Common Wedding Myths and Traditions

Just think how much of what you think you know about wedding tradition is actually myth? Most brides think that a “traditional wedding dress” is white, long, with a train, undoubtedly expensive, newly bought, chosen by the bride, and meant to be worn only once. Right? Wrong.

Wedding Dresses

Wedding Dress Myth 1. Wedding dresses are white because white symbolizes purity so if you wear an off white of coloured wedding gown then you are pregnant;

Many people think that white now dominates Western weddings because the colour symbolizes purity or virginity, two important concepts in traditional weddings.

However, this is not the case in many Western cultures, even today. In France, for example, white is the traditional mourning color for royalty – not a wedding colour. In England, blue is associated with the Virgin Mary, and is the colour that symbolizes purity and virginity.

Most Nigerian brides are beginning to break away from the pure white tradition because most brides now opt for the off white and champagne colored wedding gowns.

Wedding Dress Myth 2: White has always been the preferred colour for wedding dresses.

The white wedding dress was largely non-existent 200 years ago. Instead, brides used to wear their best gowns, regardless of color. Darker colors, which wouldn’t be ruined with minor stains, were actually preferable. Wealthy brides favoured the richest colors and fabrics money could buy and might be married in furs, velvet, or silk. White was not a color associated with weddings at all.

This changed with the wedding of Queen Victoria in 1840, who chose to be married in white. Why? Like many brides today, she had some lace she loved and wanted it incorporated into her dress.

The Queen’s decision coincided with the rise of photography, and her wedding portrait was widely distributed across Europe. In today’s terms, her dress “went viral.” Since then, brides (as well as the wedding industry) have followed her example, giving us the white wedding dresses that are so popular today.

Wedding Myth 3. Wedding gowns must be expensive.

The budget line for a wedding dress today can be as high as several thousands of dollars. But it wasn’t always that way. Before the rise of the wedding industry, the expectation was that women would wear a gown they already owned and would wear again. Even Queen Victoria likely wore her white wedding gown again.

So what changed?

It started with the wealthy, elite families who regularly poured (and still pour) fortunes into their children’s nuptials. For them, weddings were about often about politics or business, and the event itself acted as a signaling mechanism for the family’s social status. Following the fashion set by Queen Victoria, these families began adopting the white wedding dress precisely because it was more expensive: the white color, highly vulnerable to stains, could only be worn once in many cases, and buying a garment for one-time wear was seen as the epitome of luxury.

Then came prosperity at the heels of World War II, which put the white wedding dress within the reach of the middle class, and Hollywood, who portrayed and idealized the white weddings that we know today. After that, the dreams for the perfect wedding soared, and the price of the wedding dress soared with it.

By wearing a beautiful non-wedding dress (in any color including white), you can get a lot more for your money. You can also rent a wedding dress for your green wedding.

Groom can’t see the bride

If you want to see your hubby-to-be, then see him! The myth that it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the big day is getting old, if you’ve been planning your special day together then odds are you’re going to need to see him before the vows happen.

Bridesmaids can’t wear white

Traditionally bridesmaids wearing white would be a big no-no, but the modern bride is now looking at the ‘normally just for the bride’ color for her best girls, too. Perfect for a vintage or glamorous wedding, this bright and beautiful color will make your bridal party stand out from the crowd even more!

You have to have a cake!

Psst, we’ve got a secret – not everyone likes cake! If you and your partner aren’t fans of the tiered tradition or you just don’t particularly have a sweet tooth, then why have a cake? It’ll save you time and money, plus your guests will probably just be happy with a dessert, anyway. But, if you just can’t imagine your big day without something to cut then cupcakes, which you could then hand out as favors at the end. Win win.  2012-06-03 00339

You have to wear a veil

While it’s pretty common to wear a veil on your wedding day, it’s not necessary! There’s so much choice for brides now: tiaras, flower crowns and headbands being the three main options – it also gives you a bit more fun with your head wear, the perfect time to add some colour or bling to your wedding day outfit!

You have to get married on a Saturday

While it certainly is a popular day of the week to get married since it falls on a weekend, you don’t have to get married then. Some couples might prefer to wed on a Sunday or even on a weekday to save money or because it works better for their schedule. Venues and other vendors may offer discounts to those who wish to marry on a less popular day of the week.

The father is only one who can walk the bride down the Aisle

There are many situations in which both the bride’s parents can walk her down the aisle! She can also ask another family member such as her brother or uncle if that better suits the bride’s situation. There is no one set person that has to give the bride away, she could even walk down solo if she doesn’t want to share the spotlight!

You’ll spend all your savings on the Wedding

This very common misconception can easily be proven wrong. There are many ways to save a couple bucks here and there from the dress to the catering. Also, if you create a reasonable budget with Wedding Wire’s free budget tool, you’ll be able to track your spending more carefully. Read up on our tips and tricks to avoid going over budget (it’s not as hard as you think!).

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