We all love a Wedding tradition, but do you know the history behind the customs that have become a standard part of a Bride’s Big Day? Prepare to be surprised by the dark, scary back-stories to your favourite Wedding customs…
1. The Veil
Not just a standard accessory, the veil actually carries far more superstition than you’d think. Ancient Romans believed wearing a veil would disguise the Bride as protection from jealous eyes and evil spirits. In the case of arranged Marriages, the veil was intended to further shield the bride from the Groom’s sight until the very last minute.
Image from Chantal and Andreas Wedding. Photography by D’amico Photography.
2. Gifting Knives
Knives traditionally symbolise a broken relationship, so maybe avoid those ornate ones on the Bridal registry.
3. Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold
This one’s based on the extreme paranoia of medieval Europeans, who believed a number of things. Firstly, a Bride was particularly susceptible to evil spirits through the soles of her feet. Secondly, only a scandalous Bride wished to appear so eager to lose her virginity that she would cross the threshold herself, and most importantly, tripping over the threshold into one’s new home was a sure sign of bad luck. All of these posed enough reason for the Groom to carry his Bride into their new home. Nowadays though, chances are the Bride’s feet will be traumatised after a night in killer heels… Either way, win-win!
4. Who’s Next?
Catching the Bride’s bouquet or the Groom’s garter is often perceived as fate indicating who’s next to Marry. But this superstition actually has quite the dirty backstory. Historically, to nab some fragment of the Bride’s clothing was considered lucky. So much so that guests thought it appropriate to follow the couple back to their wedding chamber, trying to rip pieces of her dress right off her body. Tossing the bouquet as she left the reception thus became a distraction, allowing the couple to leave sans harassment. Once safely in their private quarters, the Groom often cracked open the door and tossed the garter to a crowd of gathered guests, not only to appease them but to prove he had indeed “sealed the deal.” Chivalry at it’s finest.
5. Avoid the Clergy
Crossing paths with a monk or nun en-route to the ceremony is apparently bad luck, and will condemn the couple to a barren life dependent on charity.
6. Ringing bells
Tradition says they’re not just for cat collars. They’re often rung at Irish weddings to keep evil spirits away and bless the couple with a happy family life.
7. Don’t Drop the Rings
Dropping the Wedding rings spells death for whoever does so. So be very careful with those butter fingers during the ceremony.
Image from Madeleine and Luke’s Wedding. Photography by Blumenthal Photography.
Main image from Peggy and Bryan’s Wedding. Photography by Blumenthal Photography.