This past summer, I have been invited to numerous weddings. As I’ve attended these ceremonies, I have noticed many traditions present at all of them. This made me wonder where many of these wedding and marriage traditions stem from and from which cultures they come.
According to theknot.com:
Traditionally a bride stands to the left of the groom so his right hand is free to fight off any other potential suitors.
June weddings are popular because the Roman goddess Juno ruled over marriage, the hearth, and childbirth.
The phrase “tying the knot” comes from Celtic, Hindu, and Egyptian weddings where the hands of the bride and groom are tied together with rope or twine to demonstrate the couple’s commitment to one another.
The tradition of tiered wedding cakes comes from a game in which the bride and groom attempted to kiss one another over an increasingly taller cake without knocking it over.
Brides carry or wear “something old” to symbolize continuity with the past.
Japanize brides wore white wedding dresses long before the tradition was popularized in the Western world.
Ancient Greeks and Romans thought that the bride’s veil protected the bride from evil spirits.
Diamonds set in gold or silver became a popular engagement ring style among wealthy Venetians at the end of the fifteenth century.
The engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
According to Hindu tradition, rain on your wedding day is actually supposed to mean good luck!
According to English folklore, Saturday is actually the unluckiest day of the week to get married.
The groom traditionally carries the bride over the threshold to protect her from evil spirits lurking below.
The English believe that finding a spider in the bride’s wedding dress is good luck!
According to Greek tradition, if a bride tucks sugar cubes into her gloves it will sweeten the union!
The first bachelor parties were held by ancient Spartan soldiers
Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” was first played when Princess Victoria walked down the aisle in 1858.
The “dollar dance” is common in many cultures, though the way it is performed varies. Some cultures throw money at the couple while they dance. This tradition is a way of helping the bride and groom get started on their journey together as a married couple.
According to CNN.com:
A bride wears something old to represent the brides past; something new symbolizes the happy future of the couple; the something borrowed should come from someone who is happily married; something blue is a metaphor for fidelity and love.
The couple not seeing each other before the ceremony dates back to the time of arranged marriages. At this time, people thought that if the bride and groom had the opportunity to see each other before getting married, then they would have the opportunity to change their mind.
It is good luck for a bride to cry on her wedding day as it symbolizes that she has cried all her tears and will not have to shed any during her marriage.
Some think it is tempting fate for the bride to use her married name before the wedding