Origin of Popular Wedding Customs and Traditions

What gives a wedding ceremony its complete nostalgic feel, are the countless wedding traditions and customs. It is these customs that make the wedding experience rich and beautiful. Like various other things, these wedding customs too have their own origin and history. Read on to find out.

The wedding veil
In ancient days it was considered unlucky if the groom saw the bride's face before the ceremony on the day of the wedding. For this purpose, a wedding veil was used. This veil not just kept the bride's face hidden from the groom, but it also hid the bride from evil spirits and envious suitors.

The wedding kiss
The wedding kiss was considered to be an indication of the fact that the marriage is sealed legally. However a third person was needed to be a witness of this kiss. This beautiful custom traces back to the Roman times.

Engagement rings and wedding Bands
In the ancient times a ring was used as a token for buying a bride by the groom. While later on Italians used diamond as diamonds were formed from flames of love. The flames of love marked eternal love between the couple.

The tradition of wearing a wedding band was started by the ancient Egyptians. The band which is in the shape of ring is a circle, which cease to end, thus it was a considered as a symbol of unending love. To add purity to the relationship gold rings were made popular later on.

Last but most interesting of all is the reason for why a bride wears her engagement ring on the third finger of left hand. Actually the veins in the third finger of the left hand reach directly to the heart of a person. So by wearing a relationship ring on that finger you place token of love directly on the heart.

White wedding dress of bride
In 1840, Queen Victoria contributed this current fad of wearing white dress on wedding day. Besides there are certain popular apprehensions about the color of bridal attire, let's have a look:

Married in WHITE, you have chosen RIGHT,
Married in BLUE, your love will always be TRUE,
Married in PEARL, you will live in a WHIRL,
Married in BROWN, you will live in TOWN,
Married in RED, you will wish yourself DEAD,
Married in YELLOW, ashamed of your FELLOW,
Married in GREEN, ashamed to be SEEN,
Married in PINK, your spirit will SINK,
Married in GREY, you will go far AWAY,
Married in BLACK, you will wish yourself BACK.

Bridal Bouquets
Another very common American wedding custom for bride is to carry bouquets of fragrant flowers. Earlier bridal bouquets comprised of herb and flowers to ward off evil spirits. Later flowers were added to these bouquets where in each flower conveyed a different meaning. For example Orange blooms connote purity and chastity.

Bridal shower
In the 1800s the trend of bridal shower became immensely popular. As per this custom, the bride's friends would gather to prepare the bride for the D day and would get a gift along. These gifts were placed in a parasol, which were then opened over the bride's head to shower her with these gifts. Over the year, this wedding custom has undergone several changes.

Throwing rice
Rice has always been symbolic of fertility. The reason for the same being that rice grows in abundance and easily. It is for this reasons that guests would throw rice at the newly wed couple. This wedding custom exists to date.

Wedding favors
Wedding favors are small little gifts given to the guests as a token of appreciation o their presence. One of the traditional wedding favors is the use of five candies. Each of these candies represents five wedding wishes- health, wealth, happiness, long life and fertility.

Keep the bride to the left
Ever wondered why the bride always stands to the left of the groom. This is because in ancient times jealous suitors would want to take the bride away. To keep his bride safe and secure the groom would keep the bride to her left and hold with her left hand. The right hand was kept free so that the groom is ready to fight anytime if required.

The Honeymoon
The tradition of Honeymoon originated in Northern Europe. But it was not a post wedding fun vacation as today. In the olden times, the groom used to kidnap the bride and kept her hidden for a full moon cycle (1 month) away from her family. They used to drink wine made from honey and mead and expected the bride would be pregnant before her family could find her. However in the 16th century, the honeymoon became a very romantic event for the couple.