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statement she made was one of purity and simplicity, but it also told her people that she supported them as the materials used were all British-made. Floral bouquets were originally made


with aromatic garlic, herbs, and grains that were believed to drive away evil spir- its as the bride made her way down the aisle. During the Middle Ages, garlic and dill were used to protect the bride from the plague. She would clutch them over her mouth and nose in a desperate effort to ward off disease. Over time the herbs that were used to drive away evil spirits and the plague gave way to blooming flowers that symbolized fertility, everlast- ing love and survival. Throwing the bouquet is from the English belief that the bride was endowed with good luck. Therefore, when the celebration was over, guests would try to rip pieces of the brides dress and grab her flowers in order to somehow gain some of her luck. The flowers were thrown to dis- tract the guests while the bride got away. In like tradition, throwing the garter came from France. Just as in England, guests would rush the bride to get a piece of her dress so the garter was tossed while the bride ran. “Tying the knot,” comes from the pop- ular practice of literally tying the hands of the bride and groom together. In Eu- rope during the Renaissance period, the ceremony of Hand Fasting symbolized a contract of marriage between two people by the joining of their hands together for a specific amount of time. Traditionally, the time-period was a year and one day. When the time had passed, they could renew the contract or consider it fulfilled and move on. Today, the Hand Fasting ceremony can be incorporated into the formal wedding ceremony or used in place of an engagement party. Jewish wedding ceremonies end with


the ceremonial breaking of the glass. A Jewish marriage ceremony is considered a reenactment of the marriage between God and the Jewish people that took place at Mount Sinai, and each wedding day is a personal Yom Kippur—the most sacred and holiest day in one’s life. The breaking of the glass commemorates the destruc- tion of the Temple in Jerusalem some 2000 years ago.


The destruction of the Holy Temple commemorates the fall of Jerusalem, but it is a reminder of the cataclysmic shat-


The House & Home Magazine


Paul and Ellen Copeland dodging dried lavender. Courtesy of Dawn Howeth.


39


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