10 Common Wedding Traditions Explained
10 common wedding traditions explained here help you to understand the wedding ceremony better. You can also enjoy a video about strange wedding traditions.
Weddings come with many traditions such as something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue. Also there are unspoken rules regarding who stands on which side. What side does the bride stand on? On the right side! People will answer instantly. So why is this? Are there other traditions to know of?
Ever thought why does groom always stand on the right and bride on the left at the altar? Well there is a reason behind it! Long time ago men had to protect their woman from the other men who had desires for her. Right arm of the groom was considered as his sword arm which he used to fight with aggressors. Back that time, brides used to get kidnapped and in order to fight with the kidnappers, groom’s right hand should be free. Since then, it has become a part of wedding tradition that groom always stands on the right and the bride on the left! Moreover, this traditional standing position symbolizes their union as they hold each other’s right hand.
Though it’s a part of tradition that groom stands on right and bride on the left but if you want to switch places, go for it! However, if you are having a religious wedding at church then you must ask your minister if that is against the religious beliefs.
There is a folktale behind this event, they say that long time ago when marriages used to be arranged by parents, there was a Dutchman who fell in love with a girl but her father refused to give dowry. Therefore, their friends helped them in setting up their household by showering lots of gifts to the bride. Since then – bridal shower, a gift giving party is organized by the friends of bride-to-be to keep the spirit alive.
In medieval times a guy had to pay if he wanted to marry a girl. This payment was symbolized as his desire to marry her. The payment also included diamonds and since then it is a tradition to buy the bride engagement rings with stones and gems.
Bachelor party (also known as stag party or stag night) is party arranged by the groom’s friends just a few days before the wedding. Last party as a free man! In ancient times, bachelor party was known as bachelor dinner, it originated in the fifth century in Sparta where on the eve of wedding, military comrades would feast and toast one another in honor of their friend who would soon be a married man!
Did you know that before fifth century, index finger was considered as ring finger? However, later on it was discovered that the vein of third finger directly leads to the heart! Since then, the third finger is considered as the ring finger!
Whenever we think about wedding dress the first color that pops in mind is ‘white’. But in older era, white was not a traditional color for a wedding dress! In biblical days, blue was symbolized as a color of purity and both bride and groom had to wear a blue band around the bottom of their wedding outfit. The tradition of wearing white started with Queen Victoria when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Before that, girls used to wear whatever was the nicest outfit they had while royalty would wear luxurious gowns with metallic thread embroidery on it. But Queen Victoria opted for a white satin gown instead of a royal silver gown. Since then, wedding dresses are symbolized with white color.
There are different rituals and myths behind wearing a veil. In Middle Eastern and Asian countries veils were used to hide face of the bride from groom, who had never seen her before and will only get to see her after they get married.
How about a bouquet made up of herbs? In older times, bouquets were used to be made up of herbs instead of flowers. They thought that it will keep the bride away from the evil spirits.
It’s time to throw the cake on bride! Yes, you read it right! Did you know that wedding cakes were actually made to throw it on the bride instead of eating it? Wheat grains are symbol of fruitfulness and among different fertility traditions, throwing cake on bride was one of them.
Raising a wine or champagne toast is a symbol of celebration since older times. Drinking wine from same glass is a mark of deep love and sharing.
Today honeymoon means going for a vacation as a newlywed couple, a romantic escape! However, in ancient times, honeymoon was meant something else. Teutonic weddings were used to be held under full moon and after wedding, couple had to drink honey wine for 30 days i.e. one cycle of full moon and that period of one month was called “honeymoon”.
In Belgium it’s a ritual that when the bride walks down the aisle, she hands a flower from her bouquet to her mother and they hug each other and after the ceremony the newlywed couple walks to groom’s mother and the bride gives second flower to her mother-in –law and they also hug each other.
During wedding ceremony, in order to show control over bride, the groom kneels on the hem of her dress and the bride can also step on groom’s foot to show her power over him.
In Mexico, tossing red beans at the couple is one of the wedding traditions, they consider it as a good luck for the newlyweds
In the memory of Christ and the twelve apostles, groom gives thirteen coins to her bride and she carries those coins in a bag during the ceremony as a symbol of his promise to take care and support her.
The couple has to drink sake (Japanese rice wine) on their wedding and the first nine sips are symbolized as official union of marriage.