Ever wondered why we say ‘Tying the Knot’ or why Groomsmen are called Groomsmen or why brides generally wear white? Then read on and to find out more about wedding traditions and their origins and why we still keep some of them now!
Tying the Knot
It’s a commonly used phrase for those getting wed and hails from the ancient Celtic practice of handfasting where couples’ hands would be tied together as a symbol of their tight bond.
While groomsmen today generally organise the stag do and assist with seating guests on arrival at the ceremony, in days of old groomsmen were expected to prevent any disruption from the bride’s disapproving relatives and to prevent runaway brides if they didn’t want to marry the groom!
Veils are now a key accessory to any bride’s outfit yet in years gone by they were worn to defend the bride from evil spirits. The veil was also used as a way of ensuring the groom didn’t back out from an arranged marriage if he didn’t like the look of the bride!
Flowers are a key element of any wedding however they played a somewhat more practical role many years ago. Before brides had access to deodorant or even baths or showers, a bouquet was used to mask any unpleasant smells! The ancient Greeks also believed a bouquet would safeguard the couple against evil spirits.
If a bride married someone her parents didn’t approve of then they would often refuse to pay her dowry. When that occurred, the bride’s friends could ‘shower’ her with gifts to provide her with that all-important dowry which would allow her to get wed! A great example of sisterhood back in the day!
Why do we wear wedding rings on our fourth finger? This stems back from the the ancient Greeks and Romans who believed the fourth finger had a vein with a direct path to the heart.
Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
Dating back to the nineteenth century, this tradition meant by wearing something old the bride was honouring her family while something new demonstrated her looking ahead to married life. Something borrowed is meant to bring good luck and something blue represents faithfulness.
Wearing a White Dress
This tradition dates back to 184o when Queen Victoria wore a white wedding dress to marry Prince Albert. Her choice was widely reported and began to influence other brides to be. Initially it was embraced by wealthier brides but soon spread across all of society.
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