Facts Behind The Wedding Customs

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2008, 15:14 [IST]
 
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Facts Behind The Wedding Customs

Did you ever wonder why the age old wedding customs still breathe fresh in every wedding? Do you know the reason behind it? It is fun to look at how wedding traditions all started. Here are some interesting wedding facts. Trace the reason behind the customs like wedding ring, bouquet of flowers, the white glooming veil and many more.

Wedding Gowns – The symbol of purity
History dates white wedding gowns back to 1840, when Queen Victoria made white the bridal colour of choice when she wed Prince Albert. However in 17th century, red colour was a favorite in Europe. Other colors were worn for symbolic reasons, for instance blue meant constancy and green meant youth. As years passed, white was worn as a symbol of purity.

Veil- The symbol of mystique and romance
It is believed that originally, the veil was worn to show modesty and were worn at the ceremony as a symbol of her promise to obey her husband. The veil dates back to ancient Rome, when it was flame-yellow, always worn over the face, and called a flammeum.

The bouquet of flowers – The disguised blessings
Imagine walking down the aisle with garlic, herbs and grains. Well! If it wasn't replaced with a bunch of beautiful flowers, we would still have the same tradition. It was believed that garlic,was supposed to ward off evil spirits and the herbs or grains were to insure a fruitful union. After few decades the tradition was replaced with flowers to symbolize fertility and eternal love. In ancient Poland, it was believed that sprinkling sugar on the bride's bouquet kept her temper sweet.

The Wedding Ring- Make your way towards my heart
Wedding ring is usually worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. It relates to traditions supposedly dating to classical times, that the finger contains the "vein of love". By wearing rings on the fourth finger of their left hands, a married couple symbolically declare their eternal love for each other.

However in countries like Germany, Greece, some parts of India, Russia, Poland, Columbia, Spain and Venezuela, it's worn in the right hand. A traditional reason to wear the wedding ring on the right hand stems from Roman custom. According to them, the Latin word for left is "sinister", which in addition to this sense also has the same senses as the English word. The Latin word for right is "dexter", a word that evolved into "dexterity". Hence, the left hand had a negative connotation and the right a good one.

Wedding Cake - Symbolizes fertility or abundance
Ancient romans broke a cake over the brides head to symbolize fertility or abundance. Some other cultures dropped wheat, flour or cake on the bride's head, and then ate the crumbs for good luck. As the years rolled by with some varied addition and deletion of customs the tiered wedding cake was born.

The first kiss of union
The kiss that is given by the bride to the groom at the end of the wedding ceremony originates from the earliest times when the couple would actually make love for the first time in midst of the onlookers with praise. It was believed the first kiss that they shared would make couples exchange spirits with their breath and even part of their souls.

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