Wedding Day Trivia

Wedding traditions come from some unusual sources!

By Tracy Leigh Ritts


As magical as wedding days are, planning a wedding can be stressful. If you’re in the midst of the preparations, you’ll find these facts both fun and enlightening, or at least pleasantly distracting.

The Wedding Dress was not traditionally white. In the United States, many brides simply wore their “Sunday Best” to the ceremony, especially throughout the 18th Century. And, around the world, different colors were worn for different symbolic reasons: blue for loyalty, green for good luck, yellow to scare away evil spirits, and red for joy are just a few. It was in 1840, when England's Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe, that the white wedding gown tradition began, though not immediately. At that time, white didn’t represent “purity,” but rather wealth and class.

The Wedding Bouquet has not always been a mix of flowers. Ancient Greeks and Romans prepared a pungent mix of herbs, grain, and garlic for the bride to carry. The garlic was meant to ward off evil spirits, while the herbs and grains symbolized a fruitful future. In ancient Poland, sprinkling sugar into the bride’s bouquet was thought to keep her temper sweet.

The Wedding Ring is worn on the third finger of the left hand because of the belief that there is a vein in this finger that runs directly to the heart.

The Wedding Kiss originated in cultures that believed the couple’s spirits would intermingle and exchange in their breath as they kissed.

The Wedding Cake has been an important tradition for centuries. In Rome, they used to crumble the cake over the bride’s head to ensure fertility. The tiered wedding cake was born during medieval times. Guests would bring small cakes to the wedding and pile them on the cake table; the bride and groom would then attempt to kiss each other while leaning over them. Eventually, this custom turned into our tiered wedding cakes, with our brides and grooms feeding each other bites.

This custom originated with the ancient Chinese and Hindus. Rice is a symbol of prosperity, fertility, and fruitfulness. Tossing rice on the couple after the ceremony represented fertility, while eating rice granted the couple health, wealth, and happiness.

The Honeymoon Long ago, a groom would capture his bride and steal her away to a hidden place. There, they would stay for one phase of the moon and drink honey wine (mead) to make them more amorous. Of course, now, the honeymoon is a time for celebration and relaxation for the bride and groom after the wedding.

Tracy Leigh Ritts is a freelance writer based in Ohio. Her book on wedding planning will be available later this year.