Wedding Trivia: Why Do Brides Do That?

I am not a believer that there’s any one “right” way to do a wedding, but let’s face it. There are certain age-old traditions and customs that when you put them all together, you have yourself a wedding. White dress…check! Bouquet…check! Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue…check! I’m a lover of random trivia and factoids, but the WHY’s behind most wedding customs and traditions are knowledge that had escaped me…until now. My curiosity recently got the best of me, and I hit up Google in search of answers. I’ll be sharing those answers with you in installments, the first of which is today! So fellow trivia lovers, may the information contained herein provide you with the ability to one-up the other team(s) at your next quiz night!

Custom:  Traditionally, the bride and groom choose not to see each other on the wedding day prior to the ceremony.

The Why:  Back in the days of feudalism, way before people got to marry for LOVE like we do today, marriage was considered a business transaction. Lord So-and-So wanted to earn the king’s favor, so he’d make an agreement with Lord Such-and-Such that his daughter would marry Lord Such-and-Such’s son. In exchange, Lord So-and-So would get perhaps a parcel of land, or additional men-at-arms, or maybe Lord Such-and-Such would get a new title. Many times, these marriages were arranged without the bride and groom ever having met. (I know, so romantic, right?) In spite of the fact that marriage was simply a business deal, that didn’t stop Lord Such-and-Such’s son from preferring a fair maiden, as opposed to one of Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters. So to ensure that everything went the way it was supposed to on the wedding day, the bride and groom were often not allowed to meet beforehand. After all, if the bride wasn’t comely, it certainly wouldn’t be advantageous to give the groom a reason to back out of the wedding before all the I’s were dotted and T’s crossed. In fact, some marriage ceremonies took place without the groom seeing the bride until afterwards, when he was finally able to lift her veil! The tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other prior to the wedding eventually just became one of those things you do when you get married, as did the bride wearing a veil. Interesting, huh?

For our own wedding, Kirk and I stuck to tradition for the most part. But this is one tradition we did buck. We opted to have a “First Look” and see each other before the wedding ceremony so we could exchange gifts, admire one another in our wedding finery and steal a couple of kisses before the big show began. Untraditional? Yes. Do I regret it? Not for a minute!!! In fact, that’s the part of our wedding day that I remember best — after the ceremony began, the day seemed to just fly by and although I know it was one of the most wonderful days of my life (matched only by the births of our children), it’s mostly a blur!

Our "first look." (Photo by Richelle Brown Weddings)

Our “first look.” (Photo by Richelle Brown Weddings)

How about you? Will you (or did you) stay traditional or will you (did you) choose to spend a few moments together before your wedding ceremony? And what other wedding traditions would you like to hear about? Leave us a comment below!

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