Behind the veil of wedding traditions - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Behind the veil of wedding traditions

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - declares June the most popular month for weddings in the United States, but the month of July is right on the heels.

With over 8,000 weddings being performed every day chances are you or someone you know will attend one.

FOX13 News has wiped the tears to peek behind the veil of how the wedding traditions got started.

While ceremonial traditions can vary culturally, FOX13 News went to the experts to talk about some of our most common nuptial customs and the history behind them, starting with the white dress and it didn't start as a symbol for virgins.
"Originally a bride wore her best dress but that changed with Queen Victoria and her wedding in 1840," said Laura Cunningham says.

But that's not how we see it in modern times.

"It's that purity, it's that dream that you always have that you've always envisioned," Lynn Walker said.

Queen Victoria, the first Royal to marry in white, proposed to her first cousin, Prince Albert, and wed in London in February of 1840. Her 18-foot train and four-yard-long veil, hand sewn using, silk satin and lace, was seen all around the world.

These are fabrics brides still use today.

"With Queen Victoria's elaborate lovely dress, many brides wanted to copy hers," Walker said.

So the phrase, Princess For A Day was born.

"We are seeing a lot of trends with dresses that may be a traditional gown for the ceremony and that actually may zip off or turn into a shorter dress for the reception," Lindsay Wolfe said. "A bride is always asked what are your colors and colors correspond with the flowers."

Though a common staple, flowers are more than just a decorative element, especially with the bouquet.

"Flowers represent fertility and growth," Cunningham  said.

Now we consider the tossing of the bouquet as a symbol of good luck and for the next single woman who catches the bouquet to be married. According to Cunningham, a local historian, in the past the fight for the bouquet could get quite violent.

"Earlier tradition, women considered the bride to be good luck and so as a result of that they would often try to get anything they could from the bride," Cunningham said. "So they would rip at her dress, tear bits of it off, tear at her head dress, her ribbons, anything they could grab including those flowers."

When Marie Antoinette said, "Let them eat cake," she was being cruel. But modern brides are very generous. The cake has evolved in taste and price.

"Tradition has it that in France they would start to load up different types of bread, sweet cakes, and have them into a type of tower formation," Cunningham said. "If the bride and groom would kiss over it successfully without knocking it all to the ground then that meant their marriage was going to be successful."

Over the centuries the bread tower transformed into the tiered designer cakes, like designer cakes that can cost upwards of $20,000.

"When they did the three tiers, the top tier was the bride and groom," Cunningham said. "The bottom tier was the family, the middle tier was actually about children."

Of course, there is the ring.

"Because it's a circle and tends to stand for everlasting love," Cunningham said. "Having it on the left hand, the ring finger, it was often thought to have a direct connection to the heart."

Vena Amoris, Latin for vein of love, explains why the left finger bears the bride's ring. Some cultures believe that vein runs from the bride's ring finger to the heart.

"The girls wearing gold is a thing of the past but diamonds are traditionally what we see," Wolfe said.

"Usually we get those sapphires or chocolate diamonds or something like that in an anniversary down the road," Cunningham added.

The most important tradition to remember -- enjoy!!

"Make sure your personalities and that you're having fun on that day, that's the end of the day. That's what you got to do, just have fun!"


If you are looking for ideas for your wedding, the summer Mid-South Wedding show and Bridal School is coming up July 28 at The Whispering Woods Hotel in Olive Branch, Miss.

WHAT: The Summer Mid-South Wedding Show & Bridal School

WHEN: Sunday July 28 2013 - 1 PM to 5 PM

WHERE: Whispering Woods Hotel & Conference Center in South-East Memphis - 7322 Hacks Cross Rd in Olive Branch Ms.

WHY: To plan the PERFECT Wedding! Pick up the NEW issue of A Bridal Experience Magazine. There will be wedding ideas, seminars, door prizes, fashions, Wedding Planners, FREE engagement photos, samples, FREE wedding invitations and LOTS of fun! In fact, it will be the most fun 4 hours you will spend in planning your wedding!

HOW MUCH: FREE tickets available from local merchants for a limited time. Tickets are $12.00 online or $15.00 at the door.

Need more information? Call our office.
See YOU at the Summer Mid-South Wedding Show & Bridal School
Kirk "The Wedding Guy" Houston
Feel Free to call or emails us at the contacts below.
(901) 368-6782

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