Wedding season is among us, folks. Starting in April and going until mid-September, this time of year is full of new beginnings. Little do the happy couples know what secrets lie in their traditions. As wedding planning commences, it is important to understand the history of weddings and to chuckle a bit, too!
The White Dress
White dresses are an essential staple piece for weddings. Despite this, they haven't always been so prominent. To convince the groom that she came from a family with money, the bride would wear multiple layers of expensive garments. These included silk, fur, and velvet. Brides even wore red for a small span of time.
The white dress trend didn't start until Queen Victoria made white fashionable and stylish. At her own wedding in 1840, Queen Victoria wore a pale gown lined with orange blossoms. After, everyone else started to follow in her footsteps. Talk about a trendsetter.
The wedding party is a tradition that has gone unquestioned. What could be so odd about celebrating the biggest day of your life with your besties by your side? There is much more to the story than what meets the eye.
Bridesmaids are commonly known and distinguished by their matching outfits. Their brightly colored ensemble allows for the bride to stand out amongst the crowd. Although, this hasn't always been this way. The bridesmaids originally wore their unanimous attire to confuse and outsmart any lingering evil spirits. Since all are matching, the spirits would be unable to identify which women were getting married. The duties of the bridesmaids date back to early Roman times. Bridesmaids would line up in a protective shield while walking the bride into the groom's village. These women would protect the bride, just in case, someone were to harm her or attempt to steal her away.
The "best man" is another odd aspect of the wedding party. The original duty of the "best man" was to ensure as a backup to the groom in case the bride decided to flee. The best man would be in charge of kidnapping her if she had changed her mind about marriage. The "best" in "best man" refers to his skill with the sword. The "best man" standing in front with the groom is also to protect. He is there in case someone tries to challenge or attack the groom or steal his bride. In other words, a "best man" is a true friend.
The Bouquet Toss and Garter Belt.
In my opinion, this is one of the weirdest wedding traditions. Right after the bride and groom said their vows, they were rushed into the next room to consummate the marriage. This ritual required an audience in order to make it official. This resulted in crowds of party guests gathering around the couple, hoping to get a good view at the action at hand. They all fought to rip off a piece of the bride's dress as it was being torn off her body.
As time progressed, society realized that this tradition was not appropriate. After the marriage, the couple would still consummate the marriage, but in a more private way. In order to be modest, the bride would toss her bouquet as a diversion. The two would then make a getaway to do-the-do. Once alone, the groom would throw her undergarments outside the room to prove they were about to "make it official." I didn't know losing ones virginity had to be a public affair.
The Wedding Cake.
The wedding cake is something the guests and the wedding party are cravings by the end of the reception. Although it may seem like it is only present to be used in celebration, that is not the case.
Back in the day, bread was used during weddings instead of cake. it was common for grooms to take a bite out of a loaf of bread during the wedding. Once he did this, the remaining bread was crumbled over the bride's head. This was a sign of good luck. Guests would then swarm the bride's feet and collect the remaining breadcrumbs. This was a way to absorb the bride's newfound luck.
Later on, the tradition evolved. Instead of bread, a cake was used. The bride would push pieces of cake through her ring to her guests. The guests would then take their pieces home, place them under their pillow, and sleep on them for good luck. Talk about a mess.
Honeymoons today are seen as tropical vacation getaways. They serve as a chance for the bride and groom to spend some quality time alone. Although harmless and fun now, back then it was quite the opposite.
As discussed previously, brides would be kidnapped if they attempted to flee during the wedding. The honeymoon was seen as a chance to hide the bride. The opportunity to be elsewhere was established so the bride's tribe would forget her.