Wedding Traditions Through the Ages

Wedding Traditions Through The Ages

Diamond Heaven explore wedding traditions through the ages.

Weddings have been around for centuries, and there are a few wedding traditions that can be traced back thousands of years. Rom-com movies are saturated with the Groom kissing the Bride and we make a big deal about the betrothed not seeing each other the night before the big day. From the wedding ring being worn on the ring finger of the left hand, to wearing a veil and the "something old, something new..." rhyme, Diamond Heaven are here to explore and explain a handful of wedding traditions throughout history.

Wedding Tradition #1 - Wedding Rings

The tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand dates back to Ancient Egypt. Couples would tie a band of hemp or rush fashioned into a ring shape and place it on the ring finger. At the time it was thought that this finger held the vena amoris - a vein that travelled directly to the heart. Now, we traditionally wear wedding rings made from precious metals - some couples even choose to wear wedding rings with diamonds, and men's wedding rings come in a variety of styles. Some couples even choose to have matching wedding ring sets! Check out Diamond Heaven's Top 10 Wedding Rings of 2018.

Wedding Tradition #2 -  'tying the Knot'

When a couple gets married, it's often said that the couple are "tying the knot". This saying derives from a ritual dating back to the Roman era, where the bride would wear a woollen belt that had a complicated knot tied in it. The knot was known as the Nodus Herculaneum. The knot symbolised the virility of the demigod, Hercules, who fathered seventy children. It was the husband's job to loosen the knot on his own. If you'd like to honour this tradition and add your own unique twist, then these Love Knot Round Diamond Studs and matching Love Knot Round Diamond Solitaire Pendant will do the trick!

Wedding Tradition #3 - Bride Wears a Veil

The tradition of wearing a wedding veil is traced back to Roman times. Women would wear a veil when they married, as it symbolised the bride's virginity, modesty and purity. While the tradition of wearing a veil has continued, the semiotics surrounding it has been lost (to an extent). During the Roman era, the veil covered the bride from head to toe. Later, it was used  as a burial shroud.

Wedding Tradition #5 - The Bouquet Toss

During the Middle Ages at Medieval weddings, guests would tear off pieces of the bride's dress and keep it, as it was considered good luck. In order to distract crazed wedding guests from ripping the bride's clothing to shreds,  the bride would throw her flowers, which is where the bouquet toss (quite literally) came from.

Wedding Tradition #6 - Diamond Engagement Rings

The first record of someone being gifted a diamond engagement ring dates back to 1477. Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring in the shape of an ‘M' when he proposed to her. However, diamond engagement rings became a staple aspect of the wedding process when American diamond minors, De Beers created the iconic "it has to be a diamond" campaign in the 1930s. Find out more about this, and how much you should spend on an engagement ring in our blog.

Wedding Tradition #7 - The White Wedding Dress

It wasn't until 1840 that white wedding dresses became a staple wedding tradition for brides in the Western world. Before Queen Victoria's wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, brides  would wear the nicest dress they had. When Queen Victoria married her beloved Bertie in a white wedding dress, it set the tone for the next century and a half. Queen Victoria's decision to go with white became the top choice for most brides in Western society, and its popularity hasn't slowed down. Check out our blog on Royal engagement rings throughout history!

Wedding Tradition #8 - Something Old, Something New

Most brides strive to follow the rhyme,
"Something old,

Something new,

Something borrowed,

Something blue."

This rhyme originates from the Old English rhyme,

"Something Olde,

Something New,

Something Borrowed,

Something Blue,

A Sixpence in your Shoe."

This referenced four objects that the bride would integrate into her wedding outfit or carry with her during her wedding day, as they were thought to be good luck charms. The something old symbolises continuity and could be an heirloom (like a piece of diamond jewellery). Something new displays optimism for the couple's future. Something borrowed is symbolic of borrowed happiness, and something blue is semiotic of love and fidelity. The sixpence in your shoe was a wish for good fortune and prosperity.

Find out why we wear diamond engagement rings.