Learn About Wedding Traditions

There are lots of interesting and primitive wedding traditions connected with weddings. We are still practicing a lot of those customs today even though they have evolved to have different meanings.


  • Marriages started out in primitive times not as a couple marrying each other but marrying a whole tribe for protection. Marriage for couples came much later. Talk about Extended Family!
  • Many tribes had laws forbidding intermarriage, thus women were kidnapped and were forced to marry someone they didn't even know. The first male attendants of the groom were close friends who helped him fight off the bride's relatives as he kidnapped her. What a way to start a marriage!
  • Bridesmaids wore dresses very much like the bride's and the usher's and best man dressed like the groom. This was done to confuse evil spirits or anyone who meant harm to the bride and groom. It was believed they wouldn't know who the real bride and groom were. Sometimes today you can be just a little stunned by the bridesmaid dresses if you're not careful.
  • Before flowers, garlic, herbs and grains were carried to ward off evil spirits when the bride walked down the aisle. Thank goodness that wedding tradition was replaced with flowers to symbolize fertility and eternal love. Now the bride doesn't look like she's preparing a spaghetti dinner when she's walking down the aisle.
  • Wedding gowns haven't always been elaborate or white. Brides just wore the best dress they had until the mid nineteenth century when the white dress was made popular by Queen Victoria. Today, lucky for you, anything goes. Whatever makes you happy!
  • Veils were originally worn to show modesty and were worn at the ceremony as a symbol of her promise to obey her husband. The veil wasn't lifted to show her face until the ceremony was over. We're so glad today they are worn just to look pretty.
  • The ring is our favorite of the wedding traditions. Wedding rings started with the Egyptians. The circle represents eternity and the early rings were made of braided grass, hay, leather, bone and ivory. The ring finger is said to have a vein connected to the heart. 
  • In Rome, the first wedding cakes were loaves of bread and were broken over the bride's head as a blessing for a long life and children. We think that's where the smashing of cake in the face came from. 
  • "Something old" symbolizes a link to the bride's family and the past. A piece of family jewelry or her mother's wedding dress is a lovely way to wear something old. "Something new" has to do with good fortune and success in the bride' new life. This one is self explanatory. "Something borrowed" represents the love and support of family and friends. You may borrow an object from a happily married friend. "Something blue" is an object that symbolizes faithfulness and loyalty. You can use a garter, ribbon, jewelry, shoes, handkerchief, flowers or anything blue for this one. You, however, definitely won't be blue on your wedding day.

It is fun to look at how wedding traditions started and it's nice to keep some wedding traditions, but you can still strive to make your wedding unique and one that says who you are.