions into your wedding plans. Perhaps you will include something borrowed or blue or maybe you will toss your bouquet to the unmarried ladies. Do you know how those traditions got started? Well, if not I think you will enjoy this article, and be as surprised as I was about just how some of these traditions got their start! Plus while doing my research I discovered so much about bridal fashion I want to share. Did you know in the 1850s brides did not often wear white? I think you are going to love all the fashion trivia I have added for your enjoyment.

1850s Wedding Gown - puffed sleeve, and well fitted waistline...

1850s Wedding Gown - Note the puffed sleeve, and fitted waistline...

1850s Wedding Gown - Note the puffed sleeve, and fitted waistline...

Weddings In The 1850s Were Kept Very Solemn

Did you ever wonder when it became a tradition to use Wagner's "Here Comes the Bride" melody to walk down the Isle? Well, it was made popular in the mid-1800s. in Weddings in the 1850s were often a very solemn affair. The over-piety of earlier years still held for most church ceremonies. However, sometimes, organ music before or after the marriage vows was permitted, and actually soon became customary. At first, the organist was left to select the music as he pleased, and most often he would make a selection from Bach or a piece from one of the other classical composers of the day. However, Gradually two favorites pieces of music appeared, The Bridal Chorus from Wagner's Lohengrin, and the Wedding March which Mendelssohn wrote for Midsummer's Nights Dream. Everyone knew the opening strains of Wagner's "Here Comes the Bride", also the gay Mendelssohn music which accompanies the wedding party as they march away from the altar. Thus was set the wedding's traditional musical entrance and exit, which has now been traditionally used now for over 100 years.

Wedding Gowns Fashion - In the early to mid-1800s wedding gowns were full of a puffed sleeve and a waistline that would accentuate the bride's hourglass figure. White bridal gowns were not always the choice of a bride in the 1800s.


Traditions of 1860s "One Must Try To Out Do The Other"

Beginning in 1860, "Godey's Ladies Book" began to publish its first annual color spread of bridal costumes. The "Godey's Ladies Book " thereafter made this spread of bridal costumes a standard feature in each issue. In these issues, it became apparent that bridesmaids sometimes also wore white, and that the brides veil was more often light in color to add a contrast to the bride's outfit. In America, with its aristocracy of wealth, It became a trend among the wealthy to make all attempts to out dazzle one another when it came to the bride's trousseau.


The Bling Had To Be In The Ring ... In the 1870s

In 1870 brides hope to receive an engagement ring that had diamonds as well as pearls... Diamonds and pearls were coveted and the preferred engagement ring to receive in 1870. It was thought of as a trendy little bling that was suggestive of a diamond tiara across the bride's finger.

Weddings In The 1880's - It became Important To Document The Day With Photos

In this decade the family picture album became quite general throughout the land. Even our relatives who were farming the western prairies took time out for a wedding photographer or two. George Eastman's Kodak camera also came on the market, and with it the opportunity for the informal snapshots to document a wedding with personal photos.

Weddings From The 1890s - Home Weddings Were In Vogue

Let The Good Times Roll - Weddings Now became very joyous and gay... And often held in the bride's home.

In contrast with the over-formality of the preceding decades, the 1890s were truly "gay." This is revealed by the photographs of our relatives who married in the 1890s. The home rather than church weddings came back into favor. The weddings of the early 1800's were formal, with large bridal parties held in a church. In the late 1800's it went from having many bridesmaids to smaller wedding parties, held in the family home.


"Something Old" symbolizes a link to the bride's family and their past. The item most often will be a family heirloom, that the bride will wear or carry on her wedding day. Perhaps a piece of jewelry or a hankie from Grandma. The bride may also choose to wear a family member's wedding dress to honor, and represent an old object. "Something New" represents good fortune and success, for a wonderful new life. A bride may choose to say her shoes are new or use her wedding gown as the new item. Many choose to wear a new piece of jewelry. This newly purchased jewelry may then be handed down as "Something Old", to future children. "Something Borrowed" symbolizes the love, and support of family and friends in times of need. A borrowed object can be a token from a friend, such as a lace handkerchief. Again a wonderful piece of family jewelry, to be used just for the day. "Something Blue" is an object that symbolizes faithfulness, and loyalty. Most Brides choose a blue garter or ribbon. Many have blue added to their flowers. "A Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe," is a blessing for wealth.


The 1900s - Gibson Girl and Arrow Collar Boy

Something old, something new, something borrowed

This was the era of the Gibson Girl and Arrow Collar Boy. The dawn of a new century. Our relatives married in that era wanted would most likely desire something new as well as something old. New indeed was the diamond engagement ring, brides preferred a diamond solitaire in a high gold-prong" Tiffany ring". The Tiffany solitaire setting-became America's favorite engagement ring, and remains a favorite even today. New also was the high pompadour ribboned hairdo, and the tie wore ascot fashion for the groom to wear on his special day. The "scarf pin-bows" made suitable inexpensive gifts for bridesmaids and ushers.

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Wedding History 1910 - The Decade of The New Woman...

The Bride Now Wore Long Flowing Skirts, With Empire Waist And The Merry Widow Hat...

This was the decade when the "new woman" of the suffragette equal rights era was coming into vogue. However, even with such a tradition-hallowed ceremony as marriage, most brides found themselves thinking about the latest in wedding finery. Fashion trends of the day gave way to the "Merry Widow" hat and the high waisted long flowing wedding gown.


Wedding History 1920s - Let's Elope !

Gone were many time-hallowed institutions-along with the corseted figure. The woman of the 1920s bared her legs.

Hip-hooray! The world has been made "safe for democracy", and we in America had not a care in the world. Unlimited industrial production, increasing stock dividends, silk shirts for day laborers, chicken in every pot, and two cars in every garage. The spirit of these gay irresponsible times was carried over into many a wedding picture of the day... Informality, and more informality! Elopements galore, with a justice of the peace instead of a minister. Gone were many time-hallowed institutions-along with the corseted figure bridal gown. Now a girl could show her legs.


Where Did The Tradition Of Throwing The Bouquet Come From?

Throwing the wedding bouquet dates back many centuries with its origins being in England.

So, have you ever been the one who caught the bouquet at the wedding? Tossing the bouquet has been a long-standing tradition.

Throwing the wedding bouquet dates back many centuries, with its origins being in England. It all started long ago when it was a custom for wedding guests to grab at the bride's clothing and flowers. They did in hopes of shareing in the joy and happiness of the new bride. It would seem they thought a memento of sorts from the bride's dress or flowers would help to pass the joy on among the guests.

The bride would naturally try to protect her clothing and to escape the mad rush of people. It came to be that the bride would toss her bouquet of flowers into the crowd in hopes of satisfying the guest's need to grab a memento. Luckily the tradition of the bouquet toss is a little more civilized today, and perhaps more fun than it was long ago.

There Are All Kinds Of Weddings?

Wedding Ring Trivia...

Some theorize the circlet is derived from fetters ( chain or shackle for the feet) women by captive women in medieval times. While others accredit it to the exchange of tokens to signify good faith or friendship. Whatever the origin, the wedding ring is certainly here to stay. Manufacturers have proof of the fact. Wide wedding bands, which are again popular, have their inspiration deep in history. The wide gold band ring became popular in Shakespeare's time, they were of chased designs, and sentimental inscriptions were added to the inside of the band.

So, why is the wedding ring worn on the fourth finger? The habit of wearing the wedding symbol on the fourth finger of the left hand is based upon a Grecian fable that the artery from that finger flows directly to one's heart.

During the Elizabethan era, the trend decreed that the wedding ring is worn on the thumb. Use of the wedding symbol was also evident in Egyptian culture, and it is present in the form of hieroglyphics on walls of ancient tombs archaeologists have discovered. Generally, the Egyptian circlets were depicted as heavy metal bands, encrusted with precious or semiprecious stones.

The Smallest wedding circlet (ring) is believed to have been made for Princess Mary, daughter of King Henry VIII. The Princes was betrothed to the Dolphin of France, Sor. of King Francis I. The ceremony was performed Oct. 5, 1518. The princess was two years of age, and her spouse was born Feb. 28, 1518.

The ring came into use in Christian ceremonies about 870, authorities state, and was in use in biblical times by the Hebrews. Though fashion decreed trends towards narrow bands and introduced other whimsies, the gypsy always has held firm to tradition. The broadness and weight of the golden ring decree and denote the position of the gypsy couple in the tribe. The bigger and heavier the circlet, the bigger and better the standing of the wedded pair.

Before 1940-only 15% of the bridegrooms received rings. Then with the outbreak of World War II, the double-ring ceremony increased to 6O%. With the Korean war, the number increased to 70%.



A Bit Of Trivia On The Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes in the early 1900s began to be made of white cake, and white frosting. As a rule, they were a one large layer cake, that would be decorated with real flowers. This was a big change from the typical wedding cakes of the 1800s, which were made of currant and nuts. Somewhat like our Christmas fruitcake of today, with a sugar glaze. In the 1900s a groom's cake was also included in the wedding feast. The groom's cake was of the dark fruity nature, it was meant to last. You see the groom's cake was to be cut and wrapped, and single girls were to take it home to tuck under their pillow, for perhaps sweet dreams.

Please consider leaving me a bit of feedback ...

tonyleather on November 17, 2013:

I very much enjoyed this lens> Thanks so much!

anonymous on October 13, 2013:

I love fashions, and I really love looking at fashions from yesteryear. Thanks!

WeddingBee4u on October 04, 2013:

Speaking of old trends versus new trends...

So I have noticed a trend lately. Many women seem to be moving towards hand engraved wedding bands versus the normal diamond rings that are more traditionally bought. Is this a trend anyone else is seeing? Is it a statement that says women are working harder and do not want to knock their diamonds out? Or maybe the value of the diamond in the ring is not as important as the meaning of the ring anymore? I would like to hear thoughts on this from the ladies...

fcinternetmarketing on July 08, 2013:

Wow !!!

ginajojo on January 24, 2013:

It's beautiful collection and you have to see Egyptian weeding dress in 1850-1950 and our tradition too i know you will like it

anonymous on October 31, 2012:

Lots of useful information here. Great lens.

celticharpmusic on September 05, 2012:

Great information! Wonderful article!

PrettyandSmart on July 07, 2012:

I'd love to have a posh wedding!

anonymous on May 10, 2012:

Really neat article! thank you :)

Namymartyn on March 15, 2012:

Looks great...............

getmoreinfo on March 09, 2012:

These wedding traditions are so inspirational.

tiffany2708 on January 22, 2012:

great lens! very interesting information

anonymous on December 06, 2011:

The modern concept of marriage ceremony ceremony can be knowledgeable by means of the informal wedding invitation wording. By doing this way, you could have informed the visitors about what kind of celebration you will hold. So people should take time for preparing there wedding ceremony wordings. bridal shower invitation wording

anonymous on November 05, 2011:

i LOVE this lens. You did so much research with each time period and I love vintage weddings. So classic! Thanks for sharing all this information, I loved reading about traditions of the past.

quicpost on March 09, 2011:

Wonderful and educational...thanks for such a great article.

SusanCramer on March 06, 2011:

Great lens.. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good works

scar4 on January 14, 2011:

I'm happy to know the information, lol, lol. Sparkling all around!

anonymous on December 31, 2010:

It is so great to see person who know a lot about stuff like this and giving us some nice reading

julitark on December 29, 2010:

thank you for great lense!

RichardHammond on December 19, 2010:

The wedding traditions shared here are awesome!

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anonymous on November 09, 2010:

This is a very good resource of wedding traditions.

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Nice lens! Great ideas!

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Gorgeous_Wedding on November 23, 2009:

Very interesting content and pictures, refreshing and unique!

anonymous on April 05, 2009:

This is fantastic! Thank you for creating it :) Free Fun Stuff!

WorldTravelers916 on October 27, 2008:

if i ever get engaged im never letting my wife do what she wants, its going to be a joint decision!

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Jasonb702 on September 15, 2008:

Great lens Shar... Keep up the good work..

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WorldTravelers916 on September 02, 2008:

i love old traditions like this for weddings!

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Keaka77 on August 05, 2008:

Great lens.. THanks for all the good info. Im about to get married and this really helps.


the-secret on March 13, 2008:

I enjoyed reading about wedding traditions. I've got 2 wedding sites you might like to see. They are a compilation of wedding and wedding shower videos.

Planning A Wedding Shower and Steps To Planning A Wedding

anonymous on February 04, 2008:

Beautifully done, 5 stars is not enough!

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I have really enjoyed the show and learned more from reading here. 5 stars from me! These lenses can be interesting for you Wedding Nail Art, Beautiful Wedding Hairstyles. Pleae rate my lenses too.

leslielewis on September 24, 2007:

If I could I will rate your lens with 10 stars! :) but only 5*.

I invite you to Wedding Fashion group.

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Very informative lens

anonymous on August 16, 2007:

Great lens. So much information and a pleasure to read.

anonymous on August 15, 2007:

Amazing!! Words are less to define the goodness of your work.

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This lens was absolutly wonderful!

ChickMagnet101 on June 12, 2007:

Hey Shar~

Great lens! I really enjoyed your "wedding traditions" lens. I've rated it 5 stars!

Keep up the great work!: First Date Tips.

ChickMagnet101 on June 12, 2007:

Hey Shar~

Great lens! I really enjoyed your "wedding traditions" lens. I've rated it 5 stars!

Keep up the great work!: First Date Tips.

anonymous on June 10, 2007:

If I wasn't married I'd buy one. Why are the only comments from MEN! Great Lens!

SOLIXTAdotCOM on June 09, 2007:

You have created a beautiful lense and great reading as well.

Acne_Medicine on April 29, 2007:

excellent lens. I can see you have put a lot and time and thought into the material presents. Keep up the good work. Thanks from Acne Medicine Guy.

ridi2buy on April 10, 2007:

What a fantastic lens. I've enjoyed the history greatly!

anonymous on March 26, 2007:

What a well researched and well written article indeed. Writer should write a book on this. Cheers!

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