British Royal Wedding Required Traditions


With all the buzz about England’s next Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, Miss Meredith Sweetpea’s mind has turned to romance. There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding. Especially so when marrying into the royal family.

In British tradition, there are a number of age-old royal wedding requirements.

  • The monarch must permit the marriage in writing for the six heirs closest in line to the throne.
  • A formal engagement announcement must be made by Kensington Palace, followed by a public photo session and joint interview. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle posed for the press in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace.
  • The king or queen is the Head of the Protestant Anglican Church of England, therefore they and anyone they marry must be a member of the Church of England or they will lose the right to the throne. Ms. Markle will be baptized into the Church of England prior to the wedding.
  • Royal brides must wear a white gown, and customary lace, ever since Queen Victoria wore a white gown at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.
  • Royal grooms must wear a military uniform. Prince Albert was the one to start this trend.
  • In Queen Victoria’s bridal bouquet was a sprig of myrtle, expected to harbinger love and good fortune int he marriage. Victoria received the myrtle bush from Albert’s grandmother and planted it on the Isle of Wight. Sprigs of myrtle have been provided from this bush for royal weddings ever since.
  • The bride must wear a tiara. Princess Diana wore a Spencer family tiara for her wedding to Prince Charles. Catherine Middleton borrowed the Cartier “Halo” tiara that was originally given by King George VI to his wife, Queen Elizabeth, then given to Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.
  • The bride’s wedding band must be made from the gold taken from a specific mine in Wales.
  • The bride must lay her wedding bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior after the ceremony. Every royal bride has done so since the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon following her wedding to Prince Albert.
  • There are generally two receptions: one between 11 am and noon with a lunch or brunch, and another in the evening with dinner and dancing.
  • No shellfish can be served at a royal wedding. Or garlic.
  • The wedding cakes must include a fruitcake.

–Excerpted from The Knot, “Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Break Any of These Royal Wedding Traditions?” by Maggie Seaver.

Advertisements

Wedding Omens and Predictions


Queenb-Victoria-Orange-BlossomsFor centuries, people declared that there were omens that could predict weddings and happy marriages. Here are some of the ones the Victorians believed, and some we still believe today:

You (or someone you know) will be married soon when:

  • A chicken enters your house with a straw in i ts mouth, which it leaves behind.
  • A mockingbird flies over your house.
  • A white dove comes near your house.
  • A spider descends from the ceiling and “dances” up and down.
  • A cow moos at night.

Your marriage will be happy if:

  • You feed a cat at of one of your old shoes just before you marry.
  • A cat sneezes in front of the (or your) bride on the day before the wedding.
  • Either party dreams about the wedding day.
  • You marry in June.
  • Your wedding ceremony lasts between a half hour and an hour (the rising hand of the clock denotes rising fortune.)
  • You marry in the afternoon.
  • You marry on a beautiful day.
  • A ray of sunshine falls on you as you leave the church.
  • It snows on your wedding day.
  • You see a lamb or dove on the way to the church.
  • A flock of white birds flies directly over you on the way to the wedding.
  • You carry bread in your pocket and throw it away on your wedding day.
  • A spider crawls on the wedding dress just before the ceremony.
  • The bride wears earrings during the ceremony.
  • The bridge has her hair done and veil put on by a happily-married woman.
  • A new dime is placed in the bride’s left shoe just before she walks down the aisle.
  • Orange blossoms are used in the wedding decorations.
  • You carry a pinch of salt to the church.
  • The bridegroom carries a horseshoe in his pocket during the ceremony.
  • The bride cries on her wedding day.
  • You both step into, and out of, the church on your right foot first.

There are also don’ts that you should heed:

  • Don’t get married to someone born in the same month as you.
  • Dont’t get married on your birthday.
  • Don’t get married during Lent.
  • Don’t postpone your wedding.
  • Don’t let the groom see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony.
  • Don’t let the bride wear pearls (each pearl represents a tear).
  • Don’t get married in a church with bats (if it flies over you, it will bring bad luck.)
  • Finally, don’t believe everything you read!

Whew, with all of these things to worry about, it’s a wonder people get married at all!

–Excerpted from “Everything Romantic: A Book for Lovers” by Michael Newman

When did Groundhog Day Start?


Punxsatawney-Phil-groundhog

Punxsatawney Phil on Groundhog Day

On February 2, 1887, Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania newspaper editor Clymer Freas invented the idea of Groundhog Day. According to reports, he convinced a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters known as the Punxsatawney Groundhog Club to trek to a site called Gobbler’s Knob to hold an “official” ceremony. If the groundhog saw his shadow, it would be considered bad news.

In modern days, the February festivities that attract tens of thousands of spectators over three days are presided over by the Inner Circle, a band of local dignitaries who wear top hats and speak in the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dialect (supposedly this is called “Groundhogese”). This well-known groundhog is known as “Punxsatawney Phil.”

Tradition states that if the groundhog emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow on this day, six more weeks of winter will follow. If he does not see his shadow, it means an indication of an early spring. Maybe we shouldn’t rely on Phil’s forecast so much though, the National Climatic Data Center and the Canadian weather service report his accuracy at less than 40%. Yet still, it is a fun tradition that continues today.

Ancient Significance of February 2nd

The date of February 2nd falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and was noted for its significance by many ancient cultures. Continue reading

Timeless New Years Toasts


Happy-New-Year-Victorian-PostcardWho doesn’t need a great toast for New Year’s Eve parties?

Here are timeless toasts you can use this year:

Here’s to the year past and friends who have left us,
Here’s to the present and the friends who are here,
Here’s to the New Year and the new friends who will join us.

– – – – – – –

Welcome be ye that are here,
Welcome all, and make good cheer,
Welcome all, another year.

– – – – – – –

Here’s to a bright New Year
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here’s to the things that are yet to come
And to the memories that we hold.

– – – – – – –

May all your troubles during the coming year
Be as short as your New Year’s resolutions. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: