Wedding Stories

Wedding Traditions You Never Knew About

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Wedding Traditions You Never Knew About

We all know the old saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Many brides walk elegantly down the aisle with a blue garter tucked up their leg, and my own daughter had 44 years married great-grandparents’ handkerchiefs pinned inside her dress as her something old and something borrowed. These old traditions seem to be the bread and butter of sentimentality when it comes to planning the perfect wedding, and while this wedding tradition has survived for ages due to the clever Old English rhyme about carrying good luck charms, there are other wedding traditions you never knew about that are just as quaint.

  1. Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Typically, bridesmaids’ dresses are identical, and even in these modern times, they are very closely alike if not identical. Have you ever wondered why this is traditional? In ancient Rome, the law stated there must be at least ten witnesses to a wedding, and some of these witnesses dressed in clothing identical to the bride and groom to ward off evil forces that might have ill intent towards the happy couple. This tradition was also seen in European ceremonies as well during this time.
  2. Two Rings: The two rings are traditionally placed on the third finger of the left hand because ancient Greek culture believed the vein in the finger ran directly to the heart. In addition, before the 13th century only engagement or betrothal rings were the norm to seal the engagement of a couple (which in those days was almost as legally binding as a marriage). Pope Innocent III added the wedding ring to the wedding ceremony after a new requirement of a waiting period between an engagement and actual marriage.
  3. Bride On The Left: Also an ancient custom is the placement of the bride on the left of the groom. This tradition is actually about safety. In ancient times, there may have been some real threat of attack or bride kidnappers at a wedding. The groom needed to keep his right (fighting) arm free and the bride safely to the left in case the need arose to defend the wedding party.
  4. You May Kiss The Bride: At the end of modern wedding ceremonies the officiant will say, “You may kiss the bride.” Turns out that a kiss was the legal way to seal a contract in ancient Rome. Sealing the wedding contract with a kiss binds the new couple in life and is also seen as a exchanging of souls between the new man and wife.
  5. Garters: Most brides where a garter…remember that something blue? However, garters actually have a tradition all their own. In the past, guests would sometimes try to tear a strip of the wedding dress to keep as a good luck charm. A garter was like a decoy and a way to give someone a token without destroying the wedding gown.

Many of us attend weddings every year and while these little things are always present, we don’t really pay attention. The next time you attend a wedding you will notice all these wedding traditions you never knew about.

Sam loves having a name that's gender neutral, just to confuse everyone. You'll usually find Sam doing something Sam's not really supposed doing and causing mayhem everywhere Sam goes.