If you thought nothing could surprise you about weddings, wait ‘til you read this selection of crazy marital facts that prove sometimes that reality is stranger than fiction.
1. Wedding rings are often worn on the third finger of the left hand because ancient Egyptians believed the vein in this hand, called the “vein of love’ by Romans, ran directly to the heart.
2. It’s a common belief that every girl dreams of wearing a white gown on her wedding day right? Nope! In fact, wearing white on your wedding is uncommon in Eastern cultures as white is considered a colour of mourning.
3. Think your cathedral veil is long? Think again! The longest wedding veil was designed by Gianni Molaro in Italy for bride, Elena De Angelis and ran for a whopping three kilometre long (1.86 miles).
4. After reading this, you probably won’t feel too guilty about exceeding a little over your budget. The most expensive wedding ever was priced at a whopping $44 million in May 1981, Dubai. The wedding was between the son of Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Princess Salama.
5. The term ‘best man’ is coined from an old custom practised in countries such as Romania where the groom and his groomsmen would kidnap the bride-to-be before the wedding and who ever succeeded most at the abduction was crowned the ‘best man’.
6. 60,000 people attended a Jewish wedding ceremony in Jerusalem in 1993 and 30,000 were invited to the reception. We are left wondering what kind of reception fit that many people!
7. According to Indian culture, Mangliks are people who are cursed by birth as they’re born when Mars and Saturn are both under the 7th house. They are thought to bring about early death to their husband and therefore must be married first… to a tree! The tree is then destroyed and pulled down symbolising the diminishing of the curse.
8. It’s funny how Saturday is the most sought after day to get married when according to English culture, it’s the unluckiest day to get married! Instead, Monday and Tuesday are more favoured. They obviously didn’t have 9-5 jobs.
9. Indonesian honeymoons are far from a private love affair. Couples are monitored and housebound for three days after the wedding, prohibited to use the toilet and must restrict themselves to eating minimal amounts of food and drink. Indonesians believe this promotes a joyous marriage.
10. The Yugur culture, a Chinese minority, requires the groom to shoot his bride with a bow and arrow three times before the wedding but don’t worry the arrows aren’t harmful. After shooting his bride, the groom then breaks the arrows symbolising a strong and prosperous marriage.
11. In Scotland, they really know the definition of ‘party hard’. On the day of the wedding, the couple is taken out and doomed to be ‘blackened’ by friends and family drenching them in alcohol, tar, mud, ash, feathers, spoiled milk and fish. The blackening of the bride and groom is believed to bring about good luck and rid evil spirits.
12. On a lighter note, the marriage of Herbert Fisher and Zelmyra Fisher is the longest marriage, lasting 86 years, 9 months and 16 days up until Herbert’s death in 2011. They said there’s no secret but “remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.”
13. We saved the worst till last, brace yourselves. In France, after the wedding is over, all left-over food, trash and any unwanted substances are collected and put into a real life toilette bowl making ‘La soupe’. The soup was made ready for the newlyweds who were then forced to drink it all to energise for the rest of the night. Buon appétit!