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The Tradition of the Wedding Handkerchief

History of the Wedding Handkerchief


A wedding handkerchief adds a touch of elegance and a vintage feel to your bridal accessories. It is also extremely useful during a day full of happy tears!


The handkerchief was first seen during the Roman times when only the social elite carried them. They were initially made from linen, but the tradition eventually evolved so that they were made from other fabrics, thus making them more accessible to the lower and middle classes.  


In wedding ceremonies, bridal handkerchiefs were often handmade and carried by the brides. Prior to the wedding the handkerchief was soaked with perfume so the bride could wipe her face beforehand. During the ceremony the bride would wear it over her shoulders or on her neck as a way to smell of flowers all day long.


The wedding handkerchief then evolved to being carried by both the bride and the groom. The bridal hanky was used to wipe away the happy tears from one another’s cheeks.  


Incorporating this tradition would be an ode to the past. Some brides choose a handkerchief that has been passed down in their family as an heirloom. This would take care of the “something old” that helps bring good luck to the wedding day. If you do not have a handkerchief heirloom in the family you can start your own tradition by purchasing a new bridal hanky and saving it for future generations to come.


There are a variety of handkerchiefs to consider, including handkerchiefs with poems stitched on them or personalized handkerchiefs embroidered with the choice of your name or wedding date. Blue bridal handkerchiefs are a perfect way to also cover the “something blue” you need for your wedding day, as the thread in the stitching can be customized to blue. A simple lace handkerchief is also a delicate option and will be passed down through the generations. 


Wedding hankies are a wonderful heirloom to pass down. Start your new tradition today by browsing Advantage Bridal’s extensive wedding inventory.