How many times have you wondered about the wedding traditions we see every day? Why do we wear our wedding rings on the third finger? Why carry a bouquet? Who decided bridesmaids were necessary? Let’s take a look at the history of some of these traditions that have made the wedding industry what it is today.
One of the biggest bridal fallacies is the idea that a bride wearing white represents her innocence and virginity. The truth is that, historically, blue is the color that’s meant to represent purity. Queen Victoria was the first documented woman to wear white to her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Until then, women had simply worn whatever their best gown was, regardless of color. By wearing white, women demonstrated that they had enough money not to care whether their wedding gown got dirty.
Another tradition that I’d never questioned before was why we wear wedding rings on the third finger. Thanks to todayifoundout.com, now I know! The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that there was a vein that ran from the third finger all the way to the heart. It was called the “Vena Amoris” or Vein of Love. Putting the ring on the third finger symbolized the binding of the lovers’ hearts to each other.
As a gorgeous bride is walking towards her husband-to-be, what is one of the first things you notice after her gown and hair/makeup? What she’s carrying! The bridal bouquet has had infinite interpretations over the years, but what was the point of it? The answer according to the huffingtongpost.com? To cover up your body odor! All the way back into the 15th century, brides carried fragrant bouquets to mask the fact that it may have been months since they’d last bathed.
Around this same time, villages were frequently at war with one another, with lots of raiding and pillaging. If one of these altercations happened during a wedding, the groom needed back up to protect his bride. Originally, the best man stood on the bride’s side of the wedding to keep her safe and surrounded in case of attack. The only problem with this plan is that there were numerous instances of the bride and the best man running away together! Finally, the grooms got wise and moved the best man over to their side where they could keep an eye on them. Instead, the bride got bridesmaids who dressed the same way she did to help show off the family’s wealth and distract any demons who might want to steal the bride’s soul.
Does knowing the background of any of these traditions make you think about whether or not you want to carry them on? At least you’ll always know you’re part of a long and rich history, and if you need any help, the girls at Charlotte’s Weddings are always here!