Doves mate for life and to show a willingness to work hard together. Both doves work together to build a nest. Next, when the mother lays the eggs, both the father and mother keep them warm. When the young chicks are born, both doves actively care for and tend to the new family members.
We met when we were only fifteen years old and have been inseparable ever since. For our wedding ten years later, we wanted to marry in a place that meant something to us and it seemed fitting to choose my grandmother’s garden for it was where my mother and both of my aunts were also married many years ago. It was also where I learnt to ride my first bike at four years old, learnt to swim and the place I spent all my childhood summers. It was the only place we really considered because of how special it was and still is to us.
We were married in the garden in front of one hundred of our close family and friends. I walked down the aisle to music by James Brown and we were married on old steps made from railway sleepers. For the reception we moved into several marquees set up in the top tier of the garden that were situated around the pool and amongst the palm trees for a seated dinner. The entire garden was lit at nighttime by fairy lights and tea light candles – it looked so magical.
My dress was made from two four metre long pieces of fabric that could be twisted any number of ways so that I could decide at the last minute how to wear it. My veil incorporate lace from my mother’s wedding dress and my bridesmaids all wore different dresses from designer Juliette Hogan in dusky colours.
I wanted the wedding to feel relaxed but romantic; soft but still with elements of tradition. The most amazing day of our lives and I wish we could do it all over again.”
Why is it traditional for the bride and groom not to see each other before the wedding?
Many years ago when arranged marriages were the only way to go the brides parent’s wouldn’t allow the bride to see the groom before the ceremony just in case she thought he was ugly and would run away before the wedding ceremony. This kind of takes away from the need to not see each other before.
But here are some good reasons why to see each other before:
- All the stress for the bride seems to just disappear after she sees her groom. Less stress is better!
- We don’t have to play hide and seek with the groom before the ceremony.
- We take all the photographs before the ceremony so the couple, family and guests all get to the reception at the same time.
- The couple gets to see each other alone for the first time, instead of in front of hundreds of people. They can say things to each other and hug like they wouldn’t be able to if they saw each other for the first time at the altar. The groom will say things to the bride that she will never forget because it was a no pressure situation. They wouldn’t be able to speak if they were just seeing each other for the first time at the altar.
- The groom normally has a more genuine and breathtaking “look” on his face when he doesn’t have three hundred guests staring at him as you walk down the aisle.
circles have always enjoyed a universal perception of having strong magical properties. And with such magical power, a ring around the heart would surely protect a person from evil spirits. It doesn’t work, of course, but that’s superstition folks.
Long, long ago, before Cartier and Mikimoto, people believed the third finger had a vein running directly to the heart. And as the left hand is a bit closer to the heart than the right, they placed wedding rings on the third finger of the left hand1.
In chiromancy (a combination of astrology and palmistry) the third (Apollo) finger relates to the heart. Wearing a ring on that finger would not only protect the heart from evil spirits, but also enhance the life of the wearer by transmitting energy to the heart.
Following this line of quacky reasoning, two rings would presumably double the enhancement. Take note, however, that encasing the whole finger in a metal sheath would cause muscular atrophy. But quacks were more interested in metaphysical things and it was the custom for physicians, herbalists and other healers, to use their third finger when applying medicinal ointment or powder to their patients. Using this finger strengthened the effectiveness of the cure.
The practice was pretty much universal. Japanese call the ring-finger kusuri-yubi, in German Arzt-Finger, in Latin digitus medicinalis and in Old Anglo-Saxon it was called lech-man, all meaning ‘medical finger’, because:
Long ago doctors applied medical ointment with this finger.Sure, any finger could have been used but this finger seems ‘natural’ because the hand can be steadied by the middle finger and the little finger whilst applying the medicine. Being closer to the thumb, the first and second fingers are generally used more for other things (such as fingers crossed that the marriage is a happy one!), so the third finger is slightly more sensitive to touch, making it more suitable for delicate tasks like applying ointment.
Long ago people believed that a nerve or vein ran directly from this finger to the heart.Roman doctors called this vena amoris - the vein of love. If medicine was applied by this finger, then the medicine would be enhanced by the mystical energy of the physician’s heart. Medicine has its roots in magic (medico - to heal by magic) and the German Arzt (physician) originally meant magician.
If medicine is applied to this finger, then the medicine would shoot directly to the heart. Nice idea.
Traditionally it used to be worn on the right thumb, until King James VI levied a tax on people wearing wedding rings. He defined a ‘wedding ring’ as “…the bridelope of the riht puma…”. To avoid paying tax, people moved their wedding rings to their left ring-finger.Yes, we’ve just made that up.
Whatever the original reasoning was, this finger became rather special and the natural choice to bear a wedding ring.
Interestingly (well, OK, maybe not so interesting), recent studies2 suggest that the length of the ring-finger, relative to the length of other fingers, is determined by the prenatal exposure to higher levels of testosterone. And higher levels of testosterone can affect one’s ability in sport, language acquisition, susceptibility to autism, analytical superiority, sexual orientation, visual-motor skills, etc. A much greater brain-shaping influence is likely to be one’s experiences, opportunities and environment, but the ring-finger length ratio remains an appealing study for psychologists.
Some cultures have different traditions. The Irish, for example, have an interesting ‘code’, where the position of a ring can send a subtle message to prospective suitors. (See Claddagh Ring.)
As most people are right-handed, the right hand is used more frequently for work, so not as touch sensitive as the left. And because the right hand does more work, it poses a greater risk of damage to any jewelry. Watchmakers put the winder on the right hand side of the watch face, because most people wear their watches on the ‘safer’ left wrist. A groom stands to the right of his bride so his stronger right arm is free to ward off potential kidnappers. (Jewish weddings see the groom standing to the left, based on Ps. 45:9)
There is no right or wrong way to wear a wedding ring, and the wedding ring has no magical properties where-ever it is worn. It is, however, a way for you to show the world that you have found a loving partner, a friend with whom you can share the rest of your life.