Many of the traditions associated with modern day weddings can be found to have their roots in the customs and rituals of our ancestors. Below are some of the more popular wedding traditions.
Tossing the bouquet
In days gone by, women would try to rip pieces of the brides dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To get away from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Nowadays the bouquet is tossed to single women in the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry.
This originates from the ancient Pagan rite of showering the happy couple with grain to wish them a fruitful union.
Carrying the bride over the threshold
One school of thought suggests the practice was designed to protect the bride from evil spirits thought to be lying in wait under the threshold. Another possible explanation goes back to Roman times where it was thought that if the bride was to stumble upon entering the new home for the first time, it would subsequently bring the couple bad luck.
Why does the bride stand on the left and the groom on the right?
It is believed that practice goes back to times when the groom would ‘capture’ his bride by kidnapping her. Should the groom have to fight off other men who also wanted her as their bride, he would hold her with his left hand whilst leaving his right hand free to use his sword.
Third finger, left hand
Engagement and wedding rings are traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand. The Romans believed that the vein in that finger runs directly to the heart. The wedding ring represents a never-ending circle, symbolising everlasting love.
Page Last Updated: 16 April 2009