Just like marriage, there is a beginning to everything, even wedding traditions, some are funny, some are outrageous, and some are still sacred and practiced today.
Certain wedding traditions are practiced in almost every wedding ceremony, however, most people have no idea where these traditions come from, and perhaps if they did, they would not want to include them in their special day. At the same time, there are many that are endearing, and that mean something special to the couple, and their families, while some are not even what they appear to be.
When it comes to the tradition of the bride’s father walking her down the aisle, way back when, women were “promised” to wealthy pursuers, and many weddings were arranged by the parents. It was a means for paying off debt, with the prize being the bride, offered to the highest bidder! Fathers nowadays walk their daughters down the aisle, which means they are trusting their daughter to her groom, when in fact, the tradition came from long ago that the father was abiding by his promise and giving his daughter to the person who offered the most for her.
Furthermore, the tradition of the bridal veil began just in case the bride happened to lack a certain beauty, and the veil was used as a disguise to hide this fact from the groom! It was also thought that by wearing a veil, it would ward off, or confuse evil spirits.
“You may now kiss the Bride” meant, in ancient times, that the bride and groom shared a kiss as a way of sealing their vows, and that by doing so, was also a way of merging their souls as one. The same goes for the saying “Tying the Knot”, in which the couples hands were bound together in an “Eternal Knot”, which meant forever.
There are many wedding traditions of long ago that came from the fear that the bride may be in danger of being kidnapped, or that unhappy “exes” may try to cause harm to the bride, or the groom. This is where the tradition of “Best Man” comes in, as well as the bridesmaids. They were called upon as bodyguards, to protect the bride and groom from potential mishaps. Having bridesmaids were a way to confuse would-be kidnappers, in that they may not know which was in fact the bride!
The wedding bouquet also stems from the fact that, in ancient times, weddings were thought to attract evil spirits; therefore, the bride wore flowers in her hair to ward off these evil entities.
Where wedding traditions came from and how they were put into practice long ago has changed over the years, and while some are still being used today, anything bad that is associated with these traditions have long fell by the wayside. It is still interesting to know how they came to be.