Wedding traditions are in fashion again.
A number of old wedding traditions originated in pre-Christian times. What seems original or amusing to use nowadays, had a deep meaning back then and was perceived as absolutely serious, and other traditions were more symbolic in character.
Traditions can add life to a celebration and give it the right atmosphere, bringing traditions of long ago closer to us.
- Test for the groom – At the foot of the bride’s doorstep, sometimes the groom had a chunk of wood and axe ready, and a bottle of wine. If he grabbed the axe, it was a good sign: he will be a good man of the house. However, if he decided for the bottle of wine, it predicted nothing positive: he will be a drunkard.
- Test for the bride – Upon first entering the groom’s house, a whisk was prepared in a room, with which the bride had to briskly sweep and return to its place. Thereby suggesting she wanted to be a good housewife.
- Rice – In order for the newlyweds to be blessed with plenty of children, they are showered with rice after the ceremony, and in some places confetti, nuts or even candies are used. Another tradition has the same significance: a small child is placed on the lap of the bride during the wedding reception.
- Sprinkling flowers – The niece of the couple-to-be or the daughter of one of their friends lead the wedding procession to the church and sprinkles flowers around. This is originally a Pagan tradition. The flowers were to attract the Goddess of Fertility.
- Wedding aisle – Friends of the newlyweds create an aisle, through which both have to walk. At the same time the friends try to prevent them from doing so in any possible way, but without force. Symbolic significance: overcoming obstacles in marriage.
- Retracting – After the ceremony has been completed, the groom’s friends stretch out a rope in front of the church, decorated with flowers, ribbons, and even, e.g. empty bottles, and allow the newlyweds to continue in their journey, only once the groom pays his way out. This way the groom buys his way out of his sins from youth.
- Doorstep – Why does the groom carry the bride over the doorstep of their home? Supposedly in order to outsmart the evil spirits, who are lurking under the doorstep and guarding the house. Another reason: Symbolic beginning of a new life.
- Kidnapping the bride – It symbolizes the girl’s parting from her parents and her transfer to her new life. At a later hour, when the reception is coming to an end, the friends of the newlyweds kidnap the bride. If the groom cannot find her, he has to pay a ransom. Nevertheless, the event should be given a time limit, so the other guests do not have to wait long hours for the bride to return, only to end up never seeing her in the end. This surely would not improve their mood.
- Bridesmaids – They are single girls, who accompany the bride to the church. Even this tradition has its meaning: the spirits that want to harm the bride, are supposed to confuse her with the bridesmaids. In order for it to be successful, the bridesmaids must all be wearing dresses similar to that of the brides.
- Eating soup together – Eating soup together from one bowl of the newlyweds should symbolize their cooperation. The second meaning, which is perhaps even more important, is the symbol of the shared piece of bread, from which it is absolutely necessary to take and give equal portions. For this very precise symbolism, the stated wedding tradition remains very widespread even today.
- Breaking a plate – This tradition has its roots in two superstitions – that glass brings good fortune and by sweeping the glass up together, the newlyweds show the will to cooperate and their marriage will thus be in good harmony.
- Invitation pies – According to tradition, the pies are baked several weeks prior to the wedding. They are distributed to family, friends and neighbours and serve as an invitation to the wedding reception. The pies, which should have at least three different fillings, are considered to be the business card of the culinary art of the housewife.