Have you ever wondered why during wedding ceremony, it is customary for the bride to stand on the left and the groom on the right? I was recently married and thought about the history of this myself. This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, when women were traded and sold for marriage. So why does the groom stand on the right side of the altar? Well, your heart is located on the left so the bride stands “under his (grooms) heart”. This keeps the groom’s right hand (“fighting arm” or “sword arm”) free to defend his bride should an enemy try to steal her away at the last minute. If any man or attacker made it past the groomsmen at the altar, the groom would hold his bride with his left hand, while using his sword or weapon with his right hand against any oncoming attackers. Another explanation for this is that men and women used to be split up when they went to church, with the men sitting on the right side, and women sitting on the left. Because of this, it made sense for the men to stand on the right side of the altar, and the women on the left. In modern interpretations, it is said that when a man and woman join hands at the altar, it symbolizes their unity and strength. It also shows their combined resources they bring to the marriage. Another idea is that when newlyweds turn and face their friends and family at the end of the ceremony, the bride is standing to the groom’s right, symbolizing her spot as his “right hand” throughout the rest of their lives together. Whether you choose the right side or not, we thought you’d like to learn a few reasons for this tradition!
Have you ever wondered why wedding dresses are traditionally white? It has not always been this way! In 1840, Queen Victoria wore what people describe as a “flamboyant white gown”. In those days, wearing white clothing signified that you were wealthy and could afford to purchase a dress that you may never wear again. Wedding dresses were all different colors, shapes, and styles. Most women wore dresses that they could slightly alter and wear again. Another famous white wedding dress that presented itself after Queen Victoria was a knee-length white wedding dress designed by the infamous Coco Chanel. Even so, women still just wore what they would afford, and still only those that came from wealth had the means to wear an elaborate gown on their wedding day. The white wedding dress tradition is still very, relatively new. Queen Victoria may have been the first in 1840 but the tradition didn’t really set in and take off until about 1950. Now most people can’t dream of a wearing a wedding dress that is any other color than white.
However, there are always those that want to start their own traditions and such, so if you’re thinking about wedding in a gown other than white, here’s an old folklore that may help you decide whether to go with tradition…or not! We enjoy seeing all styles of wedding dresses. We have even had a bride who had an all white wedding and she herself wore slate. It was so much fun! We wish you the best in your wedding gown shopping!
All photos courtesy of Shadowcatcher Imagery