UK Wedding Traditions

Marriage in the UK is a tradition integrally rooted in Christianity and its growth within the country.  It is a practice littered with wedding customs and traditions, and much like the rest of the world, there are both many endearing and bizarre facets of UK wedding traditions. Some have been long lost in the annals of British history, but many still remain, previously practiced to ward of evil spirits, ensure fertility or happiness in the marriage, now more out of cultural custom. Here are the main UK wedding traditions for your reading pleasure:

UK Wedding Traditions – Proposal

Weddings in the UK begin with a proposal. Though still based often on social and economical stability, especially in the upper classes, historically British marriages have begun with the groom asking the potential bride’s father for her hand to wed. By the Victorian era this had evolved into a legal understanding between the two men, cemented when the groom would go down on one knee before the bride and ask for her hand in marriage. The understanding actually meant that if the groom was to ‘jilt’ his fiancé before the wedding, the bride could legally sue him. Today there is no such binding agreement, but UK wedding traditions dictate that most men will ask the father for permission to ask his daughter to marry before he goes down on one knee with a ring in his hand.
The engagement ring, another UK wedding tradition, is placed on the third finger of the left hand (counting from left to right) as the Romans believed this finger’s blood ran directly to the heart.

UK Wedding Traditions– The Wedding Day

After a successful engagement, the build up to the wedding day begins. It depends on the couple and their families how big a fare this is, but generally UK weddings can cost a lot of money and take a lot of organisation! Unlike countries such as China, the father of the Bride is traditionally expected to pay for the day, though in modern circumstances it is often more of a collaborative effort.

The date, according to UK wedding traditions, might be chosen on a number of days. A common rhyme, which cannot be said to be held nationally in great esteem any more, is:

Monday - brides will be healthy
Tuesday - brides will be wealthy
Wednesday - brides do best of all
Thursday - brides will suffer losses
Friday - brides will suffer crosses
Saturday - brides will have no luck at all

Months are also important – May is unlucky due to it being the month of the Roman feast of the dead, June is lucky as it is the month the Romans honoured Juno, the goddess of love.

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