With over a million weddings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the strength of the bridal industry proves that love is worth celebrating.
But how did our fascinating and somewhat strange wedding traditions come to be? Some of these weird, wonderful traditions have roots in historical, even ancient practices.
If you are interested in learning more, keep reading to look into some of the United States’ most popular wedding traditions and where these traditions came from.
The Engagement Ring
These days, an engagement announcement always comes with a viewing of the ring. There are jewelers across the United States with stores devoted entirely to engagement and wedding rings.
The engagement ring has roots in ancient Egypt. Like that of a ring, a circle represented an endless bond and was given to a betrothed.
The addition of a diamond came later from Sicilian influence. A diamond engagement ring was further cemented as the engagement ring with a De Beers advertising slogan of “a diamond is forever.”
No wedding look is complete without the perfect bouquet. Modern bouquets usually consist of coordinated flowers. But in the past, the bouquet had a totally different purpose.
A collection of strong-smelling herbs, spices, and even garlic were a bride’s go-to bouquet in medieval times. The strong smells were meant to ward off evil spirits and were also a preventative measure against the plague.
A wedding dress has always been around in some capacity. The tradition of a white wedding dress was not made popular until 1840.
Queen Victoria of England wore a white gown to her nuptials to Prince Albert. The royal wedding gave birth to a brand new tradition.
The white wedding gown has gone through several style changes throughout the year, but the pure white color has remained a wedding day staple.
After the ceremony, it’s time for guests to eat delicious cake. Choosing a wedding cake can be an ordeal for a couple, as there are endless flavor combinations and decorating options.
But back in medieval times, the wedding cake was made of wheat, similar to sacramental wafers from Roman Catholic wedding traditions.These cakes were thrown at the bride to encourage fertility.
Thankfully, modern tastes have evolved into much tastier cakes. While there is less cake throwing, a freshly-married couple may get messy feeding cake to each other.
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