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Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

The Trousseau
The word trousseau came from the French word, trousse, which meant bundle.  The trousseau originated as a bundle of clothing and personal possessions the bride carried with her to her new home. This was later expanded upon into a generous dowry.  Today, the trousseau includes all of the new items for the household, as well as for the bride herself.

The Wedding Rings

The Ring Finger
was important in ancient times. It was believed there was a vein in the third finger of the left hand that ran directly to the heart- the "vena amoris. Thus, the ring being placed on that finger denoted the strong connection of a heartfelt love and commitment to one another. 

The Engagement Ring
 was the original betrothal ring, and served a dual purpose.  This double purpose included partial payment for the bride and was a symbol of the groom's honourable intentions. It considered bad luck for the bride to remove her engagement ring before the day of her wedding.

The Wedding Ring,
coming in a circular shape, symbolizes undying, unending love and commitment. Both the engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.      

The Wedding Cake
In early times a thin loaf was broken over the bride's head at the close of the ceremony to symbolize fertility. This is thought to be the origin of the wedding cake.  In medieval England guests brought small cakes as gifts and these were piled as high as possible, and the newlyweds would then kiss over the top of the pile. This eventually became the tiered wedding cake of more recent times. It is now customary for wedding cakes to be tiered. The top tier of the wedding cake represented the couple as a couple and the bottom tier represented them as a family. The tiers in between these two between represented the number of children hoped for. The top tier is traditionally reserved and frozen for the couple to share on their first wedding anniversary. The bride and groom cut the first slice of cake together as this is believed to mean that they will conceive.
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