October 6, 2010

{Complicated Roots}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
What rituals are you using for your wedding? Are they from family or religious traditions...or perhaps something you’ve read about or seen at another wedding? What do you know about the origin of these rituals and traditions?

My customers and audiences are always curious about the origin of wedding rituals—customs so familiar that we seldom give them a second thought during wedding festivities: tossing the garter, carrying a bouquet, exchanging rings, cutting the cake. We have accepted these traditions from the past into our modern celebrations, yet a bit of mystery remains. Most wedding rituals used today are a custom “rooted in the potent mix of tradition and superstition,” states Barbara Tober, former editor-in-chief of Bride’s magazine, in her classic book The Bride: A Celebration.

Given the hazy origin of most wedding customs, tracing them becomes a bit of a puzzle. Cultures around the world participated in wedding ceremonies in ways unique to their tribe or region or religion. These rituals and customs then took a meandering path through the centuries, being adapted and altered by new generations. To borrow a phrase from Carol McD. Wallace in her book All Dressed in White, wedding traditions have “complicated roots.”

I find that couples who learn about the rituals they plan to use for their wedding become more deeply related to their ceremony ahead...as well as learn more about each other! Let me know what you’ve learned or if you have any questions...I’d love to hear from you! 

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: April Grooms]

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