Blog : wedding history

Why the bride stands on the left side during wedding ceremony

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!

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The History of the White Wedding Dress!

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

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Toss Bouquet

In researching history for wedding receptions in Europe, we discovered some great facts!  One item that we found intersting was the history of the toss bouquet.  Today the toss bouquet is a miniature version of the bridal bouquet and it is tossed to a crowd of single women.  The woman who catches the bouquet is believed to be the next one to marry!  In 14th Century Europe it was believed that no one was luckier than a bride on her wedding day.  In hopes to leave the affair with some type of lucky charm, women would tear at the bride’s wedding dress to take a piece as a keepsake in hopes to capture some of her luck and be the next to marry.  Over a period of time and many torn wedding dresses, the tradition of the bride throwing one of her shoes came about, which then evolved into the traditional bouquet toss that we all know and love. Although the toss bouquet tradition is taking a new form, it is still a memorable part of the reception.  One of our favorite things we have seen at weddings today is the bouquet being presented to someone closest to the bride’s heart such as her mother!  Whichever route you decide to go for your big day, your bouquet toss or presentation should be meaningful to you!

Bouquet by Isari Flower Studio

Photography by Flavio of Leaf Photography

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