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Historical Wedding Traditions

The antique wedding band has a long tradition dating as far as 860 A. D. Wedding traditions varied greatly between “cultures, ethnic groups, religions and countries”, according to Wikipedia – Wedding. Roman wedding customs gave way to the engagement ring as a gift. Today, an antique engagement ring would be looked at in the same way. It was worn on the third finger of the left hand, as it is today. It was believed that a nerve ran from the finger directly to the heart. In Scottish weddings, the custom was to marry just outside the church with a ceremony in the Scottish language. The wedding party and guest then went inside the church for a ceremony in Latin where wedding bands were exchanged believing that the rings symbolically had no beginning or ending. Of course, the event was followed with a marriage kiss. In Hawaii, very little is known about the old marriage tradition as there is no language of old Hawaii. However, we do know that they exchanged wedding bands symbolizing the sun, the earth and the heavens. Pope Nicholas, in 860 A. D, told all that the engagement ring was required to seal the marriage. The ring was considered a ring of gold. It wasn’t until 617 years later that adding a diamond to the ring of gold as an engagement ring became popular. In old England, the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, started. Although these customs are used today, few know anything of its relevance. Something old is symbolic of continuity, usually a piece of lace or an old piece of jewelry. Today, an antique wedding band or vintage wedding band could be used for something old. Something new could even be an antique wedding band and would be considered that something new. It is a new gift to the bride to be. Something borrowed would be symbolic of the future happiness and that was given to the bride by a friend. Something blue meant purity and a band of blue cloth was worn on the bottom of the bride and groom’s wedding attire. During the time of the knights, the knight would go into a tournament wearing a single flower or a handkerchief from the bride. That has turned into the custom of the groom wearing a flower from the bride’s bouquet. The white gown was not a symbol of purity but rather, of joy. In 1499, Ann of Brittany started the tradition of the white gown being fashionable wedding attire. Today, some traditions have changed but many are the same. The diamond engagement ring, the wedding band symbolizing the never ending love between the husband and wife, the white wedding dress, the something blue and the single flower are still a popular tradition today.  

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