Wedding Coins, the Tiara and more Bridal Tradition

Wedding Banns

The wedding Banns are the public announcement of the future wedding, so that if there is somebody who believes that this wedding should not  happen they can declare their reasons in an attempt to stop the ceremony from taking place.

This custom was initiated by the emperor Charlemagne who reigned over the Frankish empire in Europe from 768 to 814AD.  At that time, many marriages between close relatives were taking place, so the emperor ruled that every grooms should communicate his commitment to becoming married one week before the wedding.  The Banns or  public notices were hung on the door of the church so that everybody could see them.

The Wedding Tiara

The tiara is a very old bridal tradition.  It is based on the premise that the bride is considered to be "Queen for a day".

The 13 Wedding Coins or Arras

The Arras are thirteen coins of gold or silver which the goom places into the hands of the bride during the marriage ceremony.  This is a custom that is most common in Hispanic weddings.  In  antiquity, the thirteen coins symbolized two things: the properties and goods that the future marriage would share and the gift that the groom gave to the bride as a sign of gratitude for her virginity.

The Godparents or Witnesses

Currently in some parts of the world, there is a custom whereby the Godfather recites a poem to the bride.  Also it is usually the Godfather who gives the marriage bouquet to the bride.

In the sacrement of marriage in most religions, canon law does not insist that there are godparents, but there must be witnesses, although often the witnesses are known as "Godparents". They do not therefore have to be baptismal godparents or those from any religious confirmation of the bride or groom. It is common that  the male godparents accompany the bride and the female godparents accompany the groom to the altar.  

The Kiss at the Altar

When kissing at the altar the breaths of the bride and groom are mixed and part of the sole of each of them merges into the other.  This celebrates the union of two people becoming as one.

Dragging Cans Behind the Car

This tradition derives from a Tudor custom. Wedding guests would throw shoes in the direction of the newlywed couple, and it was considered good luck if one any of the shoes entered and rattled around in the carriage.  This reflects a similar tradition of using pots, pans and cow bells behind the wedding vehicle to make noise which would ward off any evil spirits who may try to ruin the marriage. Nowadays we use cans behind the car instead which is probably a better idea than throwing your shoes at the bride or groom. At least the current way doesn't risk them losing consciousness on their biog day in the event that a clumpy bit of footwear whacks them on the head!

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