What do you think of when you hear the term “wedding etiquette”? Most of us, when we hear the word “etiquette” think of strict rules, “do’s” and “don’t’s” and some stuffy person looking down his or her nose at us if we aren’t following the “rules of etiquette” just so. But wedding etiquette has relaxed quite a bit over the years, and much allowance has been made for personal wants over what is [necessarily]“right” and “wrong.”
Of a truth, wedding etiquette is not, any longer, purely, old-fashioned, unbending traditions. But it is interesting to have some awareness of where some of our most commonly held onto customs, which might seem to be governed by rules of propriety, but really aren’t.
Let’s take a look at a few, just for fun.
• The engagement ring. This custom heralds from Anglo Saxon history. The ring, given as a gift, was a token of professed love, and the circular band symbolized “eternal” or “unending” love, or “oneness.” In time, the diamond, due to its intrinsic make up of hardness and strength, became a symbol of the enduring nature implied in the relationship—again, the “endless” quality of the diamond stood/stands for this to endure in the love relationship. The band custom is traced back to the Egyptians, who gave their brides “rings” of hemp.
• Why the “ring” [or third]finger? Theories circulate about this one. One explanation is the custom comes from the 17th century, where, at Christian weddings, the marrying priest would seal the covenant by reciting the words—while at the same time, touching the first three fingers of the left hand—“…in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Still another speculation accredits, again, the Egyptians, who believed the third, or “ring” finger has a vein, known as “vena amoris” or “vein of love”, which reportedly runs from that particular finger, directly to the heart.
• Wedding Invitations. Originally were sent out to the public to offer opportunity to oppose the marriage of a proposed bride, if a justifiable reason to do so could be raised.
That’s just a sampling of wedding traditions, which have found their place in the “books” of wedding etiquette. Today, courtesy and compassion are gaining stronger sway, overall, than mere “rules of propriety.”
Information provided as a service by Beautiful Wedding Invitations.