Justice of the Peace Alan Ulrich JP

Wedding Traditions

The Wedding Ring

The wedding ring has been worn on the third finger of the left hand since the days of ancient Greece and Rome. It was believed that the vein of that finger travel, directly to the heart. The wedding ring is of course a circle and symbolizes eternity. It has no beginning and no end, like true love itself.

The Tiered Wedding Cake

Legend has it that a French pastry chef visiting England in Anglo-Saxon times noticed the English tradition of piling small cakes and sweet rolls on top of each other. The bride and groom would attempt to kiss over the stack of cakes without knocking them down. The chef returned to France, piled the cakes and rolls into a tower, perhaps covering them with frosting and creating what would become the forerunner of our modern wedding cake. In Bermuda, where I lived as a child, the traditional wedding cake is three-tiered with one layer for the bride, one for the groom and one saved for the guests.

Bride on Groom's Left

This tradition is handed down from Anglo-Saxon England where grooms would often have to defend their brides. The bride would stand to the left of the groom so that his sword arm was free.

The Best Man Tradition

In ancient times, men sometimes captured women to make them their brides. A man would take along his strongest and most trusted friend to help him fight resistance from the woman's family. This friend, therefore, was considered the best man among his friends. In Anglo-Saxon England, the best man accompanied the groom up the aisle to help defend the bride.