Saturday, July 4, 2009
Brides have always worn white, right? Not so. In ancient times brides wore bright colored wedding dresses to signify their joy. White for western brides didn't become fashionable until Queen Victoria wore it at her wedding to signify her status. White dresses never did signify purity until the Christian churches put that label on them. So feel free to add a little color to your wedding outfit.
Wedding bands made of hemp or braided grass were the earliest rings. They eventually fell out of favor, replaced by durable metals until about the 15th century when diamonds came upon the scene, to signify a valuable strong commitment, a tradition which most modern couples choose to keep.
When grooms would "capture" their brides and or were afraid of evil spirits they would comer the woman's head to keep her from being recognized.
Bridesmaids' dresses are all identical. Where did this practice originate? Long ago the brides friends wore the same exact outfit as the bride to confuse the evil spirits who wanted to destroy her happiness;. It also helped to prevent the bride from being kidnapped by a rival suitor.
The receiving line developed from the ancient belief, that on their wedding day, the bride and groom brought good luck to everyone they touched. Modern couples often pass on this and prefer to "make the rounds" greeting their guests during the wedding dinner.
In ancient Rome a marriage was not legal until the couple kissed. The kiss was considered a legal bond necessary to seal all contracts. This is thought to be the origin of the present day custom of banging a spoon against a glass until the newlyweds kiss.
Will you have your dad walk you down the aisle? Do you know where this custom originated? Long ago, a woman was considered her father's property until she married, and their she was her husband's property. At the wedding the Dad would literally "give her away," transferring ownership to the husband. Now brides often have their fathers or both parents accompany them, and have the officiant ask "Who supports this couple in marriage?" The parents answer "We do."
There is no need to explain what the honeymoon is. But do you know where the term originated? In ancient Ireland, when a couple married, the parents would make sure they had a supply of a drink made from fermented honey called mead, that would last for a full cycle of the moon. It was believed they would be blessed with a son within a year.
Back when a bride could be forced by a captor to marry, the groom would have to carry her against her will into her new home. The Romans thought that it was bad luck, for a bride to trip over the threshold so to prevent that, the groom carried her.
During the Middle Ages the length of a bride's train indicated her rank in court. The longer her train the closer she was to the King and Queen and the greater her influence with them.
During the 18th and 19th centuries gloves were the traditional wedding favor for guests.