Wedding Traditions

Did you know…? :

Wedding traditions have been passed down for generations now. But those generations have come from all across the globe! Do you ever wonder where they’ve come from? Here’s a short list of where some of our favorite traditions have come from.

– The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below. (Does anyone really do this anymore?!)

– At the conclusion of Jewish ceremonies, the groom (and in some modern ceremonies, the bride as well) smashes a glass with his foot. The meaning of this act is disputed. One interpretation is that the marriage will last as long as the glass is broken– forever. Another interpretation is that people need to remember those who are suffering even in their greatest moments of joy.

– The ceremonial jumping of the broom served as an open declaration of settling down in a marriage relationship. Most marriages between enslaved blacks were not legally recognized during American slavery, as in law marriage was held to be a civil contract, and civil contracts required the consent of free persons. In the absence of legal recognition, other methods of distinguishing between committed and casual unions evolved among the slave community. Jumping the broom was always done before witnesses as a public ceremony.

– Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.

– Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the fifteenth century.

– The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake.

– The bride stands to the groom’s left during a Christian ceremony because in bygone days the groom needed his right hand free to fight off suitors (bygone day weddings must have been much more exciting!)

– The bride stands on the grooms right during a Jewish ceremony. The position of the bride on the right side of the groom is based on an interpretation of a verse in Psalms (45:10) “The queen stands on your right hand in fine gold of Ophir.” (In Jewish tradition the bride is a queen, and the groom a king.)



Are you curious about any wedding traditions? What are some of your favorites?