The significance of a “wedding” is hard to put into a simple few words, because it symbolizes so much more. Yet English playwright John Lyly came close when he wrote that “marriages are made of heaven and celebrated on earth”. Marriage, put bluntly, is a union of two souls promising one another to be companions for life.
Starting next week, Sullivan Entertainment’s blogging team will be celebrating the joy that weddings inspire along with remembering all the great Sullivan Classic weddings that joined together such characters as Anne and Gilbert, Olivia and Jasper, and Felicity and Gus. Next week is Wedding Week!
In anticipation for next week, we want to begin the discussion today and start you thinking about why weddings hold the meaning that they do. Why do you think they affect us so profoundly? How does the concept of “marriage” differ as we travel about the globe? What do the traditional wedding symbols mean? You’re about to find out.
A Wedding’s Profound Emotional Impact
It is a well-known fact that even the most unemotional people still cry at weddings. The root cause for this lies in the 4 main symbols a wedding stands for: true love, change, the transition to adulthood, and the spiritual union of souls. Many mothers and fathers find their children’s weddings to be a day both of great happiness and sadness, as – just like Hetty King says at Gus & Felicity’s wedding in Season 7 (Episode 13) – “change is inevitable, of course it is”. As humans, we are immediately moved to see the physical, mental and spiritual union of two souls. Perhaps because it is a demonstration of strong emotion we do not normally see but also certainly because marriage is a key social structure enabling the survival of our species.
Weddings Around the Globe
While the concept of two people promising themselves to one another stays somewhat uniform worldwide, the ceremonies in which this act is performed varies greatly. In fact, many of the customs exhibited in western-style traditional weddings would not even be possible to perform in countries to the East. For example, in some countries, it is not acceptable for females to attend the wedding due to religious and spiritual beliefs.
Even more interesting is watching how different cultures value and perceive marriage. While in the western world we tend to stress the promise of fidelity associated with marriage, other countries such as India tend to place more value on the social implications of the event, which involves bringing two families together. Pretty interesting, isn’t it?
Traditional Wedding Symbols & Their Meaning
Traditional Wedding Symbols & Their Meaning
||Commitment, circle represents infinity and everlasting love||“Something New”||The wish for a happy future|
||Mysterious sparkle from within, symbol of romance and mystery||“Something Borrowed”||Symbolizes friends who the bride can count on|
||In ancient times, it was believed third finger on left hand holds a vein that ran directly to the heart. Putting a ring on this finger symbolizes keeping the love within, never allowing it to flow away.||“Something Blue“||Comes from old tradition when brides used to wear blue gowns. This was before the commonly-known white dress became popular.|
||Pureness, virginal, innocence||Rice||Symbolizes a full pantry and fertility|
||Wedding Bouquet: Lavender represents devotion; rosemary, remembrance; sage, domestic virtue; tulips, decoration of love; violets, faithfulness||Doves||As a species, doves court and stay loyal throughout their entire life. They are a symbol of love and fidelity.|
||Continuity with family For example: a mother’s handkerchief, grandma’s pearl earrings||Breaking Glass||Like the broken glass, the lives of the couple will be forever changed after their wedding day|
Final Thoughts & Future Considerations
Needless to say, hearing two people express their love for one another and exchange wedding vows is an emotional experience. It warms the heart and evokes the possibility may actually exist for all of us.
Marriage is a celebration of love, happiness, and the joining of two spirits. This week, we celebrate love. Why not celebrate with us? Be sure to read next week’s blogs, which will cover how to host a Road to Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables-style Wedding, and discuss how weddings have changed over the past 100 years! Stay tuned!
Browse the Sullivan Weddings Gallery
Browse our gallery of Sullivan Weddings, featuring images from Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and Road to Avonlea. What’s your favorite Sullivan Wedding? Start thinking about it but don’t make up your mind too fast…make up your mind next week when we cover the many, many details that went into Anne & Gilbert’s, Gus and Felicity’s, and Olivia and Jasper’s Weddings Days!