I was sitting in the dentist’s waiting room this morning and stumbled across a magazine about weddings in West Sussex, so naturally I was compelled to read it. One of the articles was on the various traditions that we have and how they came about. I knew most of them and here is the mixture of the ones I already knew and a few new and interesting ones.

The Bouquet was traditionally used to ward of evil spirits and protect the Bride. Traditionally flowers were plucked from hedgerows and bouquets contained herbs. Some of the things that were always included were myrtle to represent love, mint for virtue and ivy for friendship.

The bridal veil was also considered to protect the bride from evil spirits and if that was not enough the bride had bridesmaids dressed identically to protect her too. It was said that if you were a bridesmaid more than three times. you would never be a Bride as it was considered that you had absorbed too much of the evil spirit…nice! So perhaps always the Bridesmaid never the Bride refers to this.

The saying “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” used to be “something old, something blue and a sixpence in your shoe”. Something old was a garter from another happily married woman, something blue for faithfulness and a sixpence in your shoe for wealth.

Prior to Queen Victoria’s wedding, the traditional colour for a wedding dress was silver. Queen Victoria chose white for her wedding to Prince Albert to represent her virginity. Green dresses used to be a no, no as it was assumed that the bride had been ‘frolicking’ and the green was the grass stains from said ‘frolics’; hilarious! I love green and think that this is a contradiction as the bouquet contained green mint for virtue! I do love silver, so if you go for this ladies you are still being traditional. I love green too and having photographed on of Emma Tindley’s dresses in this colour, I choose virtue not frolics!

West Sussex wedding cakes were traditionally made from wheat to ensure prosperity. The little cakes were crumbled over the bride’s head; a warning to today’s grooms do not try this and expect to get away with it!! Guests then picked up crumbs from the floor to get some of that prosperity for themselves.

The traditional food for the West Sussex couple was a Sussex pie. Hidden in the pie was a glass ring and the lady that found the ring would be the next one married. I think the throwing of the bridal bouquet is the modern version of this.

A wedding ring is placed on the third finger of the left hand. It was placed here as it was believed that this finger had a vein that led directly to the heart.

I love finding out these facts and I hope you enjoy it too 🙂