Розмовна тема: British wedding customs

Розмовна тема: British wedding customs

In Britain today, just over 50% of people still get married in a church rather than a registry office. A church wedding is full of tradition. The groom arrives first with a friend called the best man. This is part of an old tradition where the groom and his friends went to collect the bride from her family.

The groom and the best man wait at the altar for the arrival of the bride. It’s part of the tradition for the bride to arrive late. She usually goes up to the altar with her father and her bridesmaids. The bridesmaids can be young girls who are friends of the family or women of similar age to the bride. They have to help the bride with her flowers and her dress.

In church, the bride always stands on the left. This is because the groom always had to be ready to fight the enemy with a sword in his right hand.

The traditional colour for a wedding dress is white and it is very bad luck for the groom to see the bride wearing the dress before the wedding day. Many brides still follow the advice of the rhyme and carry:

Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue, And a silver sixpence in your shoe.

This rhyme dates from the 19th century but the customs are older. ‘Something old’ represents the couple’s old friends who will remain close after the marriage. ‘Something new’ is a symbol of the future. ‘Something borrowed’ usually comes from the bride’s family and she has to return it fir luck. ‘Something blue’ is a symbol of the bride’s innocence and virtue and it comes from ancientIsrael where the bride wore a blue ribbon in her hair. The money in the shoe is a way to make sure the couple have money in their married life. Today some brides just use a penny because it would be very difficult to find an old silver sixpence coin today.

As the couple leave the church, their friends throw confetti over them. Confetti are very small pieces of coloured paper that have replaced the traditional rice and flower petals. The word is incidentally Italian for sweets, which is what they throw over the couple inItaly.

Although a church wedding is still popular, a change in British law means that you can get a special licence to get married in your favourite place. As a result, castles, football grounds, pubs and hotels have all become popular places for people to get married.