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Tradition; the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice. Wedding traditions have gone through many generations, some have changed a little, while others have completely stayed the same. The tradition of wearing white didn’t start until Queen Victoria wore a white gown to incorporate some lace she loved and to show her wealth. You see very few people could afford to wear a dress only once, and a white gown would be ruined by the end of the night. The tradition before that time was for brides to wear any color. Since then most brides have stuck with the tradition of wearing white on their wedding day. Here are some more traditions that have stuck around, with a couple new traditions that have started in the past few years.

1. Bridal Portraits

One of the longest-standing Southern wedding traditions is the bridal portrait, which originated in Europe, and the tradition eventually made it’s way across the Atlantic and below the Mason-Dixon line. They have evolved over the years; originally bridals were taken at a photographer’s studio, and featured a stoic, serious bride. But now, brides are going for a more personalized and natural look.

2. Bouquet

Flowers are incorporated into the wedding ceremony as a symbol of fertility. The first bouquets consisted of herbs and later, orange blossoms. The tradition of the bouquet toss started from when Women would try and rip pieces of the bride’s dress and flowers in gain some of her good luck. To escape the women the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Today the bouquet is tossed to single women with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry.

3. Veil

The bridal veil has long been a symbol of youth, modesty and virginity and was used to ward off evil by disguising the bride.

4. Handkerchief

Early farmers thought that a bride’s wedding day tears brought luck and her tears would bring rain to their crops. Later, it was thought that a bride who cried on her wedding day would never shed another tear about her marriage. Thought the tradition of passing down the wedding handkerchief through family members has remained the same, the reasons why a bride wanted to catch her tears of joy have changed over the years.

5. Letter to each other

The bride and groom will write letters to each other to express their feelings one last time before they exchange their vows. The tradition now is for the photographer to capture this special moment.

6. Bride & Groom Not Seeing Each other before Wedding

During the time when arranged marriages were custom, the betrothed couple wasn’t allowed to see each other before the wedding at all. The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families, but he also feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn’t attractive, and he might call off the wedding, casting shame onto the bride and her family. It then became a tradition that the bride and groom would not see other until they met at the alter.

7. First Look

Now couples feel that they will be more relaxed if they see each other for just a few minutes before the ceremony. Of course it helps the process of wedding pictures move along, and allow the bride and groom be able to experience more with their guests.

8. Father-Daughter Dance

Traditionally the Father-Daughter Dance came before the Bride-Groom dance. The father danced with the bride then presented her to the groom to dance to the steps of a new life. It was a way for the bride to share a special time with the two most important men in her life.

9. Wedding Cake

A gorgeous wedding cake is often the centerpiece of a wedding and usually sits in a place of honor. This tradition dates back to Roman and Medieval times, back then a stack of buns was used instead of a cake though.

10. Send off

Pelting newlyweds with uncooked starchy vegetables is a time-honored tradition meant to shower the new couple with prosperity, fertility, and of course, good fortune. Over the years is has varied to a send of after the reception, with sparklers, bubbles, or rose petals send off.