|Category:||Civil Partnership Advice|
Civil Partnership Traditions
Throughout our lives much of what we do is governed by tradition. Whether cultural, religious or family, traditions provide us with structure, meaning and comfort. Traditional weddings are full of customs and symbolism, many of which have been passed down over the centuries, some of which have their origins lost in the mists of time.
With the introduction of civil partnerships in 2005 came the opportunity to create a new set of traditions, but some of the old ones still stand true and are just as relevant.
Civil partnerships differ from civil marriages in that they don’t actually require any form of ceremony at all. The only requirements necessary are for a couple to have two witnesses and to sign a partnership document. This said, how many of us would really want to formalise such an important commitment with so little form of recognition? At such an important time in our lives we want the people closest to us to share and celebrate the occasion, so we look to tradition to inspire us with a ceremony, supporters, vows and dress.
Having someone with you to steady your nerves and make sure that you’re in the right place at the right time is always good. Traditionally a couple would be surrounded by men and women of a similar age and wearing similar clothes to protect them from the unwanted attentions of evil spirits. This tradition continues in an updated form, with closest friends or family taking an honoured and supportive role at the ceremony, but doesn’t have to conform to any Best Man or Maid of Honour stereotypes at all.
Flowers have always been used for wedding celebrations and were often full of symbolism and meaning. The tradition continues for civil partnerships with some of the superstitions still persisting, such as red and white flowers being considered unlucky because of their association with blood and bandages. Lilies are also considered unlucky by some but adored by others, and buttonholes are a reminder of a time when a Knight wore his Lady’s (or Lord’s) colours to show his love!
Today we’re able to wear what we want for our weddings. It wasn’t so long ago however that couples didn’t have such freedom; here’s a tradition that we can happily ignore or not as we choose!
Married in White, you have chosen right,
Married in Blue, your love will always be true,
Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,
Married in Brown, you will live in town,
Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,
Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,
Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in Pink, your spirit will sink,
Married in Grey, you will go far away,
Married in Black, you will wish yourself back
There are records of wedding cakes being made in Roman times, although they were then more like unsweetened loaves of bread. Over the centuries these developed into stacked towers of small cakes. It was said that if a couple could kiss over the top of the cake they would have prosperity in their future life. The tradition of a couple cutting the cake together and then feeding one another from the first slice symbolises their commitment to one another; perhaps that’s a tradition that should definitely be revived for civil partnerships!
Article by Lester Gethings
Image courtesy of Boho Weddings and Events
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