Most British wedding traditions are respected to this day and have become part of many cultures as they are the ultimate symbol of marriage. From the classic wedding rings, to the importance of wearing a white dress, here are four of the main traditions that seem to span across the years and country borders.

  • The white dress
  • Old, new, borrowed and blue
  • The classic wedding rings
  • The first dance

The white dress

You may not know this, but the tradition of wearing a white dress, actually comes from Great Britain.

In the early days, brides and grooms wore the best clothes they owned, and these could be any colour or style. But this changed the day Queen Victoria wore an ivory white wedding gown trimmed with Honiton lace for her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840. That is when wearing a white wedding dress became fashionable and ‘the thing to do’ for brides, in accordance with the Queen.

Old, new, borrowed and blue

We have all heard that on your wedding day, you should wear something old, new, borrowed and blue. Throughout the decades that saying has been heard at weddings across Europe.

The actual saying goes as follows: ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.’ The old refers to the past, the new stands for the future, the borrowed is about the happiness the new husband gives the bride and the blue is against evil. Today, the part regarding the sixpence is not really mentioned anymore but it originally referred to wealth.

The classic wedding rings

Classic wedding rings are a must in all British weddings, they are a tradition that seems to have remained throughout history as they are the ultimate symbol of love, eternity and commitment to one another. Although today, many brides and grooms are being more and more creative with their choices of engagement ring, it appears that the wedding bands tend to remain classic and timeless, as it is what they represent that matters the most.

The first dance

Last but not least, is the tradition of the first dance. This tradition stems from the grand royal balls that took place centuries ago. Back then, the male guest of honour invited the lady of the house to dance. Once they had danced a couple of minutes, they would then open the floor to all guests and the ball would officially start. This tradition has then become a wedding tradition, where the father of the bride would dance with her, and the groom would dance with his mother. Today, it is often the case where the groom and bride have their first dance and then open the floor to their guests.

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