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English engagement traditions

by Anna-Belle Woollcott Published on 26 January 2011

7 months, 7 days to go

English engagement traditions

The unexpected bonus of being engaged in the UK has only just been made apparent to me.

People send gifts! Who knew? We haven't even had a proper engagement party yet and still some lovely individuals have stuffed M&S vouchers in envelopes or a bottle of wine in one of those wine gift bag thingies.

This morning a pretty white box, tied with pink ribbon was delivered to my office.

Inside were these four gorgeous looking cupcakes from The Primrose Bakery. This delightful gift was sent by friends as far away as Amsterdam but what a lovely thought.

Cake through the post! It's the future.Try Cake Toppers (who can actually send individually designed cake!) or Delivery Cakes.

I'm going to try and hold off on eating them until lunch time at least.

Looks like the pre-wedding diet is postponed again.

A-B x

Other English engagement traditions

  • A groom should by tradition request permission of his prospective bride's father before asking her to be his wife. Tradition dictates that he should ask the father of the bride-to-be for his daughter's 'hand in marriage'.

  • Humbly on bended knee is the traditional way for a prspective groom to ask a girl to marry him.

  • In Victorian times an engagement was a legal promise to marry and if the groom tried to back out before the marriage, the bride could sue him for breach of promise.

  • Men are supposed to ask women to marry but, traditionally, on the 29th February (leap year), women can ask men.

  • Engagement parties were traditionally thrown to introduce both sets of family and friends to each other ahead of the marriage. In ancient times, a bride would then not see her betrothed again until the day of her marriage.

  • Engagement rings have been used since Roman times in Britain. They're worn on the third finger of the left hand because the ancient Greeks believed this finger was connected to the heart.
  • It's tradition for a groom-to-be to give his bride-to-be a ring on the occasion of thier engagement but more and more couples opt for a temporary engagement ring at the asking so they can shop for a permanent one together.

by Anna-Belle Woollcott

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