Our Advertisers

Guide to Wedding Symbolism

Weddings are completely full of symbolism, from the exchanging of rings to even the colour of the dress; you’ll find lots of symbolism in every aspect of a wedding. When two people are standing in front of their friends and family professing their undying love and commitment to one another they are completely surrounded by wedding symbols. There is so much symbolism involved that you probably don’t even notice most of it because you’ve become so used to seeing it at weddings you’ve attended and even on TV. If you’re struggling to understand wedding symbolism don’t worry, luckily for you we’ve provided this guide to wedding symbolism to help you out.

Wedding rings are traditionally plain and often known as a ‘wedding band’. Its symbolism is probably the most significant of the whole wedding day. The ring is round; an unbroken circle which symbolizes that the love the happy couples have for each other is never ending and unbroken. Traditionally, wedding and engagement rings are worn on the third finger of the left hand. It was always believed that the third finger on the left hand contained a vein which ran all the way to the heart. Therefore wearing your rings on this finger symbolized the connection between your love and your heart. The ring was supposed to keep the love in, never letting it flow out or leave the person wearing the ring.

The color white is traditionally used for the bride’s wedding dress to symbolize the purity and virginity of the bride. The wearing of white is actually a relatively recent tradition. In past centuries, it was more traditional for a bride to marry in what was considered her ‘Sunday best’, or even to make a garment herself that could be worn over and over again. Wearing white is not a wedding dress symbol across the world. Rich reds are worn by brides in China to symbolize joy. In India, brides traditionally wear red dresses also, only these have patterns, embroidery and sequins on them.  The flowers a bride carries on her wedding day have meanings too. Certain flowers are synonymous with weddings because of their meanings. ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’ is a phrase most people have heard before, if even on TV. Each is said to symbolize good luck for the bride. Something old symbolizes continuity in the family; something new symbolizes a happy future life. Something borrowed comes from someone whom the bride can depend on in future life, be it a close friend or member of her family. Something blue is worn as it ties new traditions with the old, when brides used to wear blue wedding dresses instead of white.

Doves offer great wedding symbolism. In nature, doves actually court, mate, and stay faithful to each other for life, making them a universal symbol of love, peace devotion… really everything a marriage should be. Even the time you get married has its own symbolism.  Traditionally, couples look to exchange their wedding vows when the minute hand on the clock face is pointing upwards towards the hour (any time after half past). This symbolizes success, prosperity and happiness in your marriage. Alternatively, if you exchange your vows before half past you could be left with an unsuccessful and unhappy future. This will help you understand and obey wedding symbolism when it comes to your big day.