The down-on-one-knee proposal
I’ve always wondered how this one started. Did one guy drop the ring, get down on one knee to pick it up and other men followed suit? Or maybe his shoe was untied. I guess I’ll never know. However, the act of getting down on one knee bears resemblance to a few other ceremonial gestures. Back in the 3rd century B.C., bending one knee to the ground was an action depicting great respect for a superior. According to Belle Events, Alexander the Great introduced this etiquette, which spread to medieval Britain, where knights dropped to their knee in a sign of gratitude to his mistress and/or master.
Today, the veil is an integral part of the wedding ensemble for most traditional brides. If you’ve ever seen the popular TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress,” you’ll know that the bridal consultants often place a veil on the bride’s head to finish the look and really give off the feel of being a bride. Oddly enough, this tradition was originally in place to hide the bride from her groom. This way, by the time she lifts her veil at the altar, it was too late for the groom to get cold feet (yikes!).
Throwing the garter/bouquet
The tradition of tossing the garter worn around the bride’s thigh derived back from England and France. According to How Stuff Works, guests would actually go into the wedding chamber and check the bride’s stockings for signs that the marriage had been consummated (again, yikes). Guests would then rush to get a piece of her dress, which was considered good luck. Throwing the bouquet, according to tradition, was also to give one of the wedding guests a piece of good luck.
Back in the day, grooms used to actually abduct brides from their neighbors. Not really sure that would fly today. How Stuff Works noted that these abductions were actually fun-filled rituals. In Norse tradition, the bride and groom would then go into hiding for 30 days (if only we could get that many days off of work). During those days, family or friends of the couple would give them a cup of honey wine, hence where the term honeymoon comes from! A bit different from flying off to a tropical destination for days of relaxation with your new spouse.
Do you plan on taking part in all of these traditions for your big day? Share your thoughts with us!