Getting Married in Great Brittain
Wedding flowers are scattered by a small girl preceding the English bride and her wedding party, who walk together to the wedding chapel or the wedding site. The flowered path and symbolic walk express hope for the bride's path through life to be happy and lovely. English bridesmaids wear wedding dresses very much like the bride's, so she cannot be singled out by any jealous evil wishers, who might curse her for her happiness.
Brides sew a good luck charm, such as the silver horseshoe of royal British brides, to the hem of their wedding dresses. Old English wedding tradition also calls for the bride to carry a horseshoe, streaming with ribbons, for good luck.
English Wedding Ceremony
Traditionally, an English couple getting married will exchange their vows outside the wedding chapel doorway, allowing the ceremony to be witnessed by anyone who might want to watch.
Traditional English Wedding Receptions
Traditional English wedding cake is a fruitcake, usually made with raisins, ground almonds, cherries and marzipan. The top layer of the wedding cake is called the "christening cake" which the couple is saves for the baptism of their first child.
The fruitcake is served at the wedding reception along with another traditional cake -- the groom's cake -- which originated during the Tudor period. It was once English custom for this to be a fruitcake as well, but today, the groom's cake is likely to be chocolate.
A unique Victorian wedding reception event is called a 'ribbon pull'. A sterling silver charm is purchased for each of the bridesmaids. A ribbon is tied to each one, and the baker places them between layers of the wedding cake as it is being assembled. Before the bride and groom share their first slice of cake, the bridesmaids gather so that ech can pull one ribbon, claiming for herself a future good promise.
The wedding tradition of tying shoes to the cars of newlyweds also began in England during the Tudor period. Originally, wedding reception guests threw shoes at the newlyweds as they were leaving the church for good luck. The modern tradition is to tie shoes to the honeymoon vehicle. The English consider rain on a wedding day a sign of good fortune.