Archives For Wedding Traditions

Had to call it 2.0  since I know I did my comeback over a year ago.  LOL  I was around just not here.  Took a little time to do some deeper & different learning and so I was excited to get back to biz.  I’m going to keep this much simpler. Like I do on my other blog.  I’ll find some cool articles on weddings and other celebration ideas.  And tell some stories of the people I meet in just daily life dealings.

It’s Sunday and I’m laying low working on a video for  The Hewitt’s School Graduation lunch.  It’s been fun working with all the photos and videos of these young girls starting from kindergarten up to 8th grade.  A little bit of time traveling.  This will be such a cool gift to have for years to come.

The Aisle Runner

September 6, 2010 — Leave a comment

It was surprising to me to read that the original purpose of the aisle runner was to protect the bride from the evil spirits below as she made her way down the aisle.  Since the ground housed the dead it was thought of as the gateway to hell.  I have to say some days I don’t think we humans have evolved at all but when I read something like this – I realize we thankfully have.

I had thought the main purpose of the aisle runner was to keep the aisle clean for the bride and also to add elegance to the procession.  That certainly is a long way from protector of evil it was thought to be.  Somehow it cleaned up its’ reputation over the years.  Not sure how but in time the aisle runner represented  a holy path for the bride to walk down.  In the Hebrew custom the take on the aisle runner was as a reminder that God is present during the ceremony – that the ceremony is a coming together of man, woman and god.  Ahhh a much better purpose.

Aisle runners now are like works of art.  Here’s a tiny tiny look of what is out there.

aisle runner

From The Original Runner Company

From The Original Runner Company

From Custom Wedding Creations

From Custom Wedding Creations

As I look into the history of wedding traditions I can’t get over the abundance of superstitions that surrounded the poor bride. I’m sure she was scared enough back then – not knowing who was being wed too, perhaps having to move across the country from her family – did they really need to add more?    Which brings to question at least for me – were these mid-evil superstitions just the marketing style of the times so people would purchase aisle runners, carriages to carry the brides safely to the wedding or veils to keep the other evil spirits from the virgin bride?  Just wondering…..

Are you superstitious at all?  What are you protective rituals?

Now I always thought that the flower girl was just a sweet way to begin a wedding procession.  Almost like an opening act.  But she was a much more symbolic role.  Who knew?

Here’s just a few of my findings.

The first mention of the Flower Girl was back in Roman times where her role was also to help the bride and groom.   In the procession she would scatter herbs and grains as a blessing of prosperity and fertility.

In the Elizabethan Era when the attire became more important.  The Flower Girls were dressed like almost miniature brides.  As they led the procession they were the symbol of the bride – still very much a girl – now crossing over the life of a wife and mother.   The brides of that time were so young –  I don’t know if I’d call it a symbol or just stating the facts.

For a long period the only attendants to the bride were children so a bride could have a number of flower girls.  That tradition is still evident in some Royal Weddings then and still today.

photo by Bernard Rübsamen

The age range for the flower girl is 4-8 years old.  I don’t think I was ever a flower girl much to my dismay.  I lost out to my younger cousin for a wedding.   She was 3 years younger than me so I didn’t have a chance.

Do you have any Flower Girl memories to share?

I don’t care what anyone says but size does matter and so does the length of the veil.   The longer the more formal.  So perhaps instead the universal “black tie attire”  footnote on the invite for a formal wedding – it could say   “bride will be wearing 126 inch veil”.  From the playful birdcage veil to the cathedral style there’s a little tulle for everyone.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the lengths.

And of course there is the Birdcage style

There seems to be a number of names for the same veils – here’s some quick measurements.

  • Flyaway/Madonna Veil   18 – 27 inches
  • Elbow Veil  28 – 36 inches
  • Fingertip Veil  36 – 50 inches
  • Ballet/Waltz Veil   54 – 60 inches
  • Chapel Veil 90 inches (dependent on brides height of course)
  • Cathedral Veil    126 inches (dependent on brides height of course)

There is no shortage of information or images of  veils online so I’m not even going to try to add to it.  But I will put show you a few images that make me smile.



Priscilla of Boston via

Do you have any fun bridal veil images or stories to share?

Sorry for the delay in this post but the more I looked into veils the deeper into the websites I went.  The vintage photos on-line were so wonderful – it was hard to break away.

The bridal veil’s popularity has varied through time.  It disappeared after the Romans (unfortunately don’t know why) and didn’t come back (in theory) until early Anglo Saxon times where the bride and groom each wore a wreath of flowers on their heads.  In Christian ceremonies a square veil was held over the bride and groom during the ceremony.  This was called a care-cloth.

Most of the veil’s popularity or lack of was also affected by costs of materials.   The cost of the tulle, which is the material the veils were made of,  was very expensive so many of the brides of the Renaissance and Elizabethan era wore Juliet-style caps that were enhanced with lace and pearls embroidery.  Women have always been so resourceful – right??

The Juliet Cap

The 19th Century brought the invention of the broadloom.  This allowed for tulle to be produced at a more reasonable price.  And so much more accessible for the brides.  Up until that time the tulle was made on a lace machine.  Doesn’t “Lace machine” just ring $$$.

Probably the veil’s real “comeback” was with Queen Victoria who was the first modern monarch to wear a veil to her wedding.  And instead of having the veil cover her face – she let it fall down her back.  Apparently Queen Victoria did this because of her subject’s desire to see her face.   This remained the style until the 1870’s when the veil was used to cover the bride’s face.  Just another example of the celebrity’s influence on trends.

Here are some of the images I love that cover 1900 – 1980’s.

Bridal Veil for the 1900's.

Bridal Veil of 1912 Bride

Blushing bride in 1912.

Bridal veil from 1927.

Wedding couple 1930

Bride and Groom from 1930.

Bridal Veil 1946

The bridal and groom from 1946.

Jackie Kennedy

Oh so beautiful Jackie Kennedy in 1953.

Grace Kelly wedding ensemble.

We love Grace Kelly as a bride in 1956.

1965 bride and her veil

Peace and Love for bride in 1965.

Bridal Veil in 1974

This bride & groom looking happy in 1974.

Princess Diana wedding portrait

Princess Diana and her 25 ft. veil.

What time period would you have liked to have been a bride?

Whenever I’ve been at a wedding where the bride has worn a veil, I’ve felt like I had to be extra good – no whispering, no turning back to see who’s behind me, kneeling when I’m suppose to. Well that’s how if felt to me.  Obviously I haven’t shaken off my growing up Catholic.

I’m not a wedding historian and I’m not trying to become one.  However, I love finding out the stories behind a lot of our traditions.  My interest for next couple weeks is the bridal veil.

The origins of the bridal veil isn’t really clear and there seems to be a number of theories of its’ purpose.  It’s had it’s own evolution and has stood the test of time.

I think what I’m most familiar with about the bridal veil is it’s representing purity, virginity, submission to the husband – the presentation of the bride to her groom.

But Did you know?  Or more accurately this is what I’ve read….

  • Veils weren’t originally white (just like wedding dresses) – Greek brides wore a scarlet veil.  Scarlet was associated with the God Hymen – the God of Marriage.   Brides of Roman times wore the color Saffron.
  • People believed that veils would protect the bride from evil spirits.  My question there would be why are the evil spirits only going after the brides?
  • The veil also came in handy in arranged marriages as it could keep the bride hidden from the groom before the deal was sealed. I can only imagine how stressful the lifting of the veil for both parties.  Now, if  I was the bride back in those days I think I’d close my eyes to avoid seeing his first reaction.   I’m just too sensitive.  Hmmm I’m sensing a new Reality Show.
  • It’s possible that the veil originated in the Middle East.  Bridal parties traveled under a canopy of sorts.  And the veil became the mini version of that.
  • A second theory is that the veil originated in ancient tribes who would cover their brides up completely as a symbol of purity.
  • The bridal veil popularity did dip at a point (more about that later).  But it does seem popular now.  Well that’s what I conclude from  Say Yes to the Dress. But I’m guessing not for the same reasons.

Why do you think brides wear veils today? Is it because it completes picture of the bride? Is it more of a fashion statement then tradition? What do you think?

Age of the Dress

October 17, 2009 — 1 Comment

Here are the answers to this week’s quiz.


So how did you do?