English Wedding Traditions and Customs

English Wedding Traditions and Customs

Until the end of the eighteenth century in England, parents chose their children a couple. Children under the age of seven could already be engaged. The future bride and groom usually became acquainted only at the wedding. Therefore, often there were escapes of couples in love. They were married in secret from everyone. Then a civil law was passed. According to him, the age of the couple must exceed 21 years. The marriage itself was considered valid only if it was concluded in the county of the groom or the bride.

Old English traditions

Usually, marriage ceremony in England was scheduled for the autumn months. In September people have harvested crops, so it was believed that the marriage would be rich and happy. The attire was low-key. The bride was wearing a white or beige strict wedding dress. There were four things in her outfit. The first one is new (shoes, dress). The second – borrowed from a married relative (jewelry, gloves). The third one is blue (garter, ribbon, underwear). The fourth is a family heirloom (brooch, earrings). The traditional wedding attire of the groom was made of dark fabric. The groom also wore a wedding hat. Six bridesmaids accompanied the bride. They have organized the whole festival. Their dresses were the same color as the groom’s clothes. The bride or her mother paid for the girls’ dresses. The groom had only one friend. He accompanied the bridesmaids during the entire ceremony. The bride necessarily must have a small decor in the form of a horseshoe on the dress. It is a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

What do guests wear to a British wedding? Attire for guests should be monotonous and restrained. Do not choose bright clothes. The mother of the groom made a small gift to the girl at the first reception. It could be a ribbon for a dress, fabric for a veil or lace. The pre-wedding party was held with a tight circle of friends. The bride spent the evening with her friends. The groom was in the circle of his male relatives. In the morning, they received a wedding blessing and went to church, where guests were already waiting for them.

At the entrance to the church, the newlyweds were showered with rice, sweets and wheat. The groom was waiting for the bride at the altar. In front of bride, there was a little girl, who showered the way with flower petals. After the marriage ceremony, the bride threw pieces of bread to unmarried women. This promised them a marriage soon. One of the bridesmaids kept a wedding bouquet of scarlet roses.
The first month after the wedding is called a honey one, because every day the bride drinks a honey drink. This promised great fertility and well-being of the family.

Modern Wedding Customs

Many of the wedding ceremony rituals in English style are preserved. However, today the groom independently receives arrangements from the bride and hands her a ring. A wedding organization is engaged in agencies that provide wedding favors. The wedding cortege consists of old Fords or Rolls-Royces. Less often used limousines. Wedding attires have not changed. The bride chooses a dress from light fabric, the groom – a dark suit. Important is not the cost of clothes, but its appearance. The whole image of the newlyweds must be strict, elegant and refined.

The ceremony of the British wedding takes place in the church. The newlyweds give each other ancient wedding vows. After that, all the guests are photographed in the background of the church. The banquet is appointed in the afternoon. It’s called a wedding breakfast. According to the custom, guests receive invitations, where their wedding venues are indicated. At the banquet, snacks and hot meals presented as a food as well as two cakes. The first wedding cake is for the bride. It is decorated with flowers from the best light cream. The second is the groom’s cake, made in dark color. The banquet lasts for several hours. There are practically no alcoholic beverages and heavy meals on the table. In abundance, there are sweets, fruits, light meat and fish dishes.

A typical celebration program is calm. It is not accompanied by noisy celebrations and comments of the presenter. Today, guests can receive bridal shower invitations. The groom pours champagne on his unmarried friends and throws a bride’s garter to them in this procedure.

According to the wedding etiquette of England, the groom and the bride make a list of gifts in advance. Guests pay for ordered wedding presents or buy them at specified stores. They are handed before the wedding or at the very celebration. Newlyweds open their gifts only at the end of the honeymoon and thank the guests for them with the help of postcards. A gift for the groom from bride is given on the eve of the wedding night. A girl receives a gift from her mother to bride in the morning before the ceremony.

The wedding dress is not bought for wear. He is only worn on the occasion. Then from it they sew clothes for the christening of their first child. The groom’s wedding suit can be passed on to the next generation.

Strict and discreet etiquette, tranquil festivities and exquisite manners characterize British wedding culture.