Marriages are made in heaven, but traditions are definitely made by humans. We often use the terms wedding bells, honeymoon, best man, and also follow traditions of carrying the bride over the threshold and cutting a tiered cake on the wedding day, but have you ever wondered where did they originate from?
Some of you may be aware of most of the wedding-related facts, but there are many - including me tbh - who simply take the trodden path blindly without in the least caring about their importance or allegory. So, here we are with some interesting facts about weddings that you will enjoy learning about.
(Note: Images used in the article are for representation purpose only)
About 4,000 years ago in Babylon, the bride's father was responsible for supplying mead to his son-in-law for a month after the wedding. Their calendar was lunar based and because the groom was drinking mead (honey beer) during this time, this period came to be known as the "honey month," which translated to honeymoon in the modern day concept.
The practice of the groom not allowed to see his bride prior to the wedding dates back to the times when marriages were mostly arranged. It is believed that if the groom saw the bride before the D-day, he may bolt. Some other cultures believed that seeing his bride dressed in the bridal attire is akin to seeing his future, which isn't considered auspicious.
It is usually seen that brides wear or carry something old on their wedding day. This is to symbolise continuity with the past. They also have something blue as a part of their bridal ensemble, which symbolises fidelity, purity, and love.
Do we hear the wedding bells ringing anytime soon? Often said and heard, originally, the idea of wedding bells was to ward off the demons with their noise.
In ancient Rome, breaking a loaf of bread or a small bun over the bride's head was considered a fertility booster. This eventually took the form of a cake cutting ceremony during the weddings.
You will be pleasantly surprised to know that in Middle Ages, the bride and groom were to kiss over ever-higher cakes as a custom, but without knocking it over.
The bride stands to the left of the groom so that the latter's dominant or right hand is free to fight any jealous rivals. Remember the groomsmen and best man who helped him kidnap the bride in the first place?
Babylon has given us yet another custom and term - "tying the knot." In the prehistoric Babylonian custom, threads from the bride and groom's attires were tied in a knot, symbolizing their union. The tradition has been accepted by almost all the cultures worldwide, and it is either the hands or the attires of the bride and groom tied together to mark their union.
The engagement and wedding rings are worn on the third finger of the left hand because it is believed that a vein in that finger directly connects to the heart.
A sapphire in a wedding ring symbolises marital bliss.
June weddings are popular because of the Roman goddess Juno, who rules over the hearth, marriage, and childbirth.
Did you know America turns 17 tons of gold into wedding rings per year?
Approximately, 26,000 couples get married every year in China.
The military nationals in the fifth-century Sparta would enjoy feasting and raise a toast on the eve of their weddings, thereby initiating the concept of bachelor or stag parties.
The custom of white wedding gowns was initiated by Queen Victoria. However, the Japanese always preferred white to dominate their wedding dresses.
An average wedding in the American subcontinent witnesses around 175 guests (only).
It is alleged that a Dutch maiden fell in love with a penurious miller and to help her, her friends showered her with gifts that can be useful for both of them post marriage. Hence, the concept of the bridal shower came into being.
Ancient Romans and Greeks covered the bride with a veil to protect her from evil spirits. The veil became an indispensable part of a bride's ensemble since.
Traditionally, the bride is carried over the threshold to symbolize her reluctance to bid adieu to her father's home. In addition, it was believed that evil spirits lurked over the threshold and hence carrying the bride by lifting her over the entrance helped in protecting her from them.
Las Vegas is the most preferred wedding destination and witnesses over 100,000 weddings per year (Valentine's day and New Year's eve being the busiest marriage days), followed by Hawaii with over 25,000 weddings taking place annually.
Tearing off a part of the bride's gown was considered as a token of good luck in ancient times. This transformed into a tradition of the bride throwing her bouquet and garter for good luck.