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Wednesday, June 22 2016
The typical American wedding is bursting with traditions from exchanging of rings to the big white dress. But have you ever stopped to think where these wedding traditions come from and what do they actually mean? Here are a few wedding tradition origins you may not have known about.
Bridesmaid dresses: Though the styles have changed in recent years, the origin of all wearing the matching dresses stems from something much older. In the past, Roman law required ten witnesses to make a wedding legal. Several of these witnesses would dress up exactly like the like the bride and groom, to confound any “unwanted evil spirits” who might show up uninvited.
Ring finger: One of the biggest wedding traditions is the exchanging of rings. But have you ever wondered why Americans wear the wedding ring on the left-hand third finger? Well, it’s because of an ancient Greek belief that a vein in that finger ran directly to the heart, how romantic!
Tossing of “everything”: Do you ever think of how much is tossed in the air during a typical wedding? From rice, to flower bouquets, to garters lots is being tossed around. Well rice is tossed on the newly married couples to ensure fertility and bougets are tossed for luck and protections, but Garters may have the best back story. Back in the day people would rip off parts of the wedding dress to capture some of the good luck and fortune of the bride for themselves. Now that these dresses often cost an arm in a leg, garters have become a safe part of the dress you can rip off without having to ruin the dress.
Side by Side: Have you ever wondered why the bride traditionally stands to the left of the altar and the groom on the right? Well way back when, weddings used to be a lot more confrontational, and the groom needed to keep his right hand free in order to swiftly grab his sword and fight off and disgruntled wedding guest that may rush the alter.
Tying the knot: This seems like an odd saying as there usually aren’t too many knots involved in the typical wedding ceremony. This phrase actually stems from an old Irish custom called “handfasting” which is when the bride and grooms hands are tied together at the ceremony to symbolize their commitment to each other.