Recently I connected with Rachel from Veiled Productions during the #weddinghour chat on Twitter. During the chat hour I tweeted some historical information regarding where some wedding customs come from. Rachel loved the insights I had shared and asked if I would write a guest post for her blog on the origins of wedding traditions. I thought it was a great idea, and the post recently went live on her blog.
Writing the post on the origins of wedding customs for Rachel gave me an idea for a post I really wanted to write up and share with all of you here. What got my creative juices flowing for this post was the section I wrote on why Brides carry a bouquet. The section about the bouquet carrying custom is below:
In the middle ages, people stank. Harsh, but true. Really, up until the end of the 19th Century, and even into the 20th Century, people’s attitude and access to cleanliness was very different to now. Depending on the era in history the custom of carrying a bouquet changes slightly, which means the history behind this wedding day tradition isn’t as clear cut as some of the others, however there is a continuity to the theme, which is that the bridal bouquets purpose was to mask odour.If you were to ask your parents or grandparents how often they used to wash when they were younger, it is quite likely they will tell you that they always had to wash their hands before dinner, but they only got a full body wash once a week. Go back a bit further, and people didn’t wash monthly let alone weekly! In the 15th century people took their annual bath in May. For this reason, weddings tended to happen in June. This is why late Spring to early Summer is the traditional time of year for getting married. Getting married the month after your annual bath, helped you to be smelling fresh on your wedding day. As an extra insurance to make sure the Groom thought the Bride smelt good, she would carry a posy of herbs and flowers.
Over time the use of herbs in Bridal bouquets and table centrepieces has disappeared, yet wouldn’t it be lovely to use herbs?