Weddings Are In Full Bloom In June

“June is bustin’ out all over The saplin’s are bustin’ out with sap Love, he’s found my brother, Junior And my sisters even loonier! And my Ma is gettin’ kittenish with Pap! June is bustin’ out all over. What a great blast of music from the past. June is usually considered the preferred month for weddings. April and May can whip up a rain storm with very little warning and July? Well, July is just too hot. July is great for picnics, Bermuda shorts and bathing suits. The truth is that couples marry twelve months out of the year. I’m not sure a bride considers the month so much as the availability of the church or hall or perhaps some uniquely romantic reason for the month chosen. Just last month, a local couple had an outside wedding at the same location where they met at a barbecue the previous year. The weather threatened a bit, but eventually cooperated with this young couple’s wedding plans. Have you ever wondered who dreamed up all the little traditions that make up the wedding ceremony today? Some of the traditions are a bit expensive while some are just plain fun. For example, where do you think the concept of a wedding cake originated? Believe it or not, it started back during the Roman Empire. The cake in those days was actually a loaf of bread baked for the wedding party. There was nothing elaborate about it.  The bread was given to the groom who ate part of it and then he broke the rest of the loaf over the head of his new bride. Aren’t you glad you live in this century? Breaking the bread over the brides head was symbolic of the bride’s virginity being broken with the wedding ceremony. It was also indicative of the groom’s power over his new bride. Fortunately for the women, wedding cakes did evolve over time. Since there must have been objections to the “bread breaking” custom, the tradition gave way to the stacking of sweet buns in a large pile. The newlyweds were put on either side of the pile and instructed to kiss over the top of it. If the couple was successful, it was a sign that they would be blessed with many children. By the early 19 century, wedding cakes were becoming both attractive and tasty. They were usually simple, single tiered plum cakes. Once in a while the baker would attempt at least a two tier creation. In order to keep the top layer from sinking into the bottom layer they made an icing that would set up to be extremely hard. It was so hard that it kept the top layer of cake from sinking into the lower layer.  Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to cut the cake, to say nothing of trying to eat it? Once the English royalty got wind of multi-tiered wedding cakes, much of the elegance we know today in wedding cake design was birthed. Except for the lower layer, all the rest of the layers had the appearance of being cake in those days, but they weren’t. They were simply mock-ups made of spun sugar. Bakers still had not figured out how to build a stable multi-tiered cake, but they sure wanted the look. It seems that the bridal bouquet and grooms garter toss were a bit dangerous at one time. Originally it was believed that the bride was very lucky on her wedding day and that if you acquired a piece of her clothing, then similar luck would befall you.  After the wedding ceremony the couple’s guests would rush the bride and tear pieces of her wedding dress off of her. It became pretty raucous at times and there were even brides who got injured during this interesting bridal practice. At some point the brides decided to throw their stockings and garter to keep from being attacked. Since brides felt it almost as undignified throwing their stockings as having their gowns ripped off piece by piece, couples eventually adopted the present tradition. The bride throws her bouquet to the women and the groom tosses her garter to the men.  It is still believed that whoever catches the garter and the bouquet will be the next to get married. When did brides begin to wear veils? Some say it began in ancient Rome. It is said that brides were veiled to keep the evil spirits from being attracted to her. By covering her face, it was thought that this confused the spirits. I guess they had poor eye sight. Some say the veil was instituted during the era of arranged marriages. In previous times a man would bargain for an eligible lady’s hand in marriage with her father. It was only AFTER the ceremony when the veil was lifted so the groom would get his first look at the bride he had purchased. Some say the veil was instituted to keep the man from backing out of the marriage in the event that he didn’t like what he saw. Veils come in all lengths today. Originally the location of the wedding ceremony would determine the length of the veil the bride would wear. For instance, the cathedral length veil was only worn at a wedding performed in a cathedral. Now any length can be worn in any wedding – small or large – outside, in church or in hall. Don’t be surprised if you notice an abundance of limousines, horse carriages and cars with “just married” scrawled all over the windows riding down Route 50 this month. June is still considered the ideal month for a wedding. After all… “June is bustin’ out all over The ocean is full of Jacks and Jills With the little tail a-swishing Every lady fish is wishin’ That a male would come And grab er by the gills!

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