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Interesting Worldly Wedding Traditions! February 04, 2016 15:00

Interesting Wedding Traditions from Around the World

 

The North American “white wedding” has become a staple in the media and in films, and while many of these weddings are beginning to diverge from the strictly traditionally ceremony, there are a few little traditions (and superstitions) that remain.

 

These traditions may include: the white wedding dress that represents purity; the bouquet and boutonniere that symbolize attachment, affection, and the ancient warding off of evil spirits; the bad luck which could befall the couple if the groom sees the bride (the adaptation being in her wedding gown) before the ceremony; the throwing of the bouquet; and that timeless something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue (and a silver sixpence in her shoe)—the bridal mantra for good luck.

But, while these North American wedding traditions seem to be the most well known (and commonly used in television and film), there are a lot of very interesting wedding traditions out there from around the world.

 

Bulgarian wedding traditions

 

In Bulgaria, it isn’t just bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding; it is bad luck for the bride to see herself in her gown before the wedding. If she can’t avoid trying the dress on before the ceremony, she at least has to avoid trying on all the accessories as well so the dress can be as incomplete as possible. In order to ward off adversity, she wears red in some form on her bridal veil. And forget flowers to ward off the evil spirits, she carries a clove of garlic in her handkerchief!

 

When entering the church, the bride must cross the threshold with her right foot first. The bride and groom must not take the same path from the church as they did arriving to it, and to avoid the bad luck of stumbling, the groom carries her over the threshold into their new home. The foods eaten at the reception and after returning from the wedding are also emblematic in Bulgaria. The bride and groom break a loaf of bread to decide who has final say in the family, and the first piece of bread they eat is salty to symbolize the difficulties they will share while the second piece is dipped in honey to remind them of the delights they will share together as a family.

 

Jumping the Broom

 

Jumping the broom connects back to the Romani people of the UK, who would elope to marry by jumping over a branch of flowering broom, or besom made of broom. The custom was practiced by English and Scottish gypsies into the 1900s. It was later adopted by African Americans since African slaves were not permitted to marry in America. They would instead show their love and commitment to one another by jumping over the broom to the beat of drums. While jumping the broom itself was never really considered to be legally binding, the tradition has been adopted into current weddings to symbolize the newlywed act of setting up home.

 

Turkish wedding shoes

 

In Turkey, before the bride walks down the aisle, she asks her single bridesmaids to sign the bottom of her shoes. After the ceremony is over (as well as all the dancing at the reception), the name that is the most worn is believed to be the next who will marry.

 

But that isn’t all! During the ceremony, the bride and groom sign the registration book in front of the mayor. Once complete, they race each other to try to step on the top of the other person’s shoes. The first to step on the top of his/her spouse’s shoes is believed to be the person who will run the family from that point on.


Who is Vera Wang? February 04, 2016 14:59

Vera Wang is a fashion icon, particularly on the wedding scene. She has consistently pushed boundaries to develop couture gowns that most women can afford – not just the rich and famous. Her designs are known for being innovative and highly wearable, which can be noted in some of her most recent gown collections that sport blush pinks and peaches, rather than tradition whites.

This native New Yorker of Chinese decent, was schooled in Paris and received her art history degree from Sarah Lawrence College. What many may not know is that Wang was an avid figure skater from a very young age and even competed in the 1968 US figure skating championships. Although she did not make the Olympic team, she was featured in Sports Illustrated. It was after this that she turned her passions to fashion – although she never truly left skating behind. Today she is still known for designing stunning figure skating costumes for a number of professional clients.

Wang has garnered countless awards, including Womenswear Designer of the Year. Despite her popularity amongst brides, she is also very popular amongst celebrities, with her gowns frequenting red carpets from the Emmys to the Oscars.

Vera is a highly sought after design name in the bridal fashion world, and since she teamed up with David’s Bridal in 2011, her gowns have become more widely available to the masses. The unbelievably affordable gowns range from $600 to $1,400, making this designer well within reach of the modern bride – regardless of budget.

Vera Wang has bridal boutiques, fashion houses and has even dipped her toes into the home décor world. Her eye for trends and what defines the modern woman has made her a must-watch designer and her designs themselves, must-haves.

Vera has appeared as herself in a variety of films and television shows, highlighting how well known she has become to the everyday woman. While most designer fashions are desired across the board by everyone, very few can afford much more than a scarf or a hand bag. Vera Wang has thrown caution to the wind and made herself a household name through her accessible fashions. The craziest part about Vera Wang is that her designs aren’t some middle class creations specifically tailored to please the majority. Her work is beautiful, luxurious and designed with the quality and craftsmanship you would expect from such a renowned name – the only difference is that Vera doesn’t feel the necessity to charge you $10,000 for one of her pieces.

Vera Wang is an incredible fashion designer with a mantle full of accolades and a closet filled with gowns that have made television history on the red carpet. She has a true sense of what women want and how their tastes in fashion have and are continually developing. Her skill for fashion has made her one of the most sought after wedding dress designers in the industry, and the fact that she designs dresses for even the most budget-conscious bride makes her that much more loved by women everywhere.

 


The History of Roses February 04, 2016 14:58

The History of Roses

Summary: Why are roses such a significant part of our culture, traditions and practices? Find out.

The importance of the rose dates back so far in human history that today we unearth petrified rose wreaths from tombs in Egypt. While roses are thought to have flourished for more than 35 million years, they have always held a special place for mankind.

Wealthy women from the Greeks to the Romans, and even Cleopatra, used the rose for its smell and its beauty. It was often used in poultices and salves to help stave off aging, and was a popular adornment in bed chambers due to its scent. Victorious armies were showered with rose petals, and the petals were often sprinkled into beverages and on tables for decoration.

In medieval times the rose was thought to have healing powers and was converted into oils and powders to help treat ailments. Roses appear in the earliest works of art in 1600 BC, in frescoes. There are several species of roses, with the apothecary rose being used for illnesses, and the modern tea rose (circa 1860’s) gave way to dozens of hybrid species. Josephine, wife of Napoleon, had the desire to create a garden that contained every species of rose in existence in the 19th century – a desire which eventually brought renewed interest in the garden rose by the 20th century.


Roses also appear in mythology. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love is said to have spawned the rose from her tears and the blood of her lover Adonis. The Romans, who personified Aphrodite as Venus, also adopted the rose as a symbol of beauty and love. The rose also became a symbol for secrecy based on the mythology of Cupid. One of the most fascinating facts about the rose, is that the oldest known rose bush, which is estimated to be about 1000 years old, is still growing in Germany to this day, on the side of the Hildesheim Cathedral.

Hildesheim Cathedral Rose Bush, Germany

There are many reasons why the rose has endured for so long, from its lush appearance, to its fragrance, colors and the heartiness of certain species, the flower has existed throughout the ages. Its use as a matrimonial symbol seems so plain and obvious when you consider its history. Through hardships, wars, famines and the rise and fall of empires, roses have endured. What better metaphor for the idea of marriage? The rose is literally a symbol of endurance – and beauty.

Although the rose has served many purposes over the years, from funerary tradition to a show of wealth, it’s remained a classic choice and show of good taste. Whether you use it on your wedding day, or have fresh bouquets in your home, or grow it in your garden with vigor, the rose has become a mainstay for modern society. There are many flower species that are growing in popularity, and when it comes to weddings, some would argue that the rose has lost the popularity contest with modern brides – however, no flower can hold a candle to the history, significance and relevance of the rose, which will forever be ingrained in modern culture.