Yes, we may be from Singapore, but most of the wedding rom-coms we enjoy are not filmed here! Movies like The Wedding Ringer (2015), 27 Dresses (2009), Bride Wars (2009), The Proposal (2009) and Mama Mia! (2008) are all filmed in the US. Where else would we learn about the saying that brides need ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’? Read on and learn about these US traditions shown in your favourite rom-coms!
This all too familiar rhyme, which goes back to the Victorian era, still holds true for many couples today, because they sincerely believe following it would bring the bride luck in her upcoming marriage. However, few realize that each line has a special meaning. For instance, wearing ‘something old’ symbolizes the couple’s desire to maintain close ties with their families, while wearing ‘something new’ represents the couple’s wish for a marriage blessed with good health, wealth and success. ‘Something borrowed’ is slightly different. It is a way for friends and relatives to show their love by lending the bride a treasured accessory. Finally, ‘something blue’ is worn to symbolize the bride’s fidelity and consistency. This last line refers to a tradition that hails from Israel, where brides wear blue ribbons in their hair on their wedding day.
Back when arranged marriages were a custom, the betrothed couple only saw each other for the first time at their wedding itself. Being concerned that the groom may change his mind after getting of glimpse of his future wife’s face, the bride’s parents would make her wear a veil during the ceremony, which would only be lifted after the vows have been said. While arrange marriages are not the norm anymore, brides remain hesitant letting their soon-to-be husbands see them before the ceremony. They wish to share that special look – one reflecting his joy, love and surprise – with their family and friends as they walk down the aisle towards the altar. This rom-com fairy-tale magic is lost once the groom has seen the bride in her gown.
Hey, finally one tradition we also practice here – tossing the bridal bouquet! Any bachelorette lucky enough to catch it is believed to the next one to get married. The garter is meant for that lucky bachelor. For something seemingly innocent, this custom has quite a risque origin. In medieval times, the wedding guests would follow the couple into the bridal chamber so that they rip a piece of the bride’s gown for keeps, because they believe it would bring them luck. To save the gown from being torn to shreds, the newlyweds tossed a bouquet to distract their wedding guests during their getaway. Finally, after slipping into their chamber, the groom opened the door and tossed the garter to indicate they were about to consummate their union.
#4 The Groom Carries the Bride Over the Threshold to Prevent Bad Luck
Grooms worry about being able to carry their brides on the actual day, as they want to welcome their bride the right way. The origin of this tradition is anything but romantic. This practice, like the tossing of the bridal bouquet, stems from medieval times. During that period, women were expected to be chaste; hence when any bride appears too eager to enter her husband’s home, it was considered scandalous. The solution was for the bride to let the groom carry her into his home. The threshold was important, because people believed that evil spirits lurk underneath it. So, if the bride is kept off the ground, none of these evil spirits would enter her through her feet. Many couples scoff at the notion of evil spirits, but they still carry out this traditional, as they love the symbolism of the groom welcoming his new bride into his life.
Another staple for most wedding rom-coms is the cake cutting scene, where the bride and groom hold the knife together. Once they have cut the cake, they will then feed each other a bit of the cake. This tradition started off with the bride being the only one cutting the cake. Overtime the groom began participating by wrapping his hand round the bride’s and they cut the cake together. This act supposedly represents the first act they do together as a newly married couple. The bride and groom feeding one another some cake was their also considered their first meal as man and wife.
There are other interesting customs in the US, but these are the 5 most common customs see on screen. We hope you’ll enjoy spotting these little references made your next wedding rom-com. They are not customs made up by the screenwriters.
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