Wedding Traditions & Symbols

Traditions and symbols vary throughout countries and cultures and Canada has many unique ones of its own. Here you will find some of the more traditional and well- known ones and some extra ones with that distinctive Canadian touch.

Canadian Wedding Traditions

The Trousseau Tea

This traditional tea party is held by the bride’s mother before the wedding and is a chance to celebrate the wedding with neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances that are not invited to the wedding itself.

Wearing White

It’s believed that wearing white on your wedding day originated in France, making it all the more important that a French-Canadian bride wear white on her wedding day.

Meeting the Bride

It’s tradition that the groom and his side of the wedding party meet the bride and her family at her house on the wedding day. They then travel to the wedding all together, getting the celebrations started.

The Sock Dance

This tradition has the unmarried siblings of the bride and groom wearing funny socks and doing a silly dance at the wedding reception. During this dance guests throw money that the bride and groom later collect.

The Wedding Wheel

This is a tradition to help the couple pay for their wedding day, at the reception the guests line up and pay a dollar (or more) to dance with the bride and groom.

Worldwide Wedding Traditions:

Something old, something new...

A common wedding tradition used across the world, this poem represents lots of traditional ways to bring luck and fortune on your wedding day.

Something Old: This is something to represent the bride’s past and to remind her that the family she grew up with will always be in her life.

Something New: Typically the wedding dress – is there to represent the new part of her life that the bride is about to embark on.

Something Borrowed: This is when the bride ‘borrows’ some luck from a happily married woman, this is often a piece of jewelry.

Something Blue: Blue is the color of fidelity, so by wearing something blue the bride can bring some extra luck.


Bridesmaids have originated from the superstition that evil sprits would try and ruin the bride and groom’s happiness. By having bridesmaids, the evil spirits become confused at who is the bride and can’t ruin the wedding.


Rice and grain were traditionally thrown at the bride and groom to encourage wealth and fertility, in modern times this has been replaced with wedding confetti.

Being Carried Over the Threshold:

The groom would traditionally carry the bride over the threshold to protect her from evil spirits that could be waiting in their new home.