Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wedding Traditions & Orgins

Many of today's popular wedding ceremony and reception traditions can be traced to ancient Egyptian and European customs. Many are often based on symbolism, superstition,and even the belief that evil spirits could bring disease and death to newlyweds. Although the exact origin and usefulness of many of these early wedding traditions are not always clear, many of these wedding traditions are just plain fun!

Bouquet
Wedding bouquets were originally made of such strong herbs as thyme and garlic, which were meant to frighten away evil spirits, and to cover the stench emitting from people who had not bathed recently!

Bridesmaids
Early Brides and Bridesmaids wore similar dresses in order to confuse evil spirits.

Carrying The Bride Over The Threshold
When a Groom used to steal his Bride from her tribe, he was forced to carry her kicking and screaming. This act of thievery has evolved into a more romantic gesture, welcoming the Bride into her new home.

Ring Finger
Prior to the 5th century, the ring finger was actually the index finger. Later, it was believed that the third finger contained the "vein of love" that led directly to the heart.

Shoes On Vehicle
Ancient Romans used to transfer to the Groom his authority over his Bride when her Father gave the Groom her shoes. In later years, guests threw their own shoes at the newlyweds to signify this transfer of authority. Today, this tradition is kept alive by simply tying old shoes to the back of the newlywed's vehicle before they leave their wedding reception celebration.

Tying The Knot
This comes from the days of the Roman empire when the Bride wore a girdle that was tied in knots. The Groom untied the knots prior to the consummation of their marriage.

Wedding Cake
Also during the days of the Roman empire, wedding cakes were baked of wheat or barley. At the reception, they were traditionally broken over the head of the new Bride by the Groom as a symbol of her fertility. Guests would then scramble for pieces of the cake, and take them home for good luck. It later became a tradition to place many small cakes on top of each other as high as possible. The newlyweds would then try to exchange a kiss over the top of the tower of cakes without knocking them down. During the reign of King Charles II of England, the baker added icing, and the modern style of wedding cake was born. It is unclear when the tradition of the newlyweds smashing wedding cake into each other's face first began, and uncertain if such marriages are consummated later that day or evening!

White Aisle Runner
This is supposed to symbolize God’s holiness and walking on holy ground. It is believed that by having this runner present in the place of marriage, God will be actively involved in the ceremony.

The Honeymoon
Originally, when the groom “kidnapped” his bride he would take her into hiding. Usually, by the time the bride’s family found her, she would already be pregnant and a price for her would then be negotiated.

Carrying the bride over the threshold
It was tradition for the bride to enter the house through the front door before the groom, and if she tripped or stumbled it was seen to be very bad luck, hence it became a duty for the groom to carry his new bride over the threshold.
Anyone who has gotten married or even been to a wedding at one time or another has seen a variety of rituals practiced. Many of these traditions have become so commonplace that we don’t even question their presence in the wedding or wonder where they came from or why they began in the first place. Now you have a better idea of where these ideas and traditions came from!

1 comment:

sony said...

I love this post. I didn't really know the history behind th aisle runner, & am so glad you mentioned it. This means alot:) Thanks!

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