Monday, February 22, 2010

When Did the Tradition of the Wedding Cake Start? Article 1 of 2

The yummy and beautifully-designed wedding cakes that you see at each wedding today have been part of the celebration of marriage since the Roman Empire. (The Roman Empire dated between 502 BC to 29 BC.) The first wedding cakes were made of thin wheat or barley (waffer-like). The groom would eat a little bit of this cake and then crumble some over the bride's head to ensure fertility. The breaking of the cake over the bride's head was also seen as the groom's dominance over the bride.

As wedding cakes evolved through history, they became larger and larger and more elaborate--way too big and messy to crumble over the bride's head. There may have been some very small cases of this tradition still existing in Scotland during the 19th century, when oatcakes were broken over the bride's head. 

In medieval England there were reports of flour-based cakes without sweetners being used at weddings. Sometimes these "cakes" were just a pile of sweetened buns stacked up in front of the couple. The couple would then stretch to kiss over them. If they were successful, then it was thought they would have many children.

During the 17th century and continuing into the 19th century, the "cake" could have been actually a pie--called the bride's pie. The main ingredient in this sweet, minced or mutton pie was a ring. It was believed that the single woman who found the glass ring in the pie would be married next. These pies were seen more in the less affluented weddings.

Also, during the 17th century, some traditions thought it was good luck to give cake as gifts to the guests. The cake given to unmarried people was to be put under their pillows. This would give them dreams about their future spouses. Later on in the 18th century cake giving was expanded. This time the cake was pushed through the wedding couples' rings. The crumbs of the cake were distributed to the guests to put under their pillows. This particular tradition stopped when brides became superstitious about taking off their rings after the ceremony and possibly breaking the "bond" the ring represented.

Read more about the tradition of wedding cakes in our next blog, beginning with the Victorian Age and continuing to modern day, like the modern-day cake photos on this blog. These cakes were baked and decorated by and, respectively.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wedding Traditions - Something Old, Something New....

We have found that most of our brides still follow this tradition, even to the point of the last minute before walking the aisle, asking friends and family to find items for her to wear quickly.

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe
Since this tradition has so many aspects of being English, many sources believe that this tradition began during the Victorian Age. All the items in the poem are meant to bring good luck to the bride during her marriage.
A sixpence is a coin that was minted in Britain between 1551 to 1967. This coin is put in the bride's left shoe. This is to represent wealth and financial security during the marriage. Since sixpences can somethings be hard to find now, wedding retailers sell "modern" sixpences for bride's to wear.
"Something old" represents the bride's past and the continuation into the future. The item can be something antique, an heirloom item, or an object that is sentimentall to the bride.
"Something new" represents hope for the bride's future life with her groom. Items such as a new lipstick, new jewelry, or a new haircut are some items to use for good luck. 
"Something borrowed" usually comes from a family member or friend who has experienced many years of happiness in their marriage. This good fortune is meant to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item reminds the bride that she can count on this family member or friend in the future. This item will be returned to the owner after the wedding day.
Wearing something blue has long since been believed to be the color symbolizing love, modesty, and fidelty. Prior to the 19th century, brides' gowns were often blue. They followed the proverbs of "Marry in blue; lover be true." In Christianity, the Virgin Mary is often depicted in blue.
For other wedding traditions, check our entries on our blog. For other wedding photos or portraits, go to our website at: You can, also, communicate with us on our Facebook page at:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wedding Photography, Richmond, VA -- The Tradition of the Garter

As I have been researching the traditions of weddings, I am amazed at how early some of the traditions we see at weddings began and still exist. The tradition of the bride's garter started around the 13th century in France.

Fortunately, the modern translation of this tradition is really tame compared to what the poor brides of past centuries had to go through. In the 13th century it was thought to be good luck for guests to have a piece of the bride's clothing. Guests would literally destory the bride's gown tearing off pieces. If you have ever been a bride and are wearing the gown of your dream, you can only imagine how it would make you feel if people are tearing your dream gown to pieces. Yesteryear's bride would start throwing things back at the guests, including the wedding garter.

Soon it became tradition for the bride to toss the garter to the men. The only problem was that some men at weddings would get really impatient and drink too much. They tried to get the garter off the bride before it was time to toss it. How do you think this made the bride and her groom feel? After awhile, in order to protect the bride, the groom started taking off the bride's garter and tossing to the men.

Some traditions have the garter being auctioned off instead of being tossed. The proceeds would go to the couple to cover their honeymoon expenses.

Modern North American garter tradition has the bride wearing two garters on her right leg--one for a keepsake and the other to toss. The groom removes the garter from the bride's leg and tosses it to all the single men.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Senior Portraits, Richmond, VA

It's hard to believe that another school year is about to finish up. Soon the Class of 2010 will walk the aisles, accept their diplomas, and start on a new life of either college or full-time employment.

Soon it will be time for the Class of 2011 to take a step forward to become seniors!! It isn't too early for these juniors to start thinking about having their senior portraits done. Do you want the same typical senior look of school photographers, or would you like to be unique and have your portraits done at special locations that mean something to you? Do you want a senior photographer who takes time to make sure you look your best?

We have been photographing senior portraits for many, many years. Take a look at our website, Our summer appointments fill up quickly, so call us early to assure your date/time.

Also, view some of our senior portraits on our Facebook page,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baby Portraits, Richmond, VA

Sometimes it would be wonderful to be four months old, just like this little one we photographed this past weekend. To have all your needs met and not to have any worries to think about. What a dream!

We always enjoy photographing babies and children. In this case, it was especially enjoyable, because this baby's mom and dad were one of our wedding couples that we photographed three years ago.

This is one of the wonderful things about photographing. You have the honor of watching families grow and being able to capture these precious memories.

Please note that these two images are uncropped versions. The cropped versions that the parents purchased showed more baby than black background.

For more family, children or baby portraits, go to our website,

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Engagement Portraits, Richmond, VA

Virginia is For Lovers!

Richmond, Virginia is so full of history, art, architecture, and culture. You can find just about anything you want to see, eat, or do within just a few miles each other. It is the perfect place for photographing portraits of newly engaged couples. We had the pleasure of following Melissa and Brandon around downtown Richmond this past Valentine's Day. We, being a couple married for over 20 years, enjoyed being with this special couple and, for us, remembering and renewing what it felt like to have the "world in our hands" and the excitement of a future together.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Doesn't Stop the Trip to the Chapel!

Who won't forget this winter? As probably many photographers have found out this winter, "Snow doesn't stop couples from getting to the chapel!" We had the honor of photographing Amanda and Brandon's wedding in Warrenton, VA on January 31, 2010. Thankfully, the snow totals were less the farther north we went! We thank Amanda, Brandon, their families and friends for making the day so enjoyable and allowing us to capture many memories.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow, Snow Go Away!

I don't think any of us in Virginia will forget this winter in a long time. I don't think I will personally complain about the summer temperatures when it reaches 100 this year!

While experiencing the third major snowstorm in two and half months, we watched the birds come to our feeder. It was interesting to imagine what they were saying to each other.

Please don't forget our feathered friends during this major snowstorm. We were out of seed quickly, so we created a type of suet to put in our feeder. We toasted bread, put peanut butter on it and crushed a few nuts. Then we put it in our suet feeder. You don't realize how many birds are outside until you start to feed them.

Flower Girls and Ring Bearers , Article 2 of 2

The name ring bearer originated with being called a paige boy. Traditionally paige boys held the responsiblity of carrying the bride's train as she went down the wedding aisle. They dressed in velvet jackets, short trousers, and large, round linen collars with a large bow attached. They, also, wore white silk hose and black shoes with large buckles. Paiges can still be seen in many British royal weddings. Because of the difficulty of carrying the long train, paige boys were no younger than age seven. Today's ring bearers may be younger than seven--if they can't walk in, they are rolled in a wagon or held in the arms of an attendant.

In today's formal weddings, ring bearers now hold the responsibility of carrying a satin pillow with repricas of the bridal couple's rings. The modern day tradition of being a ring bearer is to give young family members an opportunity to participate in the wedding ceremony. Typically ring bearers are nephews of the bride or groom.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Flower Girls and Ring Bearers, Part I of 2 Articles

Are you planning to have a flower girl or ring bearer at your wedding? When did this tradition begin and why?

The first flower girls walked the aisles in ancient Rome. They carried wheat and herbs for blessings of fertility and prosperity.

In the Elzabethan age, the flower girl's purpose was to entertain the guests before the bride appeared. She would be in front of a merry group of musicians and would carry a silver cup adorned with ribbons and a gilded branch from Rosemary. The entire path from the bride's home to the wedding ceremony location was covered in rose petals.

The Victorian age flower girl is probably the most remembered and the closest to modern day flower girls. She wore a white dress with a colorful sash and carry a basket full of blooms. She would welcome the newly-married couple from the altar.

Today the flower girl is a symbol of childhood and womanhood. It is a reminder to all how brief the magical and the period of innocence lasts. Some modern day flower girls wear dresses to match the bride and others wear colorful outfits that match the bridesmaids.

The next article will be on the beginning of using ring bearers during wedding ceremonies. 

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Where Did Wearing a Bridal Veil Begin?

In today's society brides wear a veil to compliment their gown or to as a decoration. This was not the case, though, as to how the wedding veil began.

In ancient societies, dating back to Biblical days, when marriages were pre-arranged, the groom was not allowed to see his bride-to-be until the wedding ceremony. The couple was not allowed to see each other until the wedding day. This tradition kept the bride and groom-to-be from balking about marrying each other due to their looks. Up until nearly the end of the wedding ceremony, the bride remained veiled. The groom was allowed to unveil the bride at the end of the ceremony.

The veil was, also, worn as protection from evil spirits that were thought to plague the wedding service. The bride wore a veil as a disguise so that the evil spirits would not recognize her. As superstitions went, the evil spirits were jealous of the brides and their happiness. If the veil was not worn, the evil spirits would make all sorts of trouble for the bride at her wedding.

In some cultures the veil was so long and big that it wrapped the bride like a shroud. The veil was then put away and only brought out again when the woman was buried in it.

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