Wedding Basics

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The History of Weddings: What does it all mean?

Do you ever wonder why people throw rice at the newlyweds? Why there's a wedding cake? Why the groom carries the bride across the threshold?

These traditions have been a part of wedding ceremonies for many, many years. And will continue on for years to come.You can make your wedding even more meaningful by knowing what these traditions mean.This is a great way to make your wedding day even more special.

If you would like to learn more about all the special parts of your wedding, read on and learn how they all came about.

These traditions have been a part of wedding ceremonies for many, many years.

Throwing Rice

Rice symbolizes fertility. The tradition of throwing rice began in the Orient. Rice was thrown at the newlyweds in the hope that it would bring a marriage of many children.

The Honeymoon

In ancient times Teuton couples would marry under a full moon, then drink honey wine for thirty days after, which is where the name honeymoon began.

Carrying the Bride Across the Threshold

The custom originated in Rome, Italy. The bride had to be carried across the threshold because she was reluctant to enter the bridal chamber. In those days it was considered ladylike to be hesitant. One other legend has it that a bride was carried over the threshold to protect her from any evil spirits beyond that point.

Tossing the Bouquet and Garter

Beginning in France in the 1300's the guests used to chase the bride and tear off her garter, because they believed it was good luck. The bride began removing it voluntarily and tossing it into the crowd to prevent her dress from getting ruined and perhaps, avoid any injury to herself.

The bouquet was also tossed later in the ceremony. The woman who caught the bouquet was believed to be the next to get married. The man who catches the garter is believed to be the next groom.

The Bridal Shower

Believed to have started in Holland, legend has it that a disapproving father would not provide his daughter with dowries so that she might marry a less then wealthy man. The soon to be brides friends would provide her with the essentials by showering her with gifts.

The Ring Finger

The fourth finger on the human hand is considered the ring finger. In most all of the Western Cultures the ring is worn on the left hand or “left ring finger”. All engagement and wedding rings are worn there because centuries ago, that finger was believed to be connected, by a vein, directly to the heart, a symbol of love.

The thinking that started this is believed to have begun in ancient Egypt. On a different note, in several European countries, the wedding ring is worn on the left hand before the marriage and on the right after. It is transferred during the ceremony.

The Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes originated in ancient Rome where a loaf of wheat bread was broken over the brides head to symbolize hope for a fertile and fulfilling life. The guests would eat the bread crumbs as they believed it to be good luck.

The custom found its way to England in the middle ages. Guests brought small cakes to a wedding, the cakes were put in a pile, which the bride and groom later stood over and engaged in a kiss. Someone came up with the idea of piling all the cakes together and frosting them. Creating an early ancestor of the multi tiered wedding cakes of today.