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15 Wedding

Traditions Explained

The White Wedding Dress

A white wedding dress is one of the most traditional pieces of an American wedding. Dating back from centuries ago, women usually wore the best gown in their wardrobe. However, Queen Victoria was the first woman to start the tradition of a pure white wedding gown. After her, people followed suit, although modern dresses are more of an off-white, cream or frost color.

Continuing off the previous point, if the bride’s family did not approve of him, she stood to the left of him so he had his right hand free to protect her. This is not the most romantic of traditions, but remain customary until now.

Bridesmaids

In many cultures, the bride’s friend would dress similar to the bride to fool evil spirits. Often times, brides had to travel long distances to meet their groom, so the bridesmaids dressing like the bride was to protect her. Today, bridesmaids help support the bride and help plan the wedding.

The Best Man

The tradition of “best man” started centuries ago before the women’s rights movement with the German goths. Men who decided upon a wife would have to forcefully take her with him or kidnap her if her family did not approve. This was not a one-man operation, the groom chose the best man to take on this responsibility, hence “best man”.

Bride Standing To The Left of The Groom

Continuing off the previous point, if the bride’s family did not approve of him, she stood to the left of him so he had his right hand free to protect her. This is not the most romantic of traditions, but remain customary until now.

Throwing The Bouquet

Throwing the bouquet is thought to have originated in England. Women would try to rip pieces off the bride’s dress and grab her flowers in order to capture some of the bride’s good luck. The bride would throw the bouquet in an attempt to distract and escape the mob. In modern days, the bouquet is thrown behind her. The one woman who catches it is said to be the next to get married.

The Rings

Stemming from ancient Rome, it is tradition to wear the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand. It is believed that the vein in that particular finger ran directly to the heart. However, the ring itself represents everlasting love, as it is a never ending circle.

Veil

Originating from Rome, the veil was intended to hide the bride from evil spirits who were jealous of the bride’s happiness. The veil is also a symbol of modesty, youth and virginity.

Not Seeing Each Other Before The Ceremony

Stemming from arranged marriages, it was believed that if the bride saw the groom before the ceremony, they may have second thoughts about the wedding. In modern day, people opt not to do this and choose to see each other the day before the ceremony.

Giving The Bride Away

Also stemming from arranged marriages, in old days, the daughter was considered property of the father until they were “given away” to the groom often for a price. Today, the father gives their daughter away as a symbol of his blessing for the new couple’s marriage.

Ringing Bells

An old Irish tradition, bells are rung after a couple got married to ward off evil spirits and ensure a harmonious married life. Bells are still rung at weddings worldwide and are also common gifts to newlyweds.

Wedding Cake

Beginning in ancient Rome, marriage ceremonies ended with a scone-line wheat or barely cake. The new husband and wife would eat a few crumbs together as one of their first unified acts as a married couple. After the newlyweds had their share, the guests would scoop up the leftovers for good luck.

Honeymoon

Remembering the kidnap situation, allegedly, the honeymoon served as a way for the husband to hide the bride for about a month so her tribe wouldn’t know where to find her.

Bridal Shower

Originally, bridal showers were not meant to be a party for the bride to receive gifts. In the 1500’s bridal showers were for those who could not afford a wedding, to help raise money for the bride and her family. Today, Bachelorette parties in America are to spoil the bride before her wedding day.

The Ring Bearer’s Pillow

The ring bearer’s are usually small children who carry down the rings in a pillow to represent innocence and new beginnings together.

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