Have you ever wondered why the happy couple invites special friends and family members to participate in their wedding? This American wedding party tradition dates back to ancient Roman times. Several women were asked to dress similar to the bride in order to confuse any evil spirits that may attempt to kidnap the bride. Nowadays, the bridesmaids may dress differently from the bride, but they wear similar dresses to each other for good luck.
The best man and other groomsmen also have roles steeped in tradition. In ancient times, brides weren’t exactly willing parties. Instead, they would be abducted by the groom, his best man, and other close friends. These men are now representing both consenting parties by being groomsmen.
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The bridal shower wasn’t originally intended to be a party for the bride to receive gifts. Rather, they were intended to help raise dowry money for brides and their families who couldn’t afford one in Europe (1500s). Today’s showers started emerging around the 1800s in the U.S.
Wedding Cake Customs
wedding couple with cake
The cake isn’t just to provide a sweet end to a wedding feast. In ancient times, there was a different meaning. A small cake was broken over the brides head during the ceremony to symbolize fertility. The guests would pick up the bits of cake that fell to the floor and keep them for luck.
Cake toppers came to be when Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert in 1850 and she had small figurines of herself and the Prince created for the top. By the 1950s, this was commonly seen in U.S. weddings.
Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold
A favorite tradition of television newlyweds is to carry the bride over the threshold before entering their home to start a new life together. The reason? It’s bad luck for a bride to trip upon entering the couple’s home for the first time and if she is carried, she will not bring “evil spirits” in with her. Her husband carries her so this won’t happen.
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