We’re all familiar with the tradition of “somethings,” but what about the other traditions? Why do we do some of the things we do at weddings?
Many wedding traditions came from Queen Victoria, as she was quite the trend setter. It is commonly believed that she brought the white wedding dress trend to the west. Japanese brides have always worn white wedding dresses, so she cannot take credit for the east. Before Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840, many brides simply wore their favorite dresses. She and her husband, Prince Albert, are also credited with the bride + groom cake topper trend, as they had mini sculptures of themselves placed atop their cake.
Speaking of wedding cakes – where did that tradition come from? Legend has it that ancient Romans started this one, as they would break bread over bride’s head in hopes that it’d bring her fertility. The origin of tiered wedding cakes is unexpected, as it came from a game. That’s right – couples used to partake in a game where they’d attempt to kiss over even the highest of cakes on their wedding day.
Have you ever wondered why brides and grooms wear engagement and wedding bands on the fourth finger (now simply known as the “ring finger”)? It was common belief that a vein lead directly from that finger to the heart.
Ancient betrothed couples were often wary of evil spirits interfering on their wedding day. They believed the spirits would be jealous of their happiness and ruin the most important day. To fight off evil spirits, brides would disguise their happiness by wearing a veil. Yep, that’s where the traditional of veils comes from! The old tradition of the husband carrying his new wife across a threshold also stems from an attempt to protect her from evil spirits.
There are several other traditions that we’ve stuck to, but never questioned, including:
- Bachelor parties were created by Spartan soldiers who hosted parties to say goodbye to single life.
- The bride stands to the left of her groom in Christian ceremonies so that the groom could utilize his right hand to fight off potential suitors.
- The tradition of breaking glass symbolizes how many years of happiness the couple will endure. The more pieces, the happier they are.