But Why? The Stories and Histories of the Wedding Traditions we Perform

Posted on July 05, 2017

H A P P Y  W E D D I N G  S E A S O N  F R O M  S P I N E L L I  K I L C O L L I N !

The Spinelli Kilcollin Wedding Collection draws inspiration from mythology, stories of great historical love, symbolism, astronomy, and legend. And so does each ring within the collection. The Orpheus, as an example, is a single-band ring that has a hidden-from-plain-sight conflict free diamond. The diamond represents power that, though always present, isn’t always visible. It's named for the the mythological musician, poet, and prophet who could charm all living things, and even stones, with his transcending music and tried to rescue Eurydice, his love, from the throws of the underworld.

Weddings—which can be the most symbolic, intimate, and meaningful milestones of our lives—consist a series of traditions and rituals that we subscribe to. But why do we do the things that we do?

The one thing that ties each of these rather bizarre traditions together is the importance of symbolism—weddings themselves being quite symbolic ceremonies.

As with all of our jewelry, each of the rings in the SK Wedding Collection holds endless symbolic potential—and we hope that, as your relationship grows over time, you collect new bands, which symbolize milestones that you'll share together, and link them to your engagement and wedding rings. 

In the mean time, read on to discover the histories of the actions that we take during wedding ceremonies!

T H E  E N G A G E M E N T  R I N G

Engagement bands were first worn in ancient Egypt. The circular shape was said to represent the endless cycle of love, the space inside of the ring was said to represent a gateway of love. Solitaire stones, which are featured on numerous of the Spinelli Kilcollin Wedding Collection rings, were introduced by the Sicilians, who believed that the stone was forged by the fires of love.

R I N G  P L A C E M E N T

When we become engaged, the ring that denotes it is worn on the "ring finger" of the left hand, and during the marriage ceremony, the wedding band is placed on the "ring finger" of the right hand. This finger takes its name from the tradition, and is considered to hold the vena amoris, or vein of love. 

T H E  V E I L 

Ancient Romans believed that brides could attract evil spirits on their wedding days, so veils were worn to protect evil eyes that, fueled by jealousy, sought to destroy the union.

Though many brides do not wear veils, the layer of fabric is still commonly worn. Why? Because when arranged marriages were more popular, the bride was, essentially, considered to be a form of commodity. Marriage was an agreement between two families. Because the two soon-to-be-married people most likely met on their wedding day, the veil was meant to obscure the bride’s features—in an attempt to (hopefully pleasantly) surprise her new husband. 

Today the veil symbolizes the bride’s virtue.

 T H E  B O U Q U E T

In ancient times, brides would carry bouquets of garlic, spices and herbs with the intention of warding off evil and the plague. Now that we're less concerned with the plague and many are less concerned with the notion of evil spirits, wedding bouquets are typically little more than ornamental displays of the bride's favorite flowers.  

T H E  B E S T  M A N

The best man was a man of action—in case of possible crises, he served two jobs—to catch the bride should she try to flee the scene, and to protect the couple from her family protesting the wedding in case they were, well, a bit nuts. 

T H E  B R I D E S M A I D  D R E S S E S

Again with the evil spirits! Bridesmaids once wore dresses that were similar-ish to that of the bride so that they could confuse and distract evil spirits from the bride, allowing her to have a happy wedding day.

T H E  T H R O W I N G  O F  R I C E 

Throwing rice at the end of the wedding ceremony is symbolic of rain, which is symbolic for good luck and of good fortune. 

 T H E  R I N G  B E A R E R 

Young children, who symbolize innocence, were asked to carry the wedding rings on pillows, which were meant to bring the couples peace and good dreams.

T H E  G A R T E R  T O S S 

Though now a rather antiquated tradition, the tossing of the garter started in England and in France, where wedding guests would try to take a piece of the bride's dress as a token of good luck. The bride, it was said, would be nervous that her dress would be torn apart during the wedding, and so the groom would throw the garter so that she could rest easy, knowing that nothing would be ruined. The tradition also distracted guests so that the couple could disappear during the reception. 

W E D D I N G  B E L L S, W E D D I N G  B E L L S

An Irish tradition, the sound of wedding bells was thought to ward off (you by this point can probably guess...) evil spirits!

W H I T E  W E D D I N G  D R E S S E S

The color white was a symbol of purity. Because people were, and are, discouraged from wearing white at weddings, the tone also sets the bride apart from wedding guests.

F A T H E R  G I V I N G  T H E  B R I D E  A W A Y

This symbolism of this tradition is straight forward—the father walks the bride down the aisle to guide her to her groom, and then "gives" her to the groom to take care of.

A  K I S S 

The wedding kiss was thought to be the "first" kiss that the couple shared. The wedding kiss was symbolic of a seal to the contract between the two. 

Though most of us aren't quite as concerned with evil spirits and everyone once was, we're very grateful to the ancient Greeks and to the Sicilians for introducing the notion of wedding rings. For many reasons, these timeless and endlessly symbolic representations of love, devotion, and commitment are one of our favorite facets of marriage. 

Here, in honor of the Sicilian tradition, a few of our favorite Wedding Rings with solitaire, conflict free diamonds.

The Freyja, a beauty of rose gold, is representative of the ancient Greek myth in which Freyja would shed gold and amber tears for her husband when he was away. 

The Amor is named the Roman god of love, and for the notion of Romantic Love. 

The Gaia is named for united-ness and for interconnectedness.

Shop them here, here, and here!



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