What traditions are you incorporating into your wedding? Wearing white, tossing the bouquet & even going on a honeymoon? Check some fun wedding facts below!
1. In the United States, there is no law or religious dictate that says the bride must take the groom’s last name. However, approximately 70% of Americans agree that a bride should change her last name.
2. Early Roman brides carried a bunch of herbs, such as garlic and rosemary, under their veils to symbolize fidelity and fertility and to ward off evil. These herbs served as a precursor to the modern bridal bouquet.
3. The phrase “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe” symbolizes continuity, optimism for the future, borrowed happiness, fidelity, and wealth or good luck, respectively.
4. Las Vegas is the top wedding destination with over 100,000 weddings a year, followed by Hawaii at 25,000 weddings a year.
5. The bride’s veil traditionally symbolized her youth and virginity. Veils also hid the bride from jealous spirits or the Evil Eye. The modern white veil became popular during the Victorian era as a symbol of purity and modesty. A white veil also connoted that a bride was wealthy enough to wear white.
6. In many cultures, the groom historically often kidnapped the bride, and the groom’s friends would help him, leading to the modern-day groomsmen. At the altar, the groom always stood on the bride’s right side so his right hand—or his sword hand—would be free to fight/defend a jealous rival.
7. Flower girls traditionally threw flower petals in the bride’s path to lead her to a sweet, plentiful future.
8. The bride originally tossed her bouquet to a friend as she left the festivities to keep that person safe (warding off evil spirits) and to offer her luck since getting lucky in those days meant getting married. This came to mean that the single woman who caught the bouquet would marry next.
9. Throwing rice at weddings symbolizes fertility, prosperity, and bounty. In some countries, the bride might even carry or wear sheaves of grain.
10. Guests in ancient times would tear off part of the bride’s gown as tokens of good luck, leading to the tradition of the bride throwing both her garter and her bouquet.
11. A wedding cake is traditionally a symbol of good luck and fertility and has been a part of wedding celebrations since Roman times, when a small bun, symbolizing fertility, was broken above the bride’s head at the close of the ceremony. During the Middle Ages, custom required the bride and groom to kiss over small cakes.
12. The phrase “tying the knot” initially came from an ancient Babylonian custom in which threads from the clothes of both the bride and bridegroom were tied in a knot to symbolize the couple’s union.
13. A bride is traditionally carried over the threshold either to symbolize her reluctance to leave her father’s home or because evil spirits hovered over the threshold of a house—so she was lifted over the entrance to protect her from the spirits.
14. Much like the modern tradition of feeding wedding cake to one’s spouse, in ancient Rome, couples pledged their unity by sharing food. Today a Japanese bride and groom drink sake together, Jewish couples drink from the same cup of consecrated wine, and Muslim couples eat from the same piece of candy.
15. An average wedding in the United States has 175 guests.
16. The busiest wedding days in the United States, in order of popularity, are Saturday afternoon, Saturday morning, Friday evening, and Sunday afternoon. A late afternoon or early evening wedding is generally more expensive than an earlier wedding.
17. More than 40% of couples now plan their weddings together, and three out of four grooms help select items for their wedding gift registries.
18. Seventy-five percent of engaged couples in the United States pay for some or all of their own wedding.
19. The superstition that the groom must not see his bride before the wedding stems from the days when marriages were arranged and the groom might never have seen the bride. There was the chance that if he saw her, he might bolt. Other sources say that to see the bride in her dress is peering into the future, which can bring bad luck.
20. In America, T.V. soap opera weddings attract more viewers than a presidential address.
21. Wedding bells are an important symbol of a wedding. Traditionally, it was believed that demons were scared off by loud sounds, so following a wedding ceremony, anything that could make noise was used to create a diversion.
22. A wedding between two American slaves could not include the words “until death do us part” because plantation masters had the power to part husband and wives. Because slaves were not allowed to have a Christian ceremony, they invented their own ceremonies that often included the bride and groom jumping over a broom, the broom being the symbol of home in certain parts of Africa.
23. The bachelor party supposedly started in fifth-century Sparta where military compatriots would feast and toast one another on the eve of a wedding, like warriors going to battle.
24. “Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride” dates to about the sixteenth century. It was believed that if young maiden who had been a bridesmaid three times was unable to catch the eye of unmarried males, then she never would. But, if she served seven times as a bridesmaid, the spell was broken and the woman was thought to be a sure bet for marriage.
25. The first kiss a bride and groom share at the close of the ceremony has carried special significance through the centuries. Many cultures believed that the couple exchanged spirits with their breath and part of their souls were exchanged as well.
Now that you know some background 411 on these wedding traditions, which ones will you be implementing on YOUR big day?
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