The United Kingdom is quite a diverse land in terms of ethnicity and race. Different ethnic groups settled here from the 12th century and thereafter many migrants too became a part of the UK. The UK does have some traditional British customs that are followed, but because of varying ethnicities, some other traditions are also followed by the people here. But mostly, the British wedding customs are very similar to what is seen in most western countries. These are traditions, passed down and still followed by most.
In ancient days, the brides would wear their best dress – of any color. Buy today most western brides stick to white. Queen Victoria set the trend when she married Prince Albert in an ivory gown. Today it is a statement and symbol of purity.
Old, new, blue and borrowed
Some old poet had said –“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” This set off a trend in wedding customs where the bride would always have some articles that would be old, borrowed, and new. The past is represented by the old and the future is by new. Blue was believed to ward off evil and most brides today do follow this. They can borrow jewelry or the dress from their grandmoms or mothers or take it as something old. It is a fun way to involve older relatives in the wedding.
Giving away the bride
This is a poignant part of a wedding ceremony when a father gives away his daughter. This tradition, although beautiful, wasn’t always so. In the Middle Ages, daughters were considered as a father’s property – to be given away in the name of marriage to other men.
Wedding rings and rice
No wedding ceremony is complete without wedding rings. This symbolized eternity and commitment. This also showed others who were married and who weren’t. It is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, and it is believed that a vein going to the heart goes through there. Essentially connecting the couple with each other’s hearts. The couple usually selects wedding rings carefully and often searches for popular jewelry markets. For example, wedding rings hatton garden. The other tradition is that when the couple takes their vows and gets married, the attendees throw rice on them. This was generated from a custom in Rome where oats and rice were thrown as a symbol of wealth and fertility for the couple.
Cakes, buns, and pies have been an important part of wedding festivities in Britain. In the medieval ages, the groom had to kiss the bride over a pile of sweet bread rolls and in the 1800s a pie was hidden under the bride’s pillow. But today the couple cuts a wedding cake in celebration. The traditional wedding cake is a fruit cake with marzipan frosting. In the 17th century, two cakes – one for the bride and one for the groom was prepared. The darker fruit cake would typically be the groom’s cake and the brides would be a light sponge with icing. Cake has been a significant part of weddings in various versions and even today so many couples specially choose a baker for their wedding cakes.
The first dance is a tradition followed in which the newly married couple will dance together. In the olden days, the opening number kicked off the party and the male guest of honor would invite the lady to start the dance. This then became a wedding tradition. Usually, the bride’s father would dance first and then hand her to the groom.
The couples also often buy gifts for each other and an example of a meaningful gift could be sapphire hatton gardens or an emotional gift too. It is a big day and most couples like sticking to tradition and having fun alongside.
Read also: Why See A Reason To Order A Cake?