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Weird Origins of Wedding Traditions

8 Weird Origins of Wedding Traditions

No matter how beautiful and romantic weddings are, they are still a legal contract. Many of the wedding traditions we've come to associate love, friendship, and fun with have very practical — and even horrifying — roots. Find out what came from where below:

  1. Wedding announcements: The Catholic tradition of "posting the banns" required a couple to announce their wedding in print; this helped ensure they were not related.
  2. Fathers walking brides down the aisle: Because weddings used to be business transactions, fathers walked brides down the aisle to transfer ownership to grooms. Romantic!
  3. Bachelor parties: Originally held by Spartan soldiers, bachelor parities were wild fetes to kiss the single life goodbye.
  4. Best man: "Best" used to refer less to the friendship quality and more to the man's sword skills. Because you can never have enough backup support for a runaway bride.
  5. Ceremony: The bride stands to the left during Christian wedding ceremonies, because the groom needed to be ready to fight off suitors with his right hand.
  6. Ring placement: Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, because ancient Greeks and Romans believed that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
  7. Tying the knot: The phrase is derived from the literal practice of tying couples together to symbolize the commitment of marriage.
  8. Tossing bouquets: Newlyweds used to go in another room to seal the deal immediately after the wedding ceremony. Guests hung around outside to ensure the marriage transaction was completed, but men used to grab at the bride as she walked with her groom. So one inventive bride threw her bouquet to create a distraction, and other brides followed suit.
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beverly88keys beverly88keys 5 years
Interesting information. Most I already knew, but still interesting. Disappointing that a professional writer doesn't know the difference between "through" and "threw," though. Truly sad...
Sydney111111 Sydney111111 5 years
Some of the old traditions are good. However some are impractical. How can a man carry his wife over the threshold if he has a bad back and his wife is fat. Most skinny men like obese women. The wife doesn't want to injiure her husband on the first night of marriage.
vabeachbum vabeachbum 6 years
Even creepier than the couple consummating the wedding in a room while everyone waits outside: in Medieval times, the family of the couple would actually stand AROUND THE BED so that there were witnesses to the fact that the marriage was consummated. Too much late night History Channel teaches you some scary things lol!
cotedazur cotedazur 6 years
Haha, the throwing the bouquet story is amazingThe "posting of the banns" still happens here in France - they are posted outside of the mayor's office in the town where the couple is to marry for a minimum of one week before the wedding so that anyone with complaints (they're related, one of the two is already married, etc) can come and notify the mayor!
flora45 flora45 6 years
wow i didnt know that .
sioux5ita sioux5ita 6 years
"through her bouquet" as opposed to "threw her bouquet"?
mix-tape mix-tape 6 years
I never knew that fact about tossing the bouquet! I always thought it was a cheesy part of weddings, now I kinda like the history behind the act!
Angelica Angelica 6 years
Ha! Who knew?! Not me!
le-romantique le-romantique 6 years
Ha, awesome.
skigurl skigurl 6 years
Wow some of these are SO WEIRD. I knew about the sword things and the giving away the bride, and the vein to the heart is really adorable. Plus, the bachelor party thing pretty much stands true today - same reasoning! But the tossing the bouquet? Consumating the relationship in a room while others waited, and men grabbing at the bride? CLASSY!
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