The Wedding Ring
The Wedding Ring, traditionally plain and made of gold, is the oldest surviving symbol of marriage.
The circle represents eternity and never ending love and the gold, purity of intent. It is placed on the fourth finger of the left hand, as it was believed that a vein called the Vena Amoris ran straight from it to the heart. If rings cannot be bought, it is legal to borrow them for the wedding.
Confetti, Italian for confectionery, is a watered down version of an ancient fertility rite and nowadays little pieces of coloured paper or rice are thrown at the couple.
The throwing of the Garter by the groom to unmarried men and the Bouquet by the bride to unmarried girls is believed to bring good luck and marriage to whomever they are caught by.
The conventional White Dress is said to be a sign of purity and high virtues. Green signifies youth, hope and happiness. Red denotes vigour, courage and passion while a violet dress symbolizes dignity, pride and high ideals.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Something Old could be a piece of jewellery or something from a happily married woman as a blessing of matrimonial bliss. This represents the married woman’s links with her family and her past.
Something New depicts the new life that the bride is starting – usually this is her dress or shoes.
Something Borrowed is to remind the bride of the need to rely on others for help. This is normally gold, representing the sun, the source of life.
Something Blue (usually the garter) denotes faithfulness and is a compliment to the moon, protector of women.
Courtesy of Claudia Liebenberg