We have some pretty funny wedding traditions when you really stop to think about it. Why do we have a flower bouquet? Bridal showers? Eat cake at weddings? Why do we wear a wedding ring on the third finger of our left hand? What’s even funnier is the answers! Check these out! Then there are new traditions to consider, too- look for those at the bottom of the page.
In medieval times the groom would pay for a bride. The payment would include precious stones that showed his intent to marry her.
Engagement ring- the circle of the wedding ring represents everlasting love.
The Romans believed that the vein in the third finger of the left hand led directly to the heart so it joined the couple’s hearts.
Diamond engagement ring originated with medieval Italians. They believed that diamonds were created in the flames of love.
Bride is an Old English word that was a name for “cook”.
Bridal showers originated in Holland. When a father did not approve of his daughters marriage, the townspeople would shower her with gifts to be used as a dowry. In the 1890’s a bride’s gift was placed in a parasol and opened over the bride’s head, showering her with gifts.
Kissing the bride in Roman times was seen as a legal bond that sealed all contracts.
Best man- marriages were historically done by capturing a bride, so a man would take along his most trusted and strongest friend. The best man would stay by the grooms side during the ceremony to fight off the bride’s family. The groom would hold onto the bride with his left hand so he could fight them off with the sword in his right hand. After the wedding the best man would stand guard outside the new couple’s home until the bride became pregnant (the honeymoon).
Bridesmaids and groomsmen were used because Roman law mandated there be 10 witnesses at the ceremony. They would dress like the bride and groom to confuse others and evil spirits who wanted to figure out who was getting married.
A white wedding dress was worn in 1499 by Anne of Brittany and was a symbol of joy. In biblical times blue represented purity, so the bride and groom would wear a blue band around the bottom of their wedding attire. Something blue!
Giving away the bride happened in times of arranged marriages when the father of the bride literally gave away his daughter, usually for a price. A veil was worn and the groom did not get to see the bride until the wedding ceremony.
The first bouquets were grains and herbs to fight off evil spirits, then flowers to represent fertility and everlasting love.
Tying the knot dates back to Roman times when the bride would wear a girdle that had been tied in many knots which the groom hd to untie.
Tossing the bouquet in England was a way for the bride to pass along her good fortune.
The garter toss started back in the 14th century when it was customary for the bride to toss her garter to the men attending. Grooms later helped in this custom.
Ancient Romans would beak a wheat cake over the bride’s head as a symbol of fertility. Over time it was a tradition to stack cake as tall as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over. A lifetime of fortune was certain if they didn’t tip it over.
Is it bad luck for the groom to see you in your dress before the ceremony? I will tell you where that tradition came from… Not too long ago brides were considered the property of their father. Their husbands were arranged without their consent. The marriage of an unattractive woman was often arranged with a prospective groom from another town without either of them having ever seen their prospective spouse. In more than one instance, when the groom saw his future wife for the first time on the day of the wedding, he changed his mind and left the bride. To prevent this from happening, it became “bad luck” for the groom to see the bride on the day of the wedding prior to the ceremony. Now, in modern days, the groom usually sees the bride HE HAS CHOSEN in her wedding dress before the wedding day. Brides and grooms have their pictures and videos done prior to the wedding- so throw that bad luck tradition out the door!
Create your own NEW traditions…
One tradition I have with my friends is that when one of us gets married, we have a ton of fragrance oils and pretty bottles at the bachelorette party. Everyone puts a drop or two in a bottle for the bride and makes a wish, and the bride wears our creation on her wedding day. ~ Jennifer Aniston