One of the oldest wedding traditions is throwing rice on the newlyweds as they exit the celebration. Though it is not certain exactly when or where this custom originated, it is thought to have stemmed from an ancient pagan tradition of throwing wedding rice (or some other grain) on a couple in order to wish them a fruitful, wealthy and prosperous union. The wish was twofold: the grain signified the fact that a small seed can grow into a large crop, thereby wishing the couple an abundant harvest and prosperous life. Many also believed that fertility would be transferred through the fallen seed, so that the newlyweds would conceive many children to help with their land.
Other interesting wedding customs include the carrying of bridal flowers. It is widely believed that the wedding tradition originated in ancient times because pungent herbs and spices were thought to ward off bad health and evil spirits. During the Roman Empire, brides and grooms would wear floral garlands, representing a rebirth of life and anticipation of fertility. The bride’s bouquet symbolized herself, youthful and blooming. In Victorian England, certain flowers had specific meaning, and lovers would convey messages to each other through flowers. For example, a fern represented sincerity, a carnation signified fascination, a white lilac symbolized innocence, a honeysuckle represented generosity, and a red chrysanthemum said “I love you.” These codes are still used by brides today as an interesting way to incorporate creative wedding traditions into their bridal bouquets.