I bet you see the same traditions at every wedding, and maybe you plan to have them at yours too - the bridal bouquet, the veil, the wedding party - But why? Okay, you know the reason for most, but many wedding traditions have spooky origins that we might have deliberately forgotten.
How Evil Spirits are Involved in Your Wedding Day Traditions
Why does a bride have to hold flowers? Why does she wear a veil? Who was the first couple to tie cans to the back of their getaway car?
Often, we’ve become so accustomed to these wedding traditions that we don’t question why it’s expected, why we do it, or think to do any different.
This Halloween, our Wedgewood Weddings team looked at how many of our common wedding day traditions originated from fear of evil spirits… The answers might surprise or spook you!
1. Beautiful Bridesmaids
You can always spot the bride at a wedding. She stands out against her squad and her bridesmaids wear a different dress style, a different color, and rock a completely different hair style. But centuries ago, bridesmaids dressed to look like the bride to act as decoys to confuse evil spirits or protect her from potential kidnappers!
2. Hiding Happiness
A bride’s veil played an important role back when arranged marriages were popular, so the groom wouldn’t know what his bride looked like till the very last second. However, Ancient Romans were the first to use a veil in the wedding ceremony, because they believed that blissful brides attracted evil spirits. The veil was used to cover her face so evil spirits couldn’t get jealous of her happiness and try to ruin her day.
3. A Smelly Bouquet
Ancient Greek brides carried bundles of garlic, herbs, and spices with them on their wedding day since they believed that these various herbs could ward off evil spirits. Some believe that, as time went on, brides started using flowers instead to cover up their smell, considering people didn’t shower often in ancient times… Attractive.
4. Throwing a Good Luck Charm
Why do brides throw a garter or bouquet to their guests? This one is a little frightening: in medieval times, people thought wedding dresses were good luck so they would try to take a piece of the bride's gown, leaving her in tatters. Rumor says, this sometimes went too far and the bride would be harried by a gleeful and out of control mob. Eventually people found their common sense – or decided wedding dresses were too expensive -- and agreed that giving away a smaller item was just as lucky.
5. Noisy Spirit Busters
With all the superstition surrounding weddings back in the day, newlyweds originally tied cans to the back of their getaway car at the end of the night thinking that the clanking sound would keep evil spirits away.
6. Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold
Grooms carried their brides over the threshold in Ancient Rome. Was it chivalrous? Maybe – they believed it protected them from the demons living the floor... Uhh maybe move?
With as much pressure you face on your wedding day, be thankful you don’t also have to worry about evil spirits trying to get to you…! And if anything does go wrong, at least you don’t have to face unexpected floor demons on your wedding day. So, share with your friends and find out if they’ve heaved any spooky wedding traditions.