Most Prominent Marriage Symbols, Traditions and Their Meanings

When I see a snowman, I feel the warmth of Christmas. When I see a cupid with a bow, I remember Valentine’s Day. And when I see two golden rings interlocked, I think of marriage.

I remember that I was 7 when I first attended a wedding. My cousin was a ring bearer and I was a flower girl.

We were so excited when we saw our aunt’s dazzling wedding ring. We had no idea what the rings were for. We were just kids.

But when we heard our aunt and her lover exchange their vows before putting on their rings, we realized that it was a symbol of their love for each other. We also learned that wearing the rings after the wedding is a tradition that’s observed by many couples in our country.

A ring is just one of the many marriage symbols of love you can find across the world. You’ll even be surprised at the rich marriage traditions you can learn from different cultures.

Here Are The Most Prominent Marriage Symbols and Traditions

1.The Ring

Of all the marriage symbols, the ring has gained the most fame. But what you might not know is that this one piece of jewelry adored by women has more meaning to it.

A ring’s round shape represents the eternal and faithful love shared by married couples. It also symbolizes infinity and commitment.

In case you have not noticed, most engagement and wedding rings are embellished with shiny sparkling diamonds. Out of the plentiful kinds of stones and crystals, diamond is the most sought-after gem for marriage rings because of the gem’s association with Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

Now, let’s check out the tradition of wearing our wedding rings on our left hand.

The custom of wearing wedding bands on the fourth finger of the left hand can be traced back to Roman culture. During ancient times, the Romans believed that there’s a vein on the “ring finger” that runs directly to the heart. They called it the “vein of love” or “vena amoris.” So to signify the romance and love that bond two people in marriage, we have continued wearing our wedding rings on the fourth finger of our left hand until the present time.

2.The White Doves

Ever wondered why it was made a tradition to release white doves at weddings?

The white dove is a symbol of love, peace, purity, and new beginnings. The flying creature is known to be impressively loyal to its mate forever.

Did you know?

A dove courts its mate like humans. They do fall in love, and when they finally find”the one,” they remain faithful to their union for a lifetime.

When couples release doves at weddings, the birds soar high and return to their nesting place to be with their family. This attitude displays how loyal and devoted doves are to their loved ones.

However, the practice of dove releases are no longer observed at many weddings today. The tradition is dubbed as cruel due to the risks it poses to the innocent animals.

Apparently, despite beliefs that doves can find their way home, many of them get lost, killed, and hurt as they try to find their nesting place. Considering this circumstance, many soon-to-be husband and wives these days ditch the uncaring practice of dove releases.

3.The Veil

Are you ready to discover the real deal behind beautiful and long wedding veils worn by brides at their wedding?

A pretty spooky report by Cosmopolitan UK enlightened us to the reasons why women wear veils on their wedding day. There are actually a couple of explanations about it.

First, the veil is used as a decoy for evil spirits. Early Romans thought that those evil spirits were always lurking during wedding ceremonies, looking for a bride to curse.

So to protect the brides from the bad creatures, they made the ladies wear a huge red sheet, which they called “flammeum.” With the flammeum on, the bride looks like she is being burned in the fire. It’s quite a nice disguise for spirits trying to ruin weddings.

But in some cultures, the veil is in no way a shield for devilish creatures. Soon-to-be wives wear a veil to cover their face to signify their purity. Only a bride’s groom can uncover her face during the honeymoon when the deed is done.

Another belief that surrounds the wedding veil is that girls are made to wear them so their grooms cannot view their faces. This is necessary for arranged marriages to prevent the groom from running away in case he doesn’t find his soon-to-be wife attractive. Ouch!

4. The Bouquet

The colorful flowers arranged in a bouquet carried by brides on their wedding day are not a mere fashion statement.

Early Romans started the practice of carrying bridal bouquets, believing that the flowers signify fertility, fidelity, and new beginnings. In fact, ancient people even chose specific kinds of flowers to include in their bouquet.

Orange blossoms were a common pick, for they symbolize everlasting life. Lavender, which represents devotion, is also a favorite.

But during the Middle Ages, women started incorporating spices and herbs into their wedding bouquets. The strong scents of these plants are believed to ward off evil spirits and mask the smell of bad odor.

However, these beliefs have been forgotten over time. In the modern era, girls choose their bouquets based on their color, shape, and fragrance preferences.

5. The Cord

The wedding cord is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the lifetime union of the newlyweds. The practice involves placing a large rope made of satin around the bride and groom in the form of number eight or an infinity knot.

Also called a lasso, the bridal cord is believed to signify the everlasting bond and protection of marriage. It is done after the couples exchange their vows and before the priest pronounce their marriage.

6.The White Wedding Gown

The tradition of wearing a white wedding dress is part of modern culture. During the old times, ladies could choose any colors of dresses or gown to wear for their matrimonies.

It was only during the Victorian era that white was made an official color for weddings.

In 1840, the world celebrated as Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert in a beautiful white dress. Who would have thought that she would set the wedding trend for a hundred years after?

Yes, it was the Queen who started it all! After her 1840 wedding, white became the chosen color of brides for their gowns or dresses until today.

However, the palette of wedding gowns is not limited to white. Some women still opt to wear their favorite colors as their nuptial dress. There is no ruling against it, but white seems to be a top choice.

Though white is not an actual marriage symbol across all countries in the world, white is associated with purity and beginnings. No wonder it became a favorite among soon-to-be brides.

7.The Kissing Tradition

Weddings are always concluded with a passionate kiss from the newlyweds. But do you know what it really means?

“You may now kiss the bride,” says the wedding officiator. Then the groom would gladly oblige. But little did we know that this kiss is not part of the traditional religious ceremony.

The kissing ritual during weddings is actually a Roman practice. Romans view kissing as a legal bond to seal contracts.

For Christians, on the other hand, a kiss is a symbol of the exchange of souls between the newly married couples. In the Bible, it says “two shall become one.” A kiss is what fulfills this scripture.

But without the history and beliefs that come with it, I believe kissing is a lovely way to conclude a nuptial. Do you agree?

8.Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue hails from an Old English rhyme.

The something old represents the bride’s desire to keep her relationships and connections with her family even after getting married. It is a symbol of continuity.

The something new is a symbol of a fresh union that shall last forever. For something borrowed, the friends of the bride commonly share their precious possessions as a token of love. It symbolizes a borrowed happiness.

Lastly, the something blue is a representation of fidelity, purity, and love. Though you need not take these rituals seriously, it’s fun to collect these “somethings” from your friends and family, isn’t it?


Many if not all brides of the modern times keep up with wedding traditions. Although there are some changes to the way weddings are held today, we can still see a few rituals or practices done in the same way as in the old times.

What’s your favorite marriage symbols and traditions? Share it with us in the comments below!