- Rašto darbai, referatai ir rašiniai

Wedding traditions in the USA

9.6 (2 atsiliepimai)

7,561 žodžiai (-ių)
Anglų kalba

Wedding traditions in the USA page 1
Wedding traditions in the USA page 2
Wedding traditions in the USA page 3
Svarbu! Žemiau pateiktos nuotraukos yra sumažintos kokybės. Norėdami matyti visos kokybės darbą spustelkite parsisiųsti.

Wedding traditions in the USA

Wedding Traditions: A Cultural History


Some form of marriage is known to have existed in all human societies. Since children have a long period of dependency, there has always been a need to organize adults into cooperative groups for training them. Thus matrimony is a convenient means of stabilizing sexual relations and providing care for the young. Because of the critical function of marriage, each human society establishes rules for the selection and means of acquiring a mate, rather than leaving tthe search to chance.

Traditionally in patriarchal societies, where children and property descend in the husband’s line, the preferred method of acquiring a wife has been through payment of a “bride price“ to the father in exchange for the children she will bring to the union. In most societies, marriages have been viewed as alliances between families rather than individuals, and the union has usually been formalized symbolically. Among Romans, Greeks and early Jews, gold wedding rings-perhaps the most common symbol oof marriage signified the groom’s pledge of betrothal, and were given as payment to the father of the bride.

Similarly, Western marriage vows have long reflected the concept of the wife as her husband’s property by calling for a pledge of oobedience on the part of the bride. Even today in many Western societies the bride’s father escorts his daughter to the altar and figuratively 11 gives her away.“ The bride’s adoption of the groom’s name moreover remains the custom in most patriarchal societies.

Although the tradition of marriage by purchase has died out in Europe and North America, the practice of negotiating a „bride price“ has continued until recently in the Far East and in Moslem countries and is still carried on in some areas. Traditionally among Hmong tribespeople in Laos a woman belonged to her husband, and a childless wife could leave her husband only after the bride price had been fully repaid. The several kinds of marriages practiced in WWest Africa included „bond“ marriages where the wife became the property of her husband and her children, his heirs. if he died before she did, one of his heirs inherited her as a wife.

A variant on the theme of bride purchase is the reputed practice of „bride capture.“ A traditional ritual (Umykannia) at Ukrainian weddings involves a mock abduction of the bride and a skirmish between the families of the bride and groom. This drama is considered a vestige of bbehavior prompted by a shortage of women among early nomadic peoples in the area that is now Ukraine. Other groups as well, including Slovaks and the Hmong, have traditionally enacted „hunts“ or „abductions“ of the bride as part of the wedding celebration.

Very few cultures have allowed individuals to choose their own mates. The families of the couple have traditionally arranged the majority of marriages throughout the world.

Arranged marriages are still found in parts of the Mediterranean region, India, and the Far and Middle East. Typically parents arranged marriages in order to achieve a socially appropriate match and/or economic advantages. Often the bride, and sometimes the groom, has had no part in the decision as in many cases the couple’s first meeting takes place at the wedding.

Arranged marriages often have necessitated the employment of intermediaries. The musical Fiddler on the Roof made legendary the role of the Jewish matchmaker, properly called shadchan, and in Japan prior to World War 1, the bride’s parents hired a baishakunin („go-between“) to find a suitable spouse for their daughter. Macedonian families also employed the service of a matchmaker to negotiate on their behalf while Hindu matches have traditionally been arranged by a ghatak, a rrespected, elderly man who might or might not be a relative of one or both families.

Despite her usual lack of opportunity to choose a mate, a measure of protection for the bride figured into the marriage practices of many cultures. Indeed that has been one function of the bride’s dowry. To guarantee a suitable match or provide insurance against divorce or widowhood, a woman’s family supplied her with a dowry consisting of goods, lands, or money. Often the arrangement was formalized by contract. Thus traditional Jewish weddings included a

ketubbah, a deed which under the rabbi’s authority transcribed the terms of the marriage agreement and guaranteed the wife her dower rights. In Southern Italy nineteenth-century custom provided for dowries for daughters and „gifts“ for sons while among some groups, such as Greeks, the groom was required to provide a cash match for the bride’s dowry as a form of social security.

In Wales, Holland, Scandinavia, Normandy, Eastern Europe and other places the bride’s trousseau (from the French word trousseau or „bundle“)-the clothing and household goods essential for the establishment of a new home-was accumulated in a marriage chest or „hope chest.“ By contrast, at betrothal parties in nineteenth-century Japan it was tthe groom’s family who presented the bride with her wedding kimono-decorated with his family crest-along with a dress kimono, shoes, hair ornaments, sake, and fish. In Southern Italy it was traditional for the groom to match the items of clothing in a bride’s trousseau with a corresponding number of articles for his own wardrobe, but the bride was still responsible for providing the bed, in the words of Guiseppi Pitre, „the chief household article, the pivot of the home, from which will rise up the future family.“ Over time, then, the concept of trousseau has given rise to the modern bridal shower just as the bridal dance, in which male guests pay to dance with the bride at the wedding reception, has evolved from the Eastern European custom which required the bride’s dancing partners to contribute to her dowry.

Most wedding ceremonies, traditional and modern alike, include rituals which symbolically create a union. For instance, conventional Hindu weddings include a ritual called kanyadan, where the hands of a couple are tied with red thread over a pot containing water, leaves, fruits, and flowers, symbolizing the essentials of life. Similarly, Cambodian tradition calls for each guest to tie a string around the

couple’s wrists.

At Ukrainian weddings a ritual cloth (rushnyk) is used for wrapping around their wrists during the ceremony, and the Basuto of South Africa use strips of the dewlap of a slaughtered ox for a similar purpose. For various portions of Greek and Thai weddings, the couple wears crowns that are linked together by a ribbon or string. These and other similar forms of binding create a physical joining among the bridal couple, symbolic of a more spiritual union.

May aand June are popular months for weddings in the United States, but Italians traditionally believed that marrying in May would end in widowhood because May was the Virgin Mary’s month and so was unsuitable for marriage. In many rural cultures weddings took place after the harvest when there was a lull in the workload and plenty of food available for the festivities. In the same spirit, an Irish proverb held that marriage during the harvest meant, ‘‘you’ll have no rest ffrom worries or work.“ instead, for the Irish, winter was matchmaking time and marriages were expected to take place during Shrovetide (the three days prior to Lent), as the sacrament of matrimony was prohibited during Lent. The Chinese usually considered tthe first new moon of the year or the season of the first peach blossom an auspicious time for marriage while in Japan the tenth, eleventh, or twelfth lunar months were favored.

Although for Americans covering the bride’s face with a veil has come to represent innocence and purity, the practice was originally used in other cultures as protection from harm or molestation and was one of many rituals adopted out of concern for the happiness, safety, and fertility of the bride and groom. Covering the heads of the bridal couple in many cultures serves such a purpose-to protect them from descending malice. In a Jewish wedding the chuppah, or marriage canopy, offers shelter to the wedding party (and symbolically establishes aa new home) whereas traditional Chinese weddings employ umbrellas as canopies. Conversely, raised chairs, red carpets, special shoes and other forms of insulation or protection have been used to defend against malicious spirits on the ground. For example, in China the bride, heavily veiled, walked gingerly in her father’s shoes to the bridal sedan, and in Western societies it is customary for the groom to carry the bride over the threshhold. The current Western practice of having a bridal party tto attend the couple evolved from a Roman tradition, in which the bridesmaids and ushers dressed exactly like the bride and groom, to protect the wedding couple by confusing evil spirits.

The American custom of the all-white wedding gown probably originated in England in the late eighteenth century, although white was also used traditionally in France, Sweden, Japan, and West Africa. Whereas white was–and continues to be–considered the color of virginity in Western cultures, in Japan it was the color of mourning and signified that the bride was now dead to her natural family. In China red (indicating happiness) is the usual color for the bride’s tunic and skirt. Similarly, brides in northern India have traditionally worn red saris, and Islamic brides, red ghararas (tunics and ruffled trousers).

In many European countries brides and grooms were married in their „best“ clothing, but sometimes, new clothes such as lavishly embroidered coats were created specially for the occasion. Colors or decorations followed local or regional traditions, and this practice continues in some Eastern European and Asian cultures.

Because marriage marks a new beginning for both the bride and groom, rites of passage have formed an important part of the wedding ceremony among many European aand Asian groups. Cutting the bride’s hair and shaving the groom’s beard are examples of such symbolic rites of passage. The bride’s haircut has generally signified her new position in life as well as disguised her from evil forces.

Numerous ethnic groups, including Ukrainians and Lithuanians, have worn bridal crowns or wreaths of myrtle, rue, or flowers during the wedding ceremony as symbols of maidenhood. Some groups, among them Swedes and Finns, consider rarer materials such as metals and gems desirable for crowns. In Hindu culture the bride has typically worn an elaborate headdress, called a topar, made of pitch.

After the wedding the transition to wife has often been symbolically marked by the substitution of a matron’s kerchief for the maiden’s wreath or crown. Slovak custom dictated that after the wedding ceremony the bride’s hair wreath be ceremoniously removed by the village matrons, and replaced with a white, starched &chachek;epec (cap) or kerchief, which was to be worn at all times. (This privilege was accorded only women who had not committed any infractions of their virginity before marriage.) A Croatian bride received a kerchief signifying her new status as a matron, and a Finnish bride received a tzepy (linen cap) after aa ceremonial haircut.

Some groups have created symbolic obstacles for the wedding couple to „overcome“ together. In Brittany beggars plaited a hedgerow briar across the path of the bride and groom until bribed to remove it. French village children blocked the bridal couple’s route with ribbon. Children in Japan followed a similar custom, using a straw rope to impede the path and holding the couple ransom before removing it.

In many cultures sharing food, wine, or other spirits has formed an important part of the religious marriage services. The Shinto wedding rite in Japan revolved around the ceremonial exchange of sake nine times, and the sharing of wine is part of the traditional Jewish ceremony as well as the Greek and other Eastern Orthodox rituals. In the Hindu marriage ceremony the couple is required to share a plate of food. Similarly, in many cultures the ceremonial sharing of a piece of wedding cake, or of other foods, is a common occurrence after the religious ritual. After a Ukrainian wedding service, both sets of parents symbolically offer bread and salt–representing life’s sustenance–to the newlyweds. Another Ukrainian tradition is the sharing of korovai, sacred wedding bread, among all of the guests.

The throwing of rice,

seeds, wheat, coins, flowers, or herbs at the bridal couple is one of the oldest and most widespread of wedding rituals, intended to promote fertility. Similarly, wedding flowers, forget-me-nots and orange blossoms, represent fertility and abundance. In gypsy weddings, couples „leaped the broomstick“ which bore flowers to induce conception while Chinese brides regularly were offered chestnuts and ju-jubes in hopes they would conceive a son.

Although many rituals were intended to ensure the newlywed’s fertility, chiverie, a French tradition, involved the iinterruption of the wedding couple at night by a crowd clanging pots and pans, ringing bells and horns, and firing shotguns.

The bride and groom were expected to appear in their wedding clothes and provide treats for their tormentors. Other pranks performed in the spirit of chiverie might have included nailing up the door and blocking the chimney of the couple’s home, putting molasses, thistles or other irritants in their bed, or tying bells to its springs. These tricks, aimed aat inhibiting the sexual act, relieved some of the strain of the solemnity of the occasion and were forerunners of the modern practice of attaching tin cans to the bumper of the bride and groom’s car.

All of the traditional forms oof behavior described above in some way or another support the institution of marriage by prescribing appropriate conduct for the couple with regard to their future relationship. While these rules may vary from culture to culture, there are surprising similarities among the wedding traditions of different groups marking the transition to adulthood, for example, or symbolically referring to the couple’s future role as childbearers. That these traditions have persisted over long periods of time-and many have even survived, remarkably intact, transplanted to the United States-attests to the endurance of marriage as a social institution, and the deep symbolic meaning attached to it.


Gail F. Stern is Museum Director of The Balch Institute.

Ruth Leppel, a retired teacher, is a volunteer researcher for tthe Museum.

Help for the couple

________________________________________Fresh – Blooming – Blossoming.all words to describe something new, a beginning. And hence, the centuries old poetic tradition comparing a new marriage to the springtime is continued to this day when every new couple enhances their wedding ceremony with flowers.


The first step to deciding on the floral accompaniments to a wedding is to develop a basic concept based on the personal tastes of the bride and groom. Generally, this begins with discussions about wwhich are your favorite flowers. Then, decide on a basic approach: extravagant, tasteful, modest, etc. A good place to start accumulating ideas is in the bridal magazines such as this one and floral arranging books at your library. One thing to consider right up front is whether or not the flowers you’d like are grown locally, and if so, would they be in bloom during the season in which you marry. This could prove to be a big cost factor later on.


Because your floral arrangements (pun intended!) can be taken care of months in advance, it’s never too early to contract with a florist. After your final decisions, it’s one thing you’ll never have to worry about again before the wedding. The florist will take care of the delivery to wherever the bride is preparing, to the ceremony, and to the reception, and take care of all the preparation and presentation at each location. Recall weddings and other events you’ve attended where you liked the floral approach and find out which florist handled the arrangements. Consult bridal guides and The Yellow Pages to set up appointments with several different companies. Their consultants will have photo albums (and sometimes eeven videos) of past presentations and more than likely, you’ll see an example of just what you had in mind for an overall approach. And like every other area in wedding planning, price shop.


(and Bridal Party)

The Bridal Bouquet (and flowers for your hair or headpiece) is probably the most important item on your flower list. The flowers you carry or wear will be determined by the color and style of your gown and so the final decision(s) must wait until you’re settled on the dress. The florist must be able to see a good photograph of the garment (or even the dress itself) to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. This is not to say that the other floral plans can’t move ahead before you’ve settled on the gown; you can save this to be your last decision. (Another thing to consider is that the common approach is to coordinate the boutonnieres for the groom and attendants with the bouqet and so the plans for their tuxes or suits must be in place as well as the gown.)

The bridal attendants and other members of the extended wedding party for whom you wish to provide fflowers must all be coordinated as well. This, of course, depends on what each person is wearing and, for instance, it may be necessary to provide the mother of the bride with a flower matching her dress as opposed to matching the rest of the party.

We’d like to point out that the latest trend in bridal bouquets continues into 2002/2003: according to just about everybody, is a return to traditional white, but not necessarily in a traditional arrangement! From all white, to setting off the white with anywhere from one to an equal amount of a chosen color (most impressive is the use of the rare „sterling“ rose, a silvery gray flower which is stunning), to setting off the flowers with greens, ribbons or an unorthodox or personalized carrier, the style is up to you. The natural or „garden“ look and the flowing or „romantic“ look have already been spotted this year! Cascading bouquets are making a strong comeback (but remember that they’re really hard to get airborne if you plan to toss your bouquet out to your single guests). Another non-traditional arrangement making much headway in popularity is the wrist or forearm bouquet. It is of course a smaller

arrangement, but it is virtually hassle free – you don’t have to put down or hand off your flowers everytime you want or need to do something. This is especially popular with brides who are marrying in a less elaborate wedding gown or other formal or street wear.

Always remember to check into the latest arrangements with your florist. And also remember, you are not required or expected to follow the latest trends. Do this only if you have a real ddesire to contemporize your ceremony. Otherwise, go for what you want, letting your personal style set the tone.


Your principal arrangements at the altar or place of the actual ceremony will form the basis of the arrangements at the reception when transported by the florist after the event. Therefore, both locations must be taken into consideration for size and style. If a common ground can’t be found, you could wind up springing for two entirely different setups.

Most florists wwill be familiar with area churches and reception halls, but if not, they’d more than likely be willing to visit the location(s). Other than the decorations for the entrance/receiving line and head table or bridal party table, other uses for fflowers are as the centerpiece for your guests tables (always a fun part of the event as you can either play a game for the centerpiece or present it to the woman whose birthday is closest, etc.) or to give out flowers as favors for your female guests. Outdoor weddings and/or receptions are a bit easier to plan as you more or less have free rein over your choices because coordination is not as big a factor: you have lots more room to spread things out!


Always keep cost in mind. There are many other wonderful uses for flowers at a wedding such as a miniature copy of the bouquet atop the cake, strewing flower petals in lieu of rrice, or garlands for the head table and entrances. But all of these things cost money.

If you’re using local flowers, it might be possible to go all the way, everything you’d like. But if you choose rare or out-of-season flowers, the costs could skyrocket with storage and shipping charges. Your florist will help you to set a budget and stick to it and a good florist will make suggestions without ever overwhelming your original ideas. Once your arrangements are ffinalized, you’ll have a worry-free item crossed off your big list of things to do and be assured of one more job well done so that you can concentrate only on having a good time on the most important day of your life!

A wedding cake is the one centerpiece that no wedding, large or small, should be without. Gone are the days of plain white cake with plain white frosting. Now it’s anything goes! Providing, of course, that the top tier is tastefully and appropriately decorated.

Chocolate cakes with white frosting have gained much favor in recent years as have fruited layers and even marble cakes. As ...

Šiuo metu matote 50% šio darbo.

Matomi 3781 žodžiai iš 7561 žodžių.

Panašūs darbai


During the last few years violent crime ratio in Lithuania has vastly increased. The major concerns for young people in Lithuania are identified as unemployment and job security. Youth unem...

2 atsiliepimai
Advantages and disadvantages of supermarkets

There is a wide variety of opinions about supermarkets. Some people can find a lot of positive points, but others believe that it is better to go to the traditional shops. In this essay I wil...

2 atsiliepimai
Who were the bad men in the United States of America at the nineteenth century?

Everybody knows the American civil war, when Northern part of America was fighting the South between the year of 1861 and 1865, but not so many have a think, as T. J. Stiles declares, about...

2 atsiliepimai

1. Compare the Lithuanian education system with the system of any other country (UK, USA, France). Point out similarities and differences. • In the United States education differs accordi...

4 atsiliepimai
Christmas Traditions in USA

Christmas in United States of America This year on christmas holidays i most of time i spent in my home. The bigest part of my freetime i was watching TV because i like to watch films about...

1 atsiliepimai
Atsisiųsti šį darbą