The wedding shower originated with a Dutch maiden who fell in love with an impoverished miller. Her friends "showered" her and her groom with many gifts so the couple could do without her dowry.
The custom of tiered cakes came from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over an ever-higher cake without knocking it over.
Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the 4th finger of the left hand because it was thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart. The vein was called vena amori, or the vein of love, and early writings on matrimonial procedure suggested that it would be appropriate for one's wedding ring to be worn on that special finger.
Queen Victoria started the Western world's white wedding dress trend in 1840 - before then, brides simply wore their best dress.
A bride is lucky if she wears old shoes.
If a cat sneezes on the day before a wedding, the bride will be lucky in her marriage.
A young bride would wear her hair long and loose as a symbol of her youth and innocence.
It was OK for a woman to propose to a man during a leap year.
If the groom drops the ring during the ceremony, the marriage is doomed.
If you see a rainbow on your wedding day, it is a good sign.
If you see a black cat on your wedding day, it is a good sign.
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.
Queen Victoria's wedding cake weighed a whopping 300 pounds.
The custom of carrying the bride over the threshold stems from the same belief that aroused the idea of runway carpet and strewing the aisle with flowers and petals. It was an ancient belief that the newly married couple was very susceptible to evil spirits. By carrying the bride and supplying a protective layer between the floor and bride, she would be protected from the ground monster.
In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits!
The "something blue" in a bridal ensemble symbolizes purity, fidelity, and love.
In Egypt, the bride's family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can relax.
Pachelbel's "Canon In D" is by far the most requested piece of music for wedding ceremonies - being even more popular than the "Bridal March" and the "Wedding March)
Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. Funny, it's the most popular day of the week to marry!
In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the "best day" to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health.
Priscilla Presley's engagement ring was a whopping 3 1/2-carat rock surrounded by a detachable row of smaller diamonds.
Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the fifteenth century.
In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness.
A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because its shape echoes that of a tear.
One of history's earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time.
Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States!
Elton John’s once charged £2 million to secure him singing at a wedding.
All of Henry VIII’s wives were related to each other.
A Malaysian man holds the record for being the best man at over 1000 weddings.
In South Africa, the parents of both bride and groom traditionally carried fire from their hearths to light a new fire in the newlyweds' hearth.
A best man found himself married to the bride after a mix up in 1920. Albert Muldoon had walked up to the Alter with the groom and stood on his left but on seeing him in the position the priest addressed all the questions to him. Muldoon replied to them all, and the mix up was only discovered when the real groom wanted to sign the register. A second wedding ceremony was quickly arranged.
An old wives' tale: If the younger of two sisters marries first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband.
In 1976 Los Angeles secretary Jannene Swift officially married a 50lb rock. The ceremony was witnessed by more than 20 people.
Movie star Joan Crawford would change over all the toilet seats in her house whenever she married a new husband.
In many cultures around the world the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple's commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple. This the origin of the phrase tying the knot").
Temulji Nairman and Lady Nairman hold the record for the longest ever recorded marriage of 86 years. They were married at 5 years old.
One man notched up 104 bigamous marriages in 15 countries between 1949 and 1981. When he was brought to charge they were unsure which aliases he used, as he had so many. He was sentenced in 1983 to 34 years in prison and died in 1991.
The Roman goddess Juno rules over marriage, the hearth, and childbirth, hence the popularity of June weddings.
Princess Victoria established the tradition of playing Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" during her wedding processional in 1858.
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 other suitors.
The Catholic tradition of "posting the banns" to announce a marriage originated as a way to ensure the bride and groom were not related.
The longest wedding dress was found in Germany with a length of 515 feet.
Egyptian men thought it distasteful to deflower their new brides and gave the chore to a hired servant.
In China 26,000 couples get married ever day.
Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England -- the coils winding into a circle symbolized eternity.
Aquamarine represents marital harmony and is said to ensure a long, happy marriage.
In Asia, wearing robes with embroidered cranes symbolizes fidelity for the length of a marriage.
Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.
On her wedding day, Grace Kelly wore a dress with a bodice made from beautiful 125-year-old lace.
In Japan, white was always the color of choice for bridal ensembles -- long before Queen Victoria popularized it in the Western world.
Most expensive wedding ever? The marriage of Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum's son to Princess Salama in Dubai in May 1981. The price tag? $44 million.
When he was due to marry Marie Henrietta in 1853, Leopold II King of the Belgians was too sick so his brother the Archduke Charles stood in for him by proxy.
One bride - after discovering her groom-to-be wearing her wedding dress and locked in a passionate embrace with the best man on the night before their big day - quite rightly cancelled the wedding.
The knife used to cut up their wedding cake was again put in use shortly after at the reception, when a French bride stabbed her husband of a few hours in 1995.
Keeping track of all his many lovers was impossible for Casanova and when he went to ask for his girlfriend Leonilda’s hand in marriage her mother screamed and fainted when she realised he was to be her future son-in-law. She had in the past been one of Casanova’s lovers and Leonilda was actually his own daughter.
Half way through his wedding ceremony the King of France (Philip I Augustus) decided he did not like his bride. Immediately after the ceremony he locked up his new Danish wife Ingeborg in a nunnery where she lived out her remaining years.
One bride must hold the record for the most distressful wedding day ever! Princess Maria del Pozzo della Cisterno wedding was marked by not one unforgettable event but six of them. The day she married the Duke D’Aosta (the son of the King of Italy) in 1867: her wardrobe mistress hung herself and the palace gatekeeper cut his throat. Further events to mar the day was the death of the colonel who was leading the wedding procession who collapsed from sunstroke and the stationmaster was crushed to death underneath the honeymoon train’s wheels. If that was not enough the best man shot himself and the King’s aide fell from his horse and was killed instantly.
Brides should tuck a sugar cube into their glove -- according to Greek culture, the sugar will sweeten their union.
Rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck, according to Hindu tradition!
Ancient Romans studied pig entrails to determine the luckiest time to marry.
The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck.For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day.
Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice.
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