5 wedding traditions explained

Jul 30 2016, 4:57 am

Have you ever stopped and wondered why weddings are the way they are? Most of us simply go through the motions of choosing our bridesmaids, finding the perfect white dress and gushing over the flowers we’ll carry down the aisle. But where did these traditions we follow so blindly come from?

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Here’s some insight into five wedding traditions:

1. Bridesmaids

A custom existed where maidens, who were dressed similarly to the bride, would accompany her as a form of protection on the way to the groom’s village. The goal was to deter rejected suitors from kidnapping her or stealing her dowery. It was also Roman law that several witnesses accompany the bride and groom in an effort to confuse evil spirits from trying to interfere with the couple.

2. Groomsmen

A popular ‘groomsmen myth’ comes from a more primitive time when men kidnapped their brides. When women were in short supply locally, eligible bachelors would have to sneak out and capture a bride from a neighbouring community. The groomsmen, known as ‘bride-knights’ would help their friend capture his bride.

3. White Wedding Dress

Queen Victoria wore a white dress for her wedding in 1840 and started the trend. Before Queen V’s time, brides would simply choose the nicest dress in their closet. In fact, before white dresses became the norm, blue was the traditional colour choice, representing purity (as white does today).

4. Bride’s Bouquet

And you thought it was just because flowers are pretty! The bouquet originates from ancient times when women carried aromatic bunches of garlic, herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. Each herb and spice meant something different. Later, flowers replaced herbs and took on meanings of their own.

5. Groom on the right, Bride on the left

Back in the day, it used to be a lot more common for people to object to the wedding. The groom historically stood to the right of the bride to keep his sword hand free. If anyone threatened attack, the groom would push the bride aside with his left hand and draw his sword with his right.

And there you have it, some interesting tidbits that explain (kind of) why we do the things we do when it comes to weddings.

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