The human desire for continuity and tradition is deeply ingrained. We tend to believe things, and do things, because that is the way it always was, often not knowing the origins of the behavior. So many things that we associate with a wedding day actually originated with superstitions and medieval belief systems – from what the bride wears to what she carries, from who sees her before the wedding to who attends the wedding.
For instance, in many ancient cultures it was believed that a bride was particularly vulnerable to evil spirits. Wearing a veil was meant to offer her protection from these spirits that may wish to do her harm. Veils were popularized in Roman culture and later adopted by the British; but they also date back to ancient Jewish ritual where it was considered a sign of chastity. The groom often was not allowed to see the face of his bride until after the ceremony, although sometimes the groom was allowed to verify it was his bride before covering her face for the remainder of the ceremony.
The idea of bridesmaids and groomsmen has a less happy origin as well. The bridal party was originally a protective detail; as it was not uncommon for the weddings to be crashed by marauders and pillagers, and the bride carried off as bounty. The people surrounding the couple were meant to prevent such a tragedy. Similarly, sometimes it was “necessary” for the groom to kidnap his bride from a neighboring village, necessitating the “best man” – his strongest fighting ally – to assist him. Of course, the tradition of including a bridal party has a much less insidious meaning in contemporary times; these people represent love, support and friendship on the special day.
Flowers have long played a role in weddings, although in the past they were considered more as good luck charms than décor and adornment. Orange blossoms were popular as they represented chastity and honor; roses and snowdrops stood for love and were often chosen. Today, although flowers are most often chosen for color, style and preference rather than for their traditional meanings, they are still an integral part of virtually every wedding – from grand cathedral to courthouse, it is rare to see a bride without a bouquet.
At Mission Viejo Florists, we believe in traditions – whether holding onto old ones, or creating new ones! The beauty of getting married in 2016 is that you have so many choices and options available to you, and we have helped hundreds of area couples create the wedding of their dreams. What does your perfect wedding look like? We will help you get there with gorgeous floral arrangements, bridal bouquets and ceremony flowers.