Interesting Engagement Traditions to Learn About
What are some engagement traditions and how did they even get started in the first place?
Now that you are officially engaged, you are probably wondering what the next steps are.
Some traditions that we use today got very interesting starts. However, you might be surprised at the number of traditions that still have the same meaning.
In the past, men would sometimes send gloves to the women that they loved, accompanied with their proposal. If the woman wore the gloves in public, typically to church, then it was a signal that the proposal had been accepted.
In Wales, "love spoons" became very popular items for men to give women. A man would carve a beautiful spoon out of wood and present it to the woman that he loved. If she wore it around her neck on a string, then it signified the fact that she had accepted him.
Things have changed nowadays, but there are still some engagement traditions that linger on. (Actually, love spoons can still be found in Wales and they are still just as beautiful, although not all of them are carved out of wood anymore.)
The engagement ring is probably the biggest tradition in terms of the engagement. The act of giving a ring to signify marriage has been around since the 15th Century. This engagement tradition started in Medieval Italy and, over time, the diamond became the standard stone due to its brilliance and clarity. The ring is worn on the third finger of the left hand because it was once thought that the vein in that finger leads to the heart.
Some engagement traditions have the woman presenting the man with an engagement gift. This can be a piece of jewelry or a simple memento of her love for him. In the Pennsylvania Dutch region, the woman presented the man with practical items for their new household.
Promise rings are occasionally used as well, in addition to the engagement rings. A promise ring is pretty much what it sounds like - the promise to become engaged somewhere on down the road.
The engagement party, while not mandatory, is a long standing engagement tradition. In the beginning, it was held in order to establish a contract between the couple in front of their friends and family. Once the engagement party was held and the announcements were made, the couple could no longer see other suitors.
Today, the engagement party is a way of sharing the news with family and friends, in much of the same way.
Another popular party is the bridal shower. This tradition can be traced back to the Netherlands. The original idea behind the bridal showery was to give the bride a dowry in case her father didn't approve of her impending marriage and refused to give her one himself.
These days, of course, gifts are still given at the bridal shower, although in a less serious manner. Bridal showers are often a fun way of giving the bride gifts that might not be practical or very useful, but are still entertaining.
The bachelor party, or stag party, has been around for a long time as well. In fact, they can be traced back to Sparta. The traditions concerning bachelor parties have actually not changed very much. They were started as a way of letting the man say goodbye to his wild and carefree days. Nowadays, they are still considered the man's "last hurrah" before he settles down with his new bride.
Of course, you don't have to follow every single engagement tradition. In fact, that would be pretty difficult and time consuming and might end up adding more stress to your wedding planning.
However, following the engagement traditions that sound good to you and your partner can be a fun way of carrying on certain traditions and having an enjoyable engagement in the process.
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