Wedding Symbolism Means What You Think It Means Wedding traditions have purpose. Tradition is often full of symbolic activities that only have meaning to those that are aware that meaning is attached. Otherwise, the traditions are simple niceties you observe to “put on a wedding.” Although the traditional meaning may be lost, the people involved are no worse off than those that understand it. They are not doomed to an unhappy life together. They simply find other symbols to mean the same things in their lives.
The Wedding Ring For example, the wedding ring traditionally symbolizes an eternal love. Since the band has no end, it is a reminder to the wearer that their love can last eternally, so work to keep it happy. To a person that doesn’t believe in eternity, they may only see the ring as a symbol for others to back off, they’re married. They assign a different meaning to the object that is equally as relevant and acceptable. They may use flowers, small gifts, and service as symbols of love and affection throughout the rest of their lives. They don’t need the ring to remind them because they do things for each other all the time to serve the same purpose.
Wedding Veil In another example, the wedding veil is traditionally lifted by the man, as a symbol of taking her into his home. In days gone by, that act alone also symbolized the male dominance of the wife. Should she lift the veil herself, it would be a shameful act telling the world that she saw herself at the same level as the man. A woman understanding that initial symbolism today might lift her own veil to ensure the world knows that she is an equal. She might even resent her husband should he tried to do it himself in favor of tradition—even if he meant nothing in the way of domination in his actions. Neither party is “wrong” per se, but there can definitely be strife and misunderstanding in the events that follow.
Other Traditions Traditions are constantly changing in today’s world. Where once mothers passed her dress on to her children; new brides are purchasing their own dresses.
Receptions are only ever held the night of the wedding, that’s just how it’s been done in past. A few couples are celebrating the night before these days, and marrying in the morning. The day is too exhausting otherwise. They say goodnight after the reception and wait for the ceremony the next day. Chapels used to be the only place for a wedding. Now ceremonies are held in yards, fancy halls, and sometimes even rock concerts. The band Train, for instance, recently civilly married a couple in the middle of a concert in Salt Lake City. The venue changes according to the significance those locations have in the minds of the couple. Their choices have their own sort of symbolism, even if the parents don’t quite understand why. The thing to remember is that each tradition of the wedding has meaning if you assign it. Remember that when you casually throw aside traditions, it can hurt your parents and grandparents because it means something to them. You may have to honor the tradition anyways, or talk to them about it in such a way so as not to hurt their feelings. The Chapel of the Flowers helps people getting married in Vegas. Traditions abound in that city alone. Las Vegas weddings can mean what you want them to. Start your own tradition with your Las Vegas wedding. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotorita/99639119/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/ally_m/5964809893/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/2742030915/