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The wedding is a ceremony surrounded by tradition and folklore but why we do what we do, and what lies behind the customs of marriage, is a surprisingly murky area. What colour should a wedding dress be, and why? What is the origin of the wedding cake? Why do we throw confetti? What is so special about Gretna Green? What is so lucky about a shoe? Why a wedding breakfast, and is the pre-nuptial contract a new idea? In Britain today the celebration of a marriage in the 'traditional' manner is a mixture of something old, something new and something borrowed from other traditions. It is bound up with church and secular legislation, and with custom and superstition. Discovering the Folklore and Traditions of Marriage looks at the ways that marriages are celebrated in multicultural Britain and how the practices of the past are observed, and sometimes altered, for contemporary times.
George Monger works as a consultant in museums throughout the British Isles and as a freelance folklorist and researcher with a specialist interest in the folklore, customs, traditions and social history of weddings and marriage. Over the years he has published many articles, papers and essays in magazines, journals and books on folklore, folklife and related subjects. He is the author of 'Marriage Customs of the World: from Henna to Honeymoons' for ABC-Clio (2004).