Have you ever wondered why the Bride wears a white dress? Or why we eat a tiered wedding cake? Or why the Bride tosses her bouquet? Or why we host a bridal shower?
Where did these traditions come from? Why do we do them?
Join us for a multi-part mini-series as we uncover the history behind many common Wedding Traditions!
How many of you got up before dawn on May 19th to watch the wedding of Meghan Markel and Prince Harry? Did you get excited when you first saw her gown? Were you energized by the message of the sermon? Did you wonder at the variety of the music and the cuteness of the attendants? I sure did and it got me musing.
In writing for this website, I have learned that so many of the wedding traditions we take for granted first emerged at the wedding of Queen Victoria of England and her prince, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on February 10, 1840.
In going through some family pictures, I found one of my grandmother in her dress for her wedding in 1917. It definitely took its inspiration from the Russian fashion of the day with yards of frothy veiling held in place by a tiara-like headpiece. Gram followed the trend of looking to royal weddings, in her case the Russians, for inspiration when she married her prince, my Grampy.
The Russian-inspired headpiece from the author’s grandmother’s 1917 wedding ensemble.
On the other hand, Laura Ingalls (author of the Little House books) marriage to her prince, Almanzo Wilder, reflects another side of wedding traditions. Her family did not have much money, and was scrabbling to stay afloat in 1885. Her wedding dress was a new, good, black dress which is mentioned repeatedly in her biography. She wore the dress to meetings, funerals, and formal affairs. During the same picture sorting, I found one of my other grandmother in her wedding dress. It was a beautiful, 1918 dress with fringe and a snappy tunic, but it was black. Nanny had just come to the city for her first job and needed a dress she could wear multiple times, not just once.
I wonder how the most recent royal wedding will inspire today’s brides and grooms. An Internet search of “wedding trends from royal wedding” comes up with pages of articles suggesting that upcoming weddings may see such trends inspired by the latest royal wedding as: small bouquets, ceremonies reflecting the bridal couple, and simple, but elegant, gowns.
Victoria and Albert, Gram and Grampy, Laura and Almanzo, Nanny and Grampa, and, we hope, Meghan and Harry, had long, fruitful marriages full of love, laughter, support in good times and bad, and happiness – until they were parted by death. And that is what’s most important.
I guess what I’ve learned is that the bottom line is this: “Be yourself and let your day reflect you.” If you let your day reflect you and not what someone else says it should be, you will indeed have a Royal Wedding, and your story will be history too.
Have a question about a Wedding or party tradition that you want answered? Are you interested in renting the many venues managed by the Osceola County Historical Society for weddings, meetings, parties or events?
Making Your Story – History!
Photo Courtesy: Courtesy of the author. All rights reserved.