The Ring

Roots of Common Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

Roots of Common Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

There are piles of unfounded fears and mythologies globally that are usually blended with weddings. Many of these cultures are handed down through generations, and they have endured because they promise future pleasure and fortune. Some of these traditions and superstitions are.

  • The reason why the bride always wears a white gown. This tradition of a bride wearing a white gown can be etched back to Queen Victoria in 1800s. Before that, bride's dresses were not confined to any particular shade, but after Queen Victoria wore a white gown, it became popular as a symbol of affluence.
  • The reason why the bride wears a veil. This tradition can be traced back to ancient Rome when it was believed that a veil was able to keep evil spirits away from the bride. Later in Britain in1800s, the veil became a symbol of a humble bride.
  • Why we refer getting married as tying the knot. There are several cultures where the expression of tying the knot had a lot of implications even though the explicit roots of this tradition are still unknown. In ancient Greece for example, the clothing of the groom and bride would be tied together to represent marriage while the ancient Romans knotted the bride's undergarment to present a challenge for the groom at the wedding night. Therefore tying the knot can be associated with many cultures, not just one.
  • Why we give engagement bands. This tradition can be traced to ancient Egyptians who used to wear engagement bands to represent the continuous cycle of life. The rings had a space in the middle that acted as a spiritual doorway. Greeks and ancient Romans are also known to have used the bands.
  • Wedding Bells. In Scotland and Celtic, ringing bells were thought to fulfill wishes and to have kept evil spirits at bay. Even though this is one of the traditions that have faded off today, ringing bells are still thought to symbolize fresh starts for newlyweds.
  • Why we go on a honeymoon. In Norse culture, the bride used to be kidnapped. It then became the tradition for the newlyweds to escape for at least thirty days after their wedding. When the couple was in hiding, one of their colleagues or family members would bring them honey wine for every day hence the name ‘honeymoon.'
  • Why we throw flowers at newlyweds. This tradition started in Europe where rice was thrown at newlyweds during a pagan wedding to symbolize good fortune and fertility. Today instead of throwing rice, confetti or rose flower petals are thrown at newlyweds.
  • Cutting of the wedding cake. This can be traced in Britain where a fruitcake used to be cut by the couple on their wedding day with nuts and fruits symbolizing fertility.
  • The reason why the groom and the bride do not see each other before their wedding day. Individuals once thought that seeing each other before the wedding could allow the groom and the bride to develop cold feet towards their marriage.