Australia boasts a number of wedding traditions with meaningful symbols. While some of these customs are traced back to the indigenous people, many of them originated from different Western countries.
Today, these wedding traditions are nearly forgotten and fast becoming a thing of the past. In a different case, these customs have already been greatly modified to conform with the changing society. As a result, its original significance is no longer known.
Having an offbeat wedding ceremony could be nice and in trend. However, it still pays to add a touch of tradition on your big day to pay homage to the ancestral customs. To help you with, Eschol Park House will shed some light about the historical traces and significance of some Australian wedding traditions, along with the symbolisms that you should know.
Australian Wedding Traditions
This is one of the most significant ancient ceremonies in the Aboriginal culture. In a smoking ceremony, plants are burned to produce a fragrant smoke that is fanned over the couple. The smoke is believed to have cleansing and healing properties, and the ability to ward off evil spirits. To this day, this ritual is still practiced in some parts of Australia.
This wedding ritual is traced back to the time when the early Australian settlers could not afford wedding rings. In a stone ceremony, each of the bride and groom casts a stone into the river, which represents their unity as life ebbed and flowed around them.
Acknowledging the Land
A territorial acknowledgement is an act of honouring the Aboriginal territory before a wedding or other functions. This tradition, which is considered to bring you luck and positivity at the start of your marriage, dates back centuries for indigenous people. However, it is only an emerging practice in the modern Australian society.
White Wedding Dress
Despite the shift in wedding traditions, the traditional white bridal gown remains a perennial feature with Australian brides still donning the traditional colour. A white wedding dress originally represents the purity of the bride.
While Australian wedding traditions have been greatly influenced by borrowed practices through time, there is one thing that remains intact: the exchange of rings at the conclusion of the ceremony. A wedding ring, a circle with no beginning or end, symbolises infinity. It is generally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand since the vein in this finger is believed to lead directly to the heart.
Bible as a Wedding Gift
Presenting the bible as a wedding gift is one of the old wedding traditions in Australia and is customary from 1870s -1900s. This bible is treasured as a family heirloom and is often passed down to generations.
Did you know?
In the early times, fruits are often presented to the newlyweds to encourage fertility. Nowadays, guests are likely to bring gifts that will help set the couple up in their new life together.
An Australian wedding ceremony often features a unity bowl. In this tradition, each guest is given a stone to hold during the ceremony. At the end, guests place the stones in a bowl that the couple will keep and display. This symbolises the presence and support of their loved ones in the future.
A creative way to incorporate a unity bowl to your wedding is to assign different colors for friends and family. If the size of the stones allow, you can also ask them to sign or write a message on it. This way, you will easily remember who was in attendance during your wedding day.