Throughout history, there have been many wedding traditions across almost every culture or country around the world. As time has gone by, some practices remain while others evolve or are entirely forgotten. We want to highlight a few traditions that have developed and continue. We'll also take you through how they're carried out now.
Originally bridesmaids were dressed exactly like the bride. If you're as confused as we were to learn this, the reason is even weirder; bridesmaids were dressed to mirror the bride to make lookalikes so that evil spirits wouldn't know which one was the actual bride. But, of course, it would be unfathomable in today's era of weddings to walk down the aisle and spot your BFF wearing the same wedding gown as you; most brides would be mortified. A few hundred years ago, it was necessary to keep 'evil spirits' at bay, though!
Tossing the bouquet
It's become a tradition for a bride to toss her bouquet into a crowd of single or unmarried women behind her at her wedding. Whoever catches it is said to have the 'luck' of being the next to marry. However, it had a completely different reason in the past. Hundreds of years ago, it was thought to be a symbol of good luck for wedding guests to touch the bride, even more so if they could tear off a piece of her dress or wedding attire. As a response to this, brides would throw the bouquet into the crowd to distract them and make their escape, often. In contrast, the husband would throw the garter and a secondary distraction so they could make it into the bridal chamber unharmed without being rushed by the crowd. I don't think any of us could imagine all our wedding guests running at us to tear our gown to pieces for a 'good luck charm' these days, though.
The wearing of a veil
Initially, brides would wear veils for two reasons depending on the time and place of this tradition. Firstly, it was to hide the bride from her groom in an arranged marriage. Hiding the bride from the groom was done so that the man couldn't back out until it was too late. Because at that point, they would be together on the altar about to be wed. Secondly, brides wore veils to ward off bad or evil spirits from the bride. Of course, both of those are pretty far-fetched today, but their origins are fascinating, even if they are a bit weird when you factor in the reason for marriage now is generally one of love and wanting to spend a life together.
Hundreds of years ago in France, on the night of the wedding ceremony and after the reception, family and friends would gather outside the window of the bride and groom and bang pots, pans, and steel items to make a whole lot of noise as a mock serenade.
I'm not sure about you, but I couldn't think of anything more annoying than that noise on my wedding night. I'm sure others felt that way too, as the tradition eventually evolved into what it is today; tying cans to the back of the bride and groom's transportation after the wedding as a more subtle way of continuing the tradition.
We hope you enjoyed this list and if you have any other traditions you'd like to know about or want us to write about, let us know, and we'll add them in the future with part two!