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5 Wedding Traditions and What They Mean

Something borrowed, something blue, and something . . . . totally bizarre. Don't you sometimes wonder where our weirder wedding traditions come from? From throwing rice to wearing blue, lots of things happen at weddings that I've never totally understood. Mental Floss has a fun list of eight weird origins of wedding traditions. Here are five of my favorite back stories from MF's list of bizarre traditions.

  • Brides wearing white. Apparently, it wasn't until Queen Victoria donned a white gown that this virginal shade became the wedding-dress color of choice. Before that, a bride was merely expected to dress in her finest finery.
  • Dads giving the bride away. The tradition of fathers walking daughters down the aisle actually goes back to the days when dads used female offspring as bartering tools to pay off debts or make peace.

Three more fun facts, so


  • Tossing the bouquet. This one is hilarious: In the past, newlyweds would just sneak off to a separate room after the ceremony to consummate their union, and the wedding guests would crowd outside the door. The bride tossing her bouquet started as a way to divert guests' attention.
  • Saving the top of the wedding cake. Some couples save the top of their wedding cake to eat on their one-year anniversary. But the original reason people saved part of the sweet treat was so that it could be served at the first baby's christening.
  • Throwing rice as the couple leaves. Initially, this tradition wasn't limited to rice; guests could also opt for oats and corn. Either way, the sentiment is the same: showering the newly married couple with good fortune and fertility.


Join The Conversation
reesiecup reesiecup 9 years
i love reading about where traditions came from :)
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 9 years
I want both of my parents to walk me down the aisle - not to "give me away", but for them to help me reach the next destination in my life which is marriage and a family of my own. I want them to know that they helped me to get there and that this is the point where they don't always have to worry and look out for me every second.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I always thought these traditions were weird.
buttafli2112 buttafli2112 9 years
brides carrying flowers down the isle came from the fact that there was no deoderant way back when, and the flowers used to coverup any foul smells/make the bride smell good and attractive :)
AmandaKrups AmandaKrups 9 years
Well, I wore white rather than cream because I thought it looked better on me; I had my dad walk me down the aisle because I think it's sweet, not because I am his property that he is passing on to my new husband; I didn't throw my bouquet because I hadn't taken enough photos yet and didn't want it to get squished; we are keeping the top of our wedding cake to eat on our first anniversary (it is WELL insulated but I still don't expect it to taste that good); and our church didn't allow us to throw rice or anything like that.
millarci millarci 9 years
Where did 'something borrowed, something old, something new, something blue' come from?
kmckay kmckay 9 years
i wore an ivory dress but i spiced things up with bright red shoes- you can imagine some people's reactions!
puddlesworth puddlesworth 9 years
Wearing white never symbolized virginity. That's what the face veil represents.
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 9 years
Sporky and Elizabeth Rae--thanks for the info. I think we got this custom from our Spanish heritage . The Philippines was under the rule of Spain for 300 years and that is why a big part of our socio-cultural traditions and values stem from them.
Lambsauce Lambsauce 9 years
I also don't like the origin of dad giving daughter away... but I'm still going to do it when I get married. Actually, I would like for both my parents to "give me away"--I'm an only child and my parents (especially my mother) have always been very attached to me, so for me it would be sort of symbolic for my parents letting me go to form my own family. Just me, though. :)
girlgreen girlgreen 9 years
i don't like the origin of dad giving the bride away, but i still think i would do it because it would be important to my dad.
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 9 years
Sporky and Bingkaycoy - so do Cajuns :)
Sporky Sporky 9 years
Bingkaycoy - Mexicans do that too! (Dollar dance).
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 9 years
Coming from a traditional family, I definitely did follow all the traditions except saving the top of the cake. My husband and I found it weird so we ate the cake the morning after. Because I'm Filipino and my husband is American, I need to incorporate also the Filipino wedding customs such as; guests pinning money on the gown and groom's suit while the couple are dancing. We ended up having more than $2,000 aside from our gifts. We donated half of it to charity.
apma apma 9 years
I like these traditions and would follow most of them. I really don't like the whole "rice-throwing" tradition. While it has meaning, it seems a little messy to me.
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 9 years
hahaha! Takes all the beauty out of getting married when U relize your father is using U as a bartering tools to pay off debts or make
hunnybee hunnybee 9 years
linb great comment :)
itsme3683 itsme3683 9 years
I didn't know that people save their wedding cake... doesn't it get stale?
ajennilynrushhh ajennilynrushhh 9 years
wow i always wanted to know where did those traditions come from.. but i never heard of saving the top of the cake though
myladybloom myladybloom 9 years
They used sawdust instead of rice during the Middle Ages... Also pre-1800, yellow was also a favored choice for wedding gowns because it was the color of loyalty (as was blue).
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 9 years
i will keep some of the traditions, not all though. and not necessarily for the original meaning of the traditions. the one tradition that is the most important to me is having my dad walk me down the aisle... and its not for the same reason the tradition started. simply put- i am close to my dad, and i invision this walk as my last walk with him as his "little girl".... that is, if we can stop from crying long enough to see the aisle!
Raxi Raxi 9 years
I love my Dad! I think that it's important to him (and to me) that he be there to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. Not because he's giving me away for DEBT, but because he's giving his only daughter away to her new husband. That... and I'm wearing white... but I'm not sure how I got from a purple dress to white!
linb linb 9 years
Maybe it's a regional thing, but I'm not against any of these traditions. I could not imagine walking down the aisle without my father there to give me away. It's 2008 - I think everyone knows he's not using me to barter.
Sporky Sporky 9 years
bg2007, that's what I always thought, too.
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
Oh and I agree that I don't want any of these traditional things at my wedding. I am not a piece of property to be given away. I hate when people just follow traditions without thinking about why they came about. Traditions are good...if you know why you are doing them and agree with the reason you are doing them.
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