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The History and Meaning of a Sorority Lavalier

The ritual of lavaliering is rooted in Greek tradition and is an important part of both sorority and fraternity life in the United States.

The lavalier has long been considered a fundamental right-of-passage for many college couples.

Despite the ritual's relative lack of popularity, this doesn't take away from its special meaning for many long-term couples.

If you're looking to learn more about the sorority lavalier and its meaning, we outline all in this blog...

The Sorority Lavalier Explained

At most major colleges across the United States, students will join a Greek letter organization, known as a fraternity or sorority.

Female undergrad college students join a sorority, while male undergrads join a fraternity. These organizations are akin to a family and are usually represented by Greek letters.

Each sorority and fraternity has its own set of traditions - with one of the most long-held traditions known as lavaliering.

The lavalier is an esteemed as a way to express your commitment and love for one another as a collegiate couple.

The male partner presents his female love interest with a lavalier necklace, featuring the Greek letters of his fraternity.

The presentation of a lavalier necklace symbolizes a long-term commitment between the collegiate couple. The lavalier is generally viewed as a lead up to an engagement.

The lavalier necklace and its pledge also gives the female partner honorary rights to the fraternity.

Lavaliering is an important step in showcasing a male's devotion to a fraternity. Essentially he is pledging both him and his partner to the fraternity family.

The Lavalier Necklace

The necklace was popularized in early 1900 by Duchesse de la Valliere, a well-known mistress of King Louis XIV of France.

The suspended pendant style of the necklace became incredibly famous during this time. Today, it's represented by the Greek letters of the male's fraternity.

The Lavalier Ceremony

The ceremony surrounding the presentation of a lavalier necklace is a big deal for most college campuses.

Firstly, the male must request permission from his fraternity family to make a lavalier pledge to his love interest. Once this permission is granted, the ceremony will take place.

All the fraternity brothers gather where the necklace is ceremoniously presented to the female.

The female sorority house also holds a special ceremony of their own to both announce and celebrate lavaliering.

The sorority sisters gather in a circle and pass a lit candle around. Once the candle reaches the lavaliered sister, she will make her announcement and blow it out.

The ceremony is a highly important part of the process as being lavaliered is considered an act of grace by both the fraternity and sorority.

The Rules of Lavaliering

Basically, the lavalier is well-known as a stepping stone between dating and the long-term commitment of engagement.

If a male intends to offer a lavalier necklace to his partner, there can only be one woman he offers this necklace to. He cannot make a lavalier pledge to more than one woman.

The lavalier pledge must be kept a secret by the female until the candle tradition is held by her sorority house.

Ultimately, lavaliered couples are expected to become engaged after the lavalier pledge.

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