Every culture cherishes its own marriage traditions and superstitions. A wedding is a cultural performance conducted by many people all over the world. Family and friends witness it. This cultural ritual goes back in time to B.C. when the Greeks and Romans began the traditions. Many traditions originated from old rhymes, folktales or tribal traditions whose origins are lost in time. There are equally surprising origins for such a ritual such as the ring finger, wedding ring and wedding cake. All of these traditions are prearranged to show the beginning of two people starting their lives together. Just recently I was a spectator of one of the most beautiful weddings that was put together to define this cultural ritual. It was taken place at North Gate Country Club on January 21, 2001. My friend Keri was wed to Mike. The performance of this cultural ritual took quite a bit time and money to piece perfectly together. This wedding took time and effort by friends and family to create the perfect moment when the parents gave away their children. Usually, no wedding is ever the same but this wedding had a tale of its own.
One of the most of the important thing to any wedding is the people who attend and the people who participate in this ritual. Not just anyone can attend a wedding. Keri and Mike invited their closest friends and family by wedding invitations. They were sent so that they could count how many would be able to attend. It very important they have a number of people present so they know how many chairs, tables, food, and wedding favors to account for when they have the wedding. The actual performers of the wedding are very important. One actual performer includes the priest, pastor, or other members of clergy depending on religion to wed the couple. Then there is the bride, bride s maids, and maid of honor, which participate as the bride s closest friend. Next are the groom, grooms men and best man that partake as the grooms best man. Keri had two bride maids and her maid of honor, and Mike had two grooms men and his best man. Then there are the parents, which give away their children. With so many people, it was pretty multi-cultural. When the wedding actually took place I was required to sign their wedding book and I was given a small jingle bell. It was used so that when they were married the sound of bells was to be heard. This shows celebration of the two couple and their new lives together.
To some people religion is a very important detail when is comes to weddings. In tradition, weddings took place in a church or holy temple, but as time marches on, weddings are taken place everywhere. Such examples of weddings in other places would be on a beach or in court. Keri and Mike s wedding was at a very beautiful country club called North Gate. They decided to have it at a country club because of different religions. Mike is Baptist and was wed by his grandfather pastor Eddie Wiggins. A wedding cannot take place with out rehearsals. Only the performers participate in rehearsals so they know where and when to take places. Rehearsals are lead by either the wedding planner or the member of clergy. The rehearsals are informal and usually held on the day before the wedding and usually rehearsed two or three times.
There are many traditions to abide by when having a wedding. Many traditions are centuries old and others more modern. The wedding ring, wedding cake, and the white gown are considered old traditions to a wedding. Keri and Mikes vows were exchanged along with wedding rings. The maid of honor and the best man hold the wedding rings until the vows are exchanged. In Roman times, the wedding ring symbolized two people journeying through life together as one. A wedding cake for the most part is white. Keri and Mike s cake was white with three layers. Many believe it was this color to symbolize purity or virginity and it became customary over time. The Greeks and Romans to celebrate joy used the white wedding gown. Both Keri and Mike wore whit to their wedding. What is known as the wedding dress is traditionally only worn once and this showed a person s affluence. Nearly everyone has heard the old rhyme about what a bride should wear: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and sixpence in her shoe. Keri did not wear a sixpence in her shoe because the sandals that went with the dress could not hold the silver sixpence. This tradition means that the bride would stay close to her family and friends and hope for the future. More modern traditions are the wedding song, champagne toasts, and the honeymoon. In Keri and Mike s wedding two songs were played for them to show celebration. Before the vows were exchanged, Keri and Mike lit a candle together to the song From this Moment by Shania Twain to show ceremony. Their first dance, which was after the wedding, was to This I Promise You by N Sync. Toasts were made with champagne by the bride maids and grooms men to show how happy that the couple are together. The Honeymoon is considered a time for the new couple to escape all of the pre-wedding stresses and just enjoy relaxing with each other before the pressures of married life set in. Honeymoons traditionally were to last one month because it was full moon to full moon and the wine customarily drank at this time was honey-flavored because it was most enjoyed. The two words were combined to denote the honeymoon. Keri and Mike s honey was only three days and took place at a bed in breakfast outside of San Antonio. They both work but they had the time of there life while they were there. Everything went perfectly from the rehearsals to saying good-bye when the couple went on their honeymoon.
Mentioned before every wedding is unique in its own way. The one thing weddings have in common is the celebration of the two people starting their lives together witnessed by family and friends. Wedding cakes, rehearsals, wedding rings, songs and white gowns show old and new traditions and all have their origins in beliefs and superstitions. Planning a wedding can often be hectic, and a nerve wrecking experience. To see how happy a married couple is at a wedding, it is all worth it.