By Mary Jane Holmes
There are few other life events so steeped in tradition as weddings. Do you know the origins of our present day customs? Why do we follow them? Well that one is easy you do it because your mom did and her mom and so on back countless generations. Here is some of the history behind many of our modern day wedding traditions.
Bridesmaid Dresses are often identical in style and color. Why? In ancient times the brides friends and female relatives would dress exactly like the bride in an effort to fool evil spirits bent on spoiling her happiness.
The Post Vow Kiss The Ancient Romans sealed every legal contract with a kiss. Thus the marriage was not legal until the bride and groom kissed. This is why the wedding official says, "You may now kiss the bride."
The White Wedding Gown brides have always worn white, Right? No white wedding dresses did not become common in the west until Queen Victoria wore one at her wedding. Before that bright colors were the norm.
The Receiving Line originated in ancient times when it was believed that good luck came to anyone who touched the bride and groom on their wedding day. Giving Away the Bride Long ago an unmarried girl or woman was considered her father's property, so at the wedding he would walk her down the aisle of the church, and "give her away thereby transferring ownership to the husband.
Why Does the Groom Carry the Bride Across the Threshold? There is more than one bit of lore about this practice. One is that when a girl could be kidnapped and forced to marry against her will, the groom would have to carry her by force into her new home.
Another is that ancient Romans considered it bad luck for a bride to trip when crossing the threshold of her new home. So the groom would carry her in.
Tying the Knot In Celtic, Egyptian and Hindu cultures, the hands of the bride and groom were tied together to symbolize their new bond and commitment to the marriage.
June Weddings Roman mythology held Juno as the god of home,childbirth and marriage, this is thought to be where the popularity of June weddings originated.
Best Man Back when a man would steal his bride, he would often have to fight her male relatives to keep her. He depended on his best man (friend) for help in fighting them and to get him and his bride safely to the church.
A Locked Church Door In Irish tradition, once the bride and groom were safely inside the church, guests would lock the church door to prevent the groom from running if he changed his mind.
Honeymoon This is another practices with different legends about its origin. One is that if a man kidnapped a girl and could keep her hidden from her family, for a month (moon) she was his to marry. Another is that parents would keep the couple supplied with mead a drink made from fermented honey for a moon, there would be a male offspring within a year.
There are hundreds of other wedding customs many of them unique to a particular religious or ethnic heritage. So if you want something different at your wedding seek out the traditions of your heritage
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