The concepts of marriage, engagement and the wedding ceremony itself have been around for many years.
Planning a wedding can be a stressful process – in fact, an article in Thrive Global places it at number three on the list of the most difficult life events you’ll ever encounter. But some of these ancient traditions surrounding marriage and engagement could have made the process a whole lot more stressful. Here is the truth behind some of the most popular wedding traditions.
The Father of the Bride
It is customary for the father of the bride to ‘give her away’, but in times gone by this had a much more literal meaning. Fathers actually owned their daughters, and by consenting to their marriage they were quite literally passing ownership on to another man.
Tying cans to the wedding car was a rowdy tradition that originated in France, where the groom would apologise to other suitors for taking a single woman off the market by throwing loud parties involving cans of alcohol.
It’s normal to see bridesmaid in matching dresses, but in ancient Rome this was no fashion statement. The Romans believed that happy occasions attracted bad spirits, and so they all dressed the same as the bride to make identifying her more tricky – minus the diamond engagement rings from https://www.comparethediamond.com/diamond-engagement-rings, of course.
The bouquet was also a tool used to fend off evil spirits and would be doused in smelly herbs and spices. The act of throwing the bouquet is a distraction technique – believe it or not, Middle Ages weddings involved the guests stripping the bride of her clothes, and so she would throw her flowers to divert the attention elsewhere.
Tiered wedding cakes originated because of an old tradition in which the newlyweds would be challenged to kiss over the top of a tall stack of confectionery.
A common Norse wedding gift was a month’s worth of mead. Mead is made from honey, and the moon represents one calendar month – hence the phrase ‘honeymoon’.
Back on the subject of wicked spirits, the act of carrying a new bride over the threshold was so spirits were unable to enter her body through her feet.