Cultural wedding traditions
Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Alyn Wharmby is an Ohio native turned middle school teacher and graduate student, currently earning a degree in School Administration at UNC Charlotte. She is beginning her new life with fiance Erik and chihuahua Bella on July 13, 2013. Contact Alyn here.
As we are wedding planning, my new in-laws all keep mentioning some traditional Polish wedding rituals that we should include as a part of our reception. Not having any cultural traditions that have lasted throughout the many years since my family immigrated, I think it is interesting and exciting to include elements of their family culture into the celebration.In Polish tradition, the bride and groom participate in the oczepiny celebration, where the bride removes her veil as a rite of passage to married woman. The groom wears a goofy hat made by his groomsmen, decorated with toys and trinkets; his hat represents the laughter that will pervade the marriage. A song is sung and a cap is placed on the bride and grooms heads, officially identifying them as a married couple.As I hear about the traditions that are part of Polish cultural traditions, I began to wonder about some of the other whys of wedding traditions. Who in the world ever thought of wearing a bridal veil or the old, new, borrowed, blue thing? After only a little research, I found some interesting history behind these traditions from The Knot.com: * Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.
* Brides carry or wear "something old" on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past.
* The "something blue" the bride carries symbolizes purity, fidelity, and love.
* The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where partygoers broke a loaf of bread over a bride's head for fertility's sake.
* Bachelor parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor days goodbye with a wild party.
* The groom carrying the bride across the threshold was originally thought to protect her from evil spirits prowling below.
* Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led straight to the heart.Share your own wedding traditions with me on our Facebook page! What makes your cultural wedding heritage unique?
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