Wedding Traditions - Out of Date or Timeless?

Article Published 29/01/2020


It’s sometimes easier to fall into wedding day traditions and orders of the day because it’s ‘just how things are done’. 

While marriage itself dates back to 2350 B.C. we’ve come a long way since then with marriage shedding some it’s religious connotations and being more of a symbolic commitment between two people. 

While religion and traditions still play a part we thought we’d share a few of the most popular traditions and their origins to see if they are indeed timeless or a little out of touch with the modern world… 

1. Not Seeing Your Other Half In The Morning.

Call it ‘bad luck’ or ‘superstition’ but the origins of this wedding day tradition may make you laugh! 

Arranged marriages used to be the norm and more often than not fathers would betroth their daughters to men of wealthier families to help their own - nice one dad! 

The worry for fathers was that if the groom saw her before the wedding and didn’t find her attractive the whole thing could be called off shaming the bride and her whole family.

To avoid harming the families rep the tradition of not seeing each other on the morning of the wedding started.

(FUN FACT -  the veil also comes into play here as this would be kept over the bride’s head until the end of the ceremony so her face would be covered until the very last moment … unlucky son!)

Obviously the tradition has now evolved and is a cute way to add a little extra excitement and intrigue to your day…more of a grand reveal than trying to trick anyone into marrying you!

Tons of brides love the secrecy of picking out a dress, hairstyle and makeup with their bridal team, but for some this tradition can add unnecessary anxiety and pressure to an already overwhelming day.

It’s so important that you do you, times and traditions change and hey, rules are meant to be broken, am I right? If getting ready together makes you feel less on edge then you should do it! 

Its a great way to have some alone time together on your wedding day and trust me everyone wants a piece of you! 

Getting some quality time together can be a struggle until the end of the night so the morning is a great time to have breakfast together, do a pre-wedding workout or just open some fizz and celebrate the two most important people of the day!

It’s also a great time to be calm and mindful, reassure each other that you’ve totally got this centre of attention/public speaking thing down and get rid of those pre-ceremony nerves.

2. The Bride Being ‘Given Away’.

Again this tradition has its roots in times gone by, when a female child was considered the property of her father… a tad outdated I’m sure we can all agree.

Often fathers would arrange a marriage and set up a kind of contract with the groom and barter for land, social status or even a political reputation which back in the day was just as significant as it is now!

The father would transfer ‘ownership’ to the groom and the bride’s wedding day was the binding legality of it all. The tradition of ‘giving her away’ would signify that the bride’s family would no longer have control over her or her possessions and her husband would take on the responsibilities and obligations that her father once had.

Nowadays the walk down the aisle is a big thing for most brides and having the support of a family member, be it a father, mother, sister or brother is more of a gesture of the bond you have with your family.

It’s down to you if you feel like you need that hand to hold as you walk down the aisle but don’t feel pressured that this has to be the job of your father. It’s your big day and you can do it however you’d like! If you think your bestie would be the perfect person then choose them! And forget about trying to please everyone or make sure that every family member has a role to play… today is about you and the love of your life, I’m sure they will understand. 

If walking down the aisle with all eyes on you seriously freaks you out then remember you don’t even have to do it at all! You can choose to walk into your ceremony together or mingle with your guests beforehand and ask them to be seated when you want the ceremony to get under way, while this has less of  an impact and isn’t so much of a dramatic entrance it is definitely a more relaxed and chilled out way to start the proceedings! 

3. The Speeches.

The origins of the wedding toast dates back as far as the sixth century B.C. 

It started with the Greeks who would pour wine from a common pitcher and the host of the wedding (the bride’s father) would drink from his glass first to prove to his guests that there was no poison placed into the pitcher of wine. 

FUN FACT - In these times the Greeks would often spike the drinks of their enemies and even use this tactic to prevent a messy divorce!

By the 17th and 18th centuries toasts and speeches had become so popular that toastmasters were employed to ensure the speeches didn’t become too excessive or run on for too long.

After the ceremony it seems the most dreaded part of the day for anyone speaking is the speeches. Often speakers feel like they can’t relax until their speech is over and not only this but often couples are a little uneasy over what may be said as they don’t want to be embarrassed by stories that may be appropriate in the pub but not in front of your grandma!

There are no rules about who has to give a speech but it is often the father of the bride, the groom and the best man, an all male cast… seems to be a pattern in these traditions.

Again rules are here to be broken guys and if you trust a friend or sibling to give a better speech then don’t think you have to stick to what is common place.

You don’t even have to go through with speeches at all, you could both stand and thank your guests for coming and save your romantic thoughts about each other by writing your own vows! This makes your ceremony especially personal and a little more special, plus once the ceremony is over you can relax in the knowledge that your public speaking is over for the day!

Ok, history lesson over! But remember your wedding day is yours and yours alone and too often brides and grooms alike get pressured into situations on their big day that make them feel uncomfortable and can lead to moments that you would rather forget.

If you have any traditions that you think are outdated, friends that are struggling with which traditions to keep or stories from your wedding day of traditions you wish you hadn’t gone through with, be sure to comment this facebook post! 
Written by
Natasha Miller, Director