represents the link with the bride’s family and the past. Many brides choose to wear a piece of antique family jewellery or your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown.
represents good fortune and success in the bride’s new life. The wedding gown is often chosen as the new item.
is to remind the bride that friends and family will be there for her when help is needed. The borrowed object might be something such as a lace handkerchief.
is the symbol of faithfulness and loyalty. Often the blue item is the garter.
The Wedding Rings
Being a continuous circle, without an ending, the ring represents a token of everlasting love, and a commitment. Historically, it was once believed that there was a vein running from the third finger of the left hand up to the heart. Thus the wedding band is usually placed on this finger. Egyptian men once regarded the gift of a gold ring as a symbol of proof that they trusted their new wives with their wealth.
The Bridal Bouquet Toss
At its inception, the bouquet formed part of the wreaths and garlands worn by both the bride and groom. It was considered a symbol of happiness. Today the practice of tossing the bouquet is an offshoot of throwing the garter. The single woman who catches the bouquet is believed to be the next to marry.
The Wedding Day Garter Toss
Throwing the garter began in France when pieces of the bridal attire were considered lucky. The bride would throw the garter to the guests at the wedding and whoever caught it could expect good luck. The groom traditionally removes the garter from the bride and throws it to the unmarried men. The man who catches it is thought to be the next to marry. At some weddings the man who catches the garter will place it on the leg of the lady who caught the bouquet or they may start the next dance. It is also common for the recipients of the bouquet and garter to have a photograph taken with the bride and groom. The garter is placed on the bride’s right leg, just above the knee.
Wedding Reception Speeches and Toasts
Wedding toasts were originally a French custom. Bread was placed in a wine glass and passed around to the guests. The first person to reach the bread was expected to enjoy good luck. Toasts are traditionally given males of the importance: the father of the bride, the groom and the best man. The order of these toasts varies culturally, and today can be chosen by the bride and groom themselves, or together with their families. Anyone may propose a toast at the ceremony. Most people proposing a toast will want to have time to prepare and rehearse their speeches, so the person giving the toasts should be approached well before the wedding day. The groom and the father of the bride usually give very thoughtful and emotional speeches, while the best man often chooses to be rather comical, and perhaps not always tasteful. If this is of concern, discuss this beforehand to prevent any embarrassment. Speeches should be short, sincere and discriminating. Humour, in good taste, can make a speech!