Every wedding ceremony is different, but there are traditions that are present in the ceremonies. Ever wondered why the bride wears white? Or why the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger? Well, today is your lucky day! Here are the true origins of popular wedding traditions:
You might think having bridesmaids is a way for your girl friends to support you on your wedding day, but historically this is not the case. Bridesmaids were used to confuse evil spirits who might want to harm the bride. They dressed similarly to the bride and protected her on her big day. In the Roman Empire, bridesmaids followed the bride if she had to travel to where the groom lived. This larger party was thought to keep the bride safe from attacks by robbers or kidnappers.
2. The Best Man
In the past, men used to ‘steal’ or ‘kidnap’ the bride. Especially if her parents didn’t approve of the union. The best man was to help the groom fight anybody who opposed the bride being kidnapped. He would then stand next to the groom to ensure that the bride didn’t run away during the ceremony.
3. The white dress
You probably think brides wear white to symbolise purity right? Well, this will shock you. Up until the mid-1800s, women wore red dresses to wed. Queen Victoria wore white at her wedding. At first, people were shocked, then it became a trend. 180 years after, it’s still a trend.
4. The bridal bouquet
Brides hold beautiful bouquets of flowers. In ancient Greece, brides held a cluster of flowers to ward off evil.
5. The bridal veil
In some cultures, the veil was worn to hide the identity of the bride from the groom in arranged marriages. In other cultures, they were used to protect the bride from evil spirits and help the bride look modest.
The honeymoon originated as a result of kidnapping. Yes, Kidnapping! The husband would have to hide his intended bride for about a month after her kidnapping to prevent the woman’s tribe from rescuing her.
7. Wedding rings
Wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger because it was believed to have a particular vein that led to the heart. In Latin, it was called “vena amoris,” which means the vein of love.