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Have you ever been a flower girl, a bridesmaid or caught the bouquet at a friend's wedding? All of these customs are a part of any modern day wedding, but do you actually know why? The traditions that accompany every wedding actually date back to ancient times. Since marriage began around 23,000 years ago, different cultures have created their own wedding customs. Many of these have been preserved and developed into the wedding traditions we know today.

Where do the most popular wedding customs come from?

Many of the wedding customs listed below have their origins in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece. The wedding cake, for example, comes from the Roman tradition of breaking wheat cakes over the bride's head as a symbol of fertility. Below we have compiled 16 of the most popular wedding customs and try to explain how they came about.

Just keep reading…


1. Why do you get married or where should you look for the origin of marriage?

The origin of marriage dates back 23,000 years when hunter-gatherers became farmers. At that time, the traditional gender roles in the household were formed.

Men were responsible for raising food while women stayed at home to raise children. So marriage soon became necessary to ensure the survival of the offspring.

Happy newlyweds

2. The Wedding Veil

In the past, the groom was not allowed to see his fiancee until the wedding. That's so he wouldn't reject his future wife just because of her looks. Therefore, the veil was used to hide the bride's face until the last moment.

You may kiss the bride!

3. Attach cans to the bumper

The wedding tradition of tying cans to the bumper of the wedding car comes from the French custom, "Charivari" to celebrate a kind of bachelorette party. The "charivari" was essentially a celebration that takes place the night before the wedding. Neighbors walk the streets banging pots and pans to make as much noise as possible to drive away evil spirits. Since cans make noise when being dragged behind a moving car, the classic "Charivari" was adapted in this way.

The louder the better!

4. The Wedding Cake

Since cakes represent fertility, the ancient Romans baked wheat cakes and broke one over the bride's head. It soon became common to stack several wheat cakes on top of each other, as tall as possible. The bride and groom should kiss the tower without knocking it down. If they can do that, they would be happy as a couple for a lifetime.

Today, however, you can’t do without a cake

5. The Wedding Ring

The circle represents eternity because it has no beginning and no end. In ancient times, women wore rings made of papyrus around their wrists and ankles. The Romans then began replacing the material with iron and eventually the first engagement rings were made out of gold.

The ring symbolizes eternity

The tradition of a diamond engagement ring was created by Archduke Maximilian of Austria when he proposed to Mary of Burgundy. Like the circle, the diamond is also a symbol of eternity because it is the hardest gemstone in the world. Putting the ring on the fourth finger (ring finger) came from the Egyptians. They believed that the ring finger was connected to the heart by a vein.

Together forever

6. The flower girls

This ancient wedding custom stems from an ancient Roman tradition of maidens carrying sheaves of wheat. It was believed that they bring well-being and happiness to the newlyweds. Over time, the sheaves of wheat have been replaced by flowers that are scattered along the path to the altar.

Flower girls are so cute!

7. The Bridesmaids

In ancient Rome, the role of bridesmaids was to protect the bride. The bridesmaids each wore the same dress as the bride to confuse the evil spirits. As a result, the bride and groom could not be cursed on their wedding day.

The Bridesmaids protect the bride from evil spirits

8. Rice rain shower

Rice and other grains have long been considered symbols of prosperity and fertility. As such, the tradition of throwing rice at a wedding is still popular today. So the couple is symbolically showered with happiness. Nowadays, rice is sometimes replaced with other alternatives such as confetti, bubbles and sparklers.

Rice represents happiness and fertility

9. Something Blue

It is widely believed that the color white represents purity. However, it is actually the color blue that is the true symbol of purity and fidelity. The symbolism of the color blue dates back to early Christianity when blue was associated with the Virgin Mary. She is still often depicted with a blue robe.

Blue represents purity and loy alty

10. The honeymoon

The tradition of honeymooning after marriage dates back to the 5th century when the calendar was divided into lunar cycles. After marriage, the young couple drink mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey. This happens on the wedding eve or on their first wedding moon. So this is your honeymoon.

Off to the honeymoon!

11. The Bridal Bouquet

The first bridal bouquet was made from aromatic grapes, herbs, garlic and grains. It was believed that these had the power to drive out evil spirits. Over time, the bouquet of herbs has gradually been replaced by flowers, which have special meanings in different cultures around the world.

The bridal bouquet is an absolute must these days

12. Throw the bouquet

This fun wedding tradition dates back to the 14th century. Back then, it was customary for a bride to throw her garter to a crowd of men at the wedding reception. Unfortunately, the groom had to save his bride from the crowd, and a new tradition was born of the bride simply throwing her bouquet instead of her garter. Of course, responsibility for tossing the garter passed to the groom.

Who will be the next bride?

13. Groomsmen

The tradition, Having groomsmen as part of the wedding comes from the ancient tradition of kidnapping the bride. Before a couple could marry, the man had to kidnap his future wife. His friends help him so that the bride's family cannot find the couple. The groom's best friend is also the best man at the wedding.

You have to have a little fun

15. The Ring Bearer

During the Victorian period, a certain boy was responsible for carrying the bride's train along with a prayer book. At the same time, Victorians began placing the ring on small pillows to show their we alth. Because pillows used to be very expensive and were luxury goods that only the elite of society could afford. Eventually, it became this boy's job to carry the ring pillow as well.

The ring bearer can also be the best man

Whether you're planning your wedding ceremony, attending one soon, or just want to learn more about the history of marriage, you'll be amazed at how much these wedding customs have changed since their inception! Although wedding customs play an important role, history has taught us that it's okay to be a little creative when it comes to planning your wedding day.

White doves on the wedding day are another sensual tradition

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