11 Age-Old Wedding Traditions Still Popular Today

11 Age-old Wedding Traditions in Modern Weddings

Modern weddings are steeped in ancient traditions that range from the peculiar, to the downright frightening! And, none of which were the least bit romantic. Thankfully, modern weddings are about faith, love and commitment. Back in the day (we're talking ancient Rome, Middle Ages} they were pretty much about a business transaction. That said, it's amazing to see just how many of these ancient wedding traditions have stayed the course and are still practiced today. Aren't we lucky that they have evolved.

Here are 11 interesting traditions that are still very popular today.

Handfasting: one of 11 age-old wedding traditions

1. Left Ring Finger:

This tradition is derived from ancient Rome, it was thought that the 4th finger on the left hand was a direct line to the heart. And then there's this--that the ring is a circle and has no end! Love.

2. White Wedding Dress:

This tradition only dates back to 1840 in that a woman's "best dress" was historically good enough. But, it is Queen Victoria that gets the credit of starting the white wedding dress tradition when she married Prince Albert in 1840 {even though white was worn by the royal dating back to 1499 with Anne of Brittany}.

3. Wearing a Wedding Veil:

From the middle ages to ancient Rome, the veil has played a major role in weddings. With its super powers, the veil was worn as a symbol of purity and modesty--with the added benefit of keeping the evil spirits at bay! Who knew?!

4. Handfasting {aka Tying the Knot}:

Handfasting is an ancient word that means "wedding" and dates waaay back to the Renaissance period. Rural couples simply got "hitched" by wrapping cords around their right wrists in front of witnesses.Voila! Bound together for life {or for at least a year--until they were certain it would last}.

5. June--Most Popular Wedding Month:

June continues to be the most popular month to marry. Why? Let's ask the ancient Romans, shall we? It does have to do with beautiful June weather but there's more ... they were celebrating Juno, the goddess of marriage, pregnancy and childbirth. And, June was the time of year when folks came out to bathe after winter {and it's good to be clean on your wedding day!}. Also, a child conceived at this time of year would have a better chance of surviving. {Makes sense to me!}

6. Wedding Party:

Did you know that if there weren't enough marriage-eligible women in local supply, an ancient groom-to-be would have no problem hopping over to the next community to "kidnap" one. Of course, said groom-to-be would have to take his "best man" and "ushers" to help him fight off the obviously angry family of this poor kidnapped bride-to-be. Eventually, this tradition grew to a larger wedding party of men and women that were actually helpful to the bride and groom in planning, cooking and decorating.

7. Wedding Flowers:

Before flowers, brides carried herb and grain bouquets. {It's all about fertility and warding off evil spirits with these ancient peoples!} Flowers symbolized fertility and aromatic herbs such as garlic, were there to drive away the evil spirits. Using flowers and herbs is still popular--but for different reasons today.

8. Bride "Given Away" by Father:

This tradition goes back hundreds and hundreds of years {and thank goodness it has evolved!}. There are different schools of thought but they generally center around the idea that daughters were "property" and ownership or authority would be transferred on the wedding day. Nowadays, this tradition is about blessing, accepting and welcoming the groom into the family.

9. Wedding Cake:

Did you know that wheat predates rice? Yep, and as a symbol of fertility, it was actually thrown at the bride for good luck. WOW. Anyways, rumor has it that we can thank the early Roman bakers for shifting the tradition of throwing the cake into eating the cake. It was around 100 BC that these Romans began creating small, sweet cakes to eat during the wedding ceremony.

10. Tossing the Bouquet:

For safety reasons alone, we're glad this ancient English tradition has evolved. For their own good luck back in the day, it was customary for attending women to try and tear off pieces of the bride’s dress! Of course the bride loved that--said no bride ever! That is why brides got into the habit of tossing their bouquets--to feed the lions--and then run for their safety. Nowadays, good luck is still imparted to the single woman who catches the bride's bouquet.

11. Going on a Honeymoon:

This tradition dates back to Germany in the Middle Ages, when Teutonic Knights {an ancient military order} only married under a full moon. After the wedding, the couple went off {to a place they couldn't be found} and drank honey wine for another full moon cycle of 30 days--thus the name: honeymoon. So, if you've been looking for an excuse to drink wine for an entire month, this tradition is for you!

Can you believe these {evolved} wedding traditions have stood the test of time? What's your favorite/least favorite? 


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