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A Groom Carrying His BrideAs far as traditions go, weddings tend to be overloaded with rituals of all kinds. While culture or religious beliefs will often dictate the specific customs of a ceremony, some practices simply linger because people engaging with them without fully knowing why. Since marriage is a practice dating back thousands of years, it makes sense there are so many customs with muddy origins. Luckily, thanks to the modern age of the internet, researching these traditions is easier than ever before and has uncovered some fascinating answers.

Check out some of these interesting wedding facts you might not have considered before. You may discover something that really makes you look at weddings in a different light.

Medical Misinformation

The more people perpetuate a tradition for the sake of keeping it going, the longer that tradition is going to be a part of widespread culture. Most people in Western societies wear their wedding rings on the same finger: the finger right next to the pinky on the left hand. Today, this finger is known colloquially as the ring finger because of how long it has been used to host this piece of jewelry throughout history. Trouble is, the whole idea is built around a basic misunderstanding of human anatomy and the cardiovascular system.

Though there are several important veins and arteries found in human extremities, the Ancient Romans believed the ring finger contained a “direct path” to the heart. This belief led people to wear wedding bands on their ring fingers in order to symbolize the love shared between partners in a marriage. As the centuries passed and medical science developed, people learned the ring finger did not host any unique access points to the heart. Still, the tradition had persisted for so long that the revelation did nothing to end the practice.

Don’t Trip Over Those Demons

Some traditions persist for generations while becoming slightly altered in meaning with each passing year. The act of a groom carrying his bride over the threshold, for example, has held different cultural significance to different groups. Myth and lore from various European regions state the practice began as a way of protecting the woman from the evil demons who lived beneath the ground. Should the bride walk in without being carried, she was supposedly susceptible to being dragged into the netherworld by these evil creatures. Of course, there’s no explanation on why the groom wasn’t a target of demonic influence.

While guarding a bride against demons can seem noble, though misguided, the tradition carried on to have less benevolent significance. Carrying the bride across the threshold became an action to help the woman avoid tripping through the doorway, an act thought to bring bad fortune to the union. Both meanings of this tradition seem to place a lot of weight on the actions of the bride, suggesting she’s the only one likely to trip or catch the attention of demons. Still, plenty of couples in the modern era like to follow this ritual simply because it can seem fun.

The Real Reason to Wear White

Think you know why brides wear white to their weddings? If you think it is because white has long symbolized purity, you’d only be partially correct. Though the practice of wearing white has long been associated with a bride’s virginity, the trend actually started when one queen grew sick and tired of the dresses of her time. Historians say Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840 attracted a number of unique design choices. Though it was very popular for women to wear red at their weddings, Victoria wished to go against the grain and asked for a white dress.

Queen Victoria made her choice to show the world her personality. When selecting rituals for your own wedding, feel free to do the same.

Category: Marriage Society

weddings culture

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