Have you ever been to a wedding and wondered why you were participating in the ritual? Most brides and grooms have no idea where many things come from. The upcoming movie JUMPING THE BROOM is a hilarious comedy that tackles the wedding ceremony that forces two divergent families to get along. Today the world is watching the United Kingdom celebrate the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. There is tradition to marriage. It is not only the marrying of families but the adoption of traditions.
Here are the 11 most used wedding traditions explained in detail:
1-Jumping the broom Is custom relating to wedding ceremonies practiced in Wales and African Americans. The Welsh had a centuries-old custom called “broom-stick wedding” alluded to in Dundes’ work. Local variations of the custom were developed in different parts of England and Wales. Instead of placing the broom on the ground, and jumping together, the broom was placed in an angle by the doorway. The groom jumped first, followed by the bride. In some African-American communities, marrying couples will end their ceremony by jumping over a broomstick, either together or separately. This practice dates back at least to the 19th century and has enjoyed a 20th century revival largely due to the miniseries Roots
2″I pledge thee my through” /With this ring I wed :Traditionally the wedding pledge is made in front of family and friends who take special pains to stand up and witness our pledge. The wedding pledge is to be true and faithful and loving to another human being. To wed is both the most basic of all human pledges, and at the same time the most sublime
3-Best Man-: As marriages were historically accomplished by capture (the groom would kidnap the woman), a warrior friend was often employed. This best man would help the groom fight off other men who wanted the captured woman, and would also help in preventing the woman’s family from finding the couple.
4-The bridal party -. When the groom was about to abduct his bride, he needed the help of many friends, the “brides-men” or “bride-knights.” The “gentlemen” would make sure the bride got to the ceremony on time and to the groom’s house afterwards. The bride also had women to help her. These were known as the “bridesmaids” or “brides-women.”
5-Bride on the left, Groom on the right:When the groom fought off warriors who also wanted his bride, he would hold onto her with his left hand, while fighting them off with his sword in his right hand (we suppose there were no Southpaws in those days of yore), which is why the bride stands on the left, and the groom on the right.
6-Something Blue:In Biblical days – blue represented purity. Thus the bride and groom would wear a blue band around the bottom of their wedding attire, hence something blue.
7-Stag Parties/ Bachelor Parties :Ancient Spartan soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would feast with his male friends on the night before his wedding. In this event he would say good-bye to the carefree days of bachelorhood and swear continued allegiance to his comrades.
8-Veil: Along with these kidnappings and bartering, there were also arranged marriages. In these, the groom’s family informed him that he was to marry…but they very rarely let him see the bride. After all, if the groom didn’t like the bride’s looks, he might not agree to the marriage. With this in mind, the father of the bride gave the bride away to the groom who then lifted the veil to see his wife of all eternity for the first time. (I have to wonder how many of these grooms voiced their reactions aloud.)
9-Throwing Rice/Flowers At Couple-The bride and groom first ate rice together to be married, and then rice was sprinkled over them. In some cases, rice was used at weddings not to bring the bride and groom together, but to protect them from evil spirits. It was believed that these spirits always appeared at a marriage, and by throwing rice after the married couple, these evil spirits were fed and kept from doing harm to the newlyweds. But for most ancient peoples, rice was a symbol of fruitfulness.
10-Giving away the bride: All of our society’s gender issues stem from the fact that fathers once used their daughters as currency to a) pay off a debt to a wealthier land owner, b) symbolize a sacrificial, monetary peace offering to an opposing tribe or c) buy their way into a higher social strata. So next time you tear up watching a beaming father walk his little girl down the aisle, remember that it’s just a tiny, barbaric little hold over from the days when daughters were nothing but dollar signs to daddy dearest.
11-Tossing of the garter/bouquet It used to be that after the bride and groom said, “I do,” they were to go immediately into a nearby room and consummate the marriage. Obviously, to really make it official, there would need to be witnesses, which basically led to hordes of wedding guests crowding around the bed, pushing and shoving to get a good view and hopefully to get their hands on a lucky piece of the bride’s dress as it was ripped from her body.