The Wedding's Over and the Party's Begun!
The ceremony may be over, the bouquet tossed, the garter caught but marital rituals have only just begun. The space in time between the ending of the wedding and the couple's arrival at their new home is a threshold fraught with vulnerability and opportunities for magical good luck!
· Hawthorn, a cousin of the rose, has long associations with romance, fertility and fairy magic. A Roman bridegroom waved a hawthorn sprig as he led his new bride to the nuptial chambers, which was illuminated with hawthorn torches.
· In Switzerland, an older married couple is sent to prepare the boudoir before the couple arrives: they arrange the marriage bed romantically, with luxurious bedding and romantic flowers and fragrance, and leave behind some lucky charms: coins, bags of rice, sesame seeds and a tomcat.
· These days it's customary for the groom to carry the bride over the threshold. What happens then? Well, among many European traditions, the bride's first action upon entering her home as a wife must be to break an egg, to ensure her happiness and prosperity.
* Yes, yes, Henry VIII is notorious for his six wives! However, one survived him and one died following childbirth. Of the remainder, two were divorced and two beheaded, most famously Anne Boleyn, whose criminal charges included bewitching the king.