Truth Behind Traditions
Marriage between couples has existed throughout the recorded history of humanity.
The wedding ceremony has taken thousands of different forms and styles, allowing traditions to develop which are still observed to this day, though their origins are often not even thought about.
Here we take a look at how some of the most popular wedding and marriage traditions have come about…
Originally, the pretty floral display would have been made from strong-smelling herbs such as thyme or garlic. This was said to scare away any evil spirits but was also likely used to cover the smell of an entire congregation of people who may not have bathed for months. Yuk! As well as smelling bad, guests would often behave in quite an unruly fashion, tearing at the bride’s dress in order to grab a piece of the ‘lucky’ material. The throwing of the bouquet was used to try and put an end to this unseemly behaviour.
All marriages used to be arranged by the family and would involve a dowry; a payment to the groom’s family from the bride’s. The bride could often be left penniless after this and so her friends would get together and ‘shower’ her with gifts to help her along, hence the expression bridal shower. Married friends would also dispense prize pieces of advice about married life and the group would spend an evening together.
Another relic of the arranged marriage times, the veil was used by families worried that the groom might refuse to marry the bride if he saw her face! Only after the ceremony was finished and the marriage binding would the bride lift the veil and allow her new husband, till death do they part, to gaze upon her beautiful, or otherwise, countenance.
Originating in Roman times, when they really knew how to party. The groom’s friends would gather around him to cement their old friendships and wish the groom well with his new wife. There was an element of a leaving party about these gatherings, as unmarried friends said goodbye to a member of their group.
There are loads more customs and traditions and we will be looking at some more of them in the coming weeks so make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter!