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Weddings throughout history: how traditions have evolved

September 19, 2019

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Tradition is an essential element of every wedding. Nearly every step of the planning process involves rituals or ideas traced back decades, maybe even centuries. 

At Bromberg’s, we’ve put together some of our favorite wedding traditions and outlined a little of their history. 

Tradition #1: Bodyguard bridesmaids

While one would never think of wearing the exact same thing as her bridesmaid, the history of this tradition tells us just the opposite! In fact, there was a time when bridesmaids wearing the same thing as the bride were of vital importance to the success of the wedding. 

Having bridesmaids dress like the bride helped to protect her from kidnapping, confuse evil spirits, and prevent anyone from doing her harm on the wedding day. This is a far cry from assisting with hostess duties or planning parties we know today. 

Tradition #2: Wedding pie, anyone? 

The wedding cake tradition also has evolved significantly over the years. Now, many guests enjoy multiple tiers of buttercream, fondant, and soft cake, but that wasn’t always the case. Many of the first wedding “cakes” were in the form of freshly baked loaves of bread or even pies

What else? Sometimes rings would be baked inside of pies, indicating which lucky lady would get married next. Of course, we don’t recommend this particular variation, especially if you’re using a Bromberg’s ring. 

Tradition #3: Rain, rain, go away!

Only in the South can you take a bottle of bourbon and turn it into a beloved wedding tradition. We know that the weather in Alabama is often unpredictable, even in the spring and summer months when many weddings take place, which can make planning difficult. 

That’s why couples in the South have been burying bottles of bourbon at wedding sites. Though no one knows for sure when this tradition started, one thing is for certain: The best part is sharing it with your spouse after tying the knot. 

Tradition #4: Putting a ring on it

Like many wedding traditions, the ring began in ancient Rome, as a symbol of ownership. As in, the wife was “owned” by the husband. The wedding ring as a circled band is also attributed to the ancient Egyptians, symbolizing eternity. Later, it was a token of betrothal, given between European royalty. 

Thankfully, the engagement and wedding rings we know of today symbolize love, purity, and commitment. There truly is no symbol as iconic. Today, many couples find themselves with diamonds passed down generations and want to customize the piece or make it more modern. Other couples want to go a different route with rings featuring different kinds of gemstones. 

Tradition #5: No peeking

If you’ve been a bride, groom, or wedding photographer, you know how important it is to capture that “first look.” But when should the first look happen? Is it ever okay for a groom to see a bride before the wedding? 

According to history, this superstition dates back to arranged marriages. In many instances, a bride’s family went through great pains to hide a bride before the wedding to ensure the groom wouldn’t back out. Doesn’t that sound romantic? Today, however, it’s more about heightening anticipation and excitement during the big day. 

Tradition #6: Something old, something new, something from Bromberg’s 

Okay, we tweaked that saying just a bit. The truth is, Bromberg’s is just as much a part of many couple’s wedding traditions as the ones mentioned above. 

For decades, we’ve seen tastes, traditions, and preferences evolve. One thing never changes, though: the happiness that comes from showering a bride or groom with the perfect gift or token of love. 

Whether it’s through finding the perfect hostess gift, creating your registry, or buying the ring, we love all facets of wedding planning. Visit our stores today and let us know how we can help you start (or carry on) heart-warming traditions of your own. 

About Bromberg’s

It’s Bromberg’s mission to provide clients with an unforgettable and enjoyable luxury experience. We operate two Birmingham fine jewelry stores located in Mountain Brook Village and the Summit. At each of our locations, we provide meticulous attention to our products to ensure the quality for our loyal customers. If you are looking for that special piece, need a jewelry repair or appraisal or just have a general question or comment, please contact us.

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