When it comes to tying the knot, there are a lot of interesting wedding traditions that take place that are so old that many people don’t know why we do them. They’ve become such a big part of weddings, that many do not question them. We’re here to break down some of the most common traditions that brides and grooms across the world have done for years.
Tying the Knot
Tying the knot is a common way to say that two people are getting married but where does the saying come from? It refers to a centuries-old ritual, found in many cultures including Celtic, in which the bride and groom would tie their hands together during the ceremony, showing their dedication to one another and creating a bond between them. Asking for someone’s “hand in marriage” also refers to this tradition.
After asking for your significant other’s hand in marriage, you generally present them with an engagement ring. This ring goes on a specific finger but why? In ancient times, it was believed that there was a vein in the fourth finger, or the “ring finger”, of the left hand that ran directly to the heart. This vein was known as the ‘vena amoris’, or the vein of love. Sadly, this belief was proven to be untrue but many people continue the tradition.
Brides haven’t always worn white dresses on their wedding day. Prior to Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840, brides often wore their finest dress, as purchasing an all-white gown that would only be worn once was not practical. Once Queen Victoria walked down the aisle in white, that all changed. Brides in Western culture, across Europe and the Americas, started opting for a white dress if they were wealthy enough as white clothing was associated with wealth. Japanese brides also often wear white on the big day. Other cultures believe that wearing white is unlucky and therefore choose to wear brighter hues when they make their lifelong commitment.
Veiled from Evil
It’s said that the ancient Romans and Greeks had their brides wear veils to protect them from evil demons. By wearing a veil and shielding their face, the demons would be confused and not attack the bride. Arranged marriages also incorporated veils into the wedding attire so that the groom would not see the bride until the ceremony. There are religious reasons why a bride may wear a white veil on her wedding day as well, such as modesty or purity. With their eyes covered, it was difficult to see and brides were often guided down the aisle by someone, usually their father before they were “given away.”
Nearly everyone who gets married has a wedding cake afterward, and while we all love cake, people may wonder why is this a tradition? In ancient Rome, after a wedding ceremony, the groom would break a loaf of bread over his bride’s head for good fortune and fertility. It’s believed that guests who ate crumbs of the cake would have good luck as well.
Crossing the Threshold
While this tradition may not be as in style nowadays, it was once a common tradition for the groom to carry his bride over the threshold of their home for the first time on their wedding night. This was done to protect her from any evil spirits.
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