fbpx
North Wales Wedding Photographer at Llantysilio Church Llangollen
8th November 2018

Welsh Wedding Traditions

Wedding Photography Welsh Wedding Traditions

North Wales Wedding Photographer

As a natural wedding photographer based in North Wales, I am of course super interested in Welsh Wedding Traditions.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Welsh Wedding Traditions is probably St. Dwynwen’s Day and Llanddwyn Island not far from Newborough Beach on Anglesey. It’s where Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, lived in the fifth Century. 

Welsh Wedding Traditions

Legend has it that she was one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. She fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately, her father had already arranged for her to marry someone else.

Welsh Wedding Traditions bride wearing untraditional blue wedding dress while holding hands and looking at her husband while walking

Snowdonia Wedding Photographer

Dwynwen was so upset that she begged God to help her forget Maelon. He sent an angel to visit Dwynwen when she was asleep. The angel carried a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and to turn him into a block of ice.

God then granted Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was not to turn Maelon into a block of ice. Her second wish was that God meets the hopes & dreams of true lovers. And thirdly she wished that she should never have to marry. All of her three wishes were fulfilled, and as a thank you, Dwynwen fully devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.

Wild Pheasant Wedding Photographer

Welsh Wedding Traditions

She founded a convent on Llanddwyn. A well named after her became a place of pilgrimage after her death in 465AD. Visitors to the well believed that the sacred fish or eels that lived in the well could foretell whether or not their relationship would be happy and whether love and happiness would be theirs.

Remains of Dwynwen’s church can still be seen today and Newborough Beach is a beautiful setting for pre-wedding adventure shoots like Andy & Amy’s. 

Oswestry Wedding Photographer Welsh Wedding Traditions
Love Spoons & Welsh Wedding Traditions

Who doesn’t love Welsh Wedding Traditions and a good wooden love spoon, right? In pre-industrial Wales, courting was an important, and often lengthy, process. Maybe sailors invented the love spoon, often far away from loved ones on long sea voyages. Activities like carving & decorating whale bones would at the very least have helped to pass time.

An alternative explanation might be young men sitting – fully chaperoned! – in front of the farmhouse fire with their future wife and he family passing the long evenings by carving and whittling at pieces of wood.

Often intricate spoons were decorated with keys (symbolising the key to the man’s heart), wheels (symbolising the hard work he’d put in for his wife) and beads (symbolising the number of children he would like). They are now synonymous with Welsh courting customs and Welsh Wedding Traditions.

Langley Abbey Wedding Photographer
Customs

All Welsh brides believed that it was lucky to wake up to birdsong on the morning of their wedding. Also, it was considered luckier to be congratulated by a man first, not by another woman. 

The throwing of confetti as the happy couple leaves the church developed from a pagan ritual where grain was tossed at a newly married couple to wish them a fertile union. 

Wedding Dresses

Welsh brides also believed that if by some chance, their wedding dress was torn on the wedding day then it denoted a bright & happy future. Something I more than agree with :)

Wedding dresses, incidentally, were historically not white. Brides traditionally wore their *best* dress for the wedding and it wasn’t actually until Anne of Burgundy (the Duchess of Bedford) married Louis XII of France in 1499, clad in a white dress, that the colour became popular.

One peculiarly Welsh tradition was that of kidnapping the bride on her wedding day. The bride’s family did this, just before the ceremony. The groom and his family would set off in hot pursuit and would *rescue* the bride. One version of this custom declared that whoever actually freed the bride would themselves marry within the year. Although, part of me thinks that is weird as obviously, the groom would rescue his precious future wife first? I’ve also heard of German brides being *kidnapped* and taken to the nearest pub. It is then customary for the groom to find her and pay for everybody’s drinks before they release her.

The Bridal Bouquet

The bridal bouquet usually contained a cutting of myrtle, a traditional symbol of love. The bridesmaid carried the bouquet after the ceremony. If she then planted the myrtle, and if it bloomed, it indicated that she would soon marry herself. 

Do you know of any other Welsh Wedding Traditions? Shoot me a message, would love to hear all about them! My email is [email protected]

Welsh Wedding Traditions bride walking in low sunlight

 

I’m a Cheshire, North Wales, Anglesey, Snowdonia & Shropshire Wedding Photographer based near Llangollen in North Wales. My style is natural, relaxed and emotive. Most couples that book me are laid-back and want their wedding photographer to fit in with their exciting plans without being bossy. If you like my work and would like to discuss how I can help with your wedding photographer you can contact me here.

Related Posts
Featured
Chester Winter Wedding Photographer
How to pick your Winter Wedding Photographer
Winter Wedding Photographer Most winter weddings feature some of my most favourite things. Roaring fires, hot cups of cocoa, warm hearty food, lots of twinkly lights and nice smelling candles are just some of them. It's probably fair to say that the number of winter weddings is on the up which is good news for me! There are many bargains to be had so it's not difficult to see why. Many suppliers - like venues and this Winter Wedding Photographer - are happy to offer extra discounts for what they consider their off season. Even though the days are shorter your winter wedding pictures can definitely still look amazing! What can I expect from ...
READ MORE
Liverpool Wedding Photographer confetti at St. George's Hall
Liverpool Wedding Photographer
Lovely day for a Liverpool Wedding Photographer When Kym and Danny first started looking for a Liverpool Wedding Photographer they were originally planning a much bigger wedding. They then found and fell in love with their dream house. That prompted them to have a smaller wedding instead. I loved their infectious happiness and beaming smiles right from when we first met! For their pre-wedding shoot the couple and 3 of their 4 gorgeous children hung out by the Chainbridge Hotel in Llangollen. There was lots of excitement in the air as it was not long before their wedding day. Natural Wedding Photographer in Liverpool In the end the couple o ...
READ MORE
Stirk House Wedding Photographer
Stirk House Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography at Stirk House in Gisburn, LancashireStirk House looked absolutely wonderful at Christmas time. I loved being a Stirk House Wedding Photographer for Phil & Jo's wedding and we even had a dusting of snow. Unfortunately it didn't last all day but it sure looked super romantic while it did ;)Loved being Phil & Jo's Lancashire Wedding Photographer!Being a Natural Wedding Photographer is an absolutely pleasure! Stirk House is right in the center of  a 22-acre patch of glorious Lancashire countryside. It's just a stone's throw away from the famous Pendle Hill. And it's the perfect setting for your ...
READ MORE