Wedding garlands

The hoisting of wedding garlands in warships is an old Royal Navy custom. Two loops of evergreens were joined to form a sphere, with a white satin streamer suspended from the base. 

The garlands were usually displayed between the foremast and mainmast on the wedding day of an officer of the ship.

 The custom is believed to have begun in the days of sail. On her return from sea, wives and sweethearts were allowed on board a ship. Very little work was done for the first two or three days, and a garland was hoisted to show that the ship was ‘out of routine’ and not to be boarded by the officer-of-the-guard on his tour of inspection.

 When taken down, the wedding garland was placed in the cabin of the bridegroom for him to find on his return from his honeymoon. The white satin streamer was kept as a keepsake by the bride.