If you’ve recently started planning your wedding, you may be wondering about some of the weirder traditions that you’re expected to follow. From throwing your garter into the crowd to having your husband carry you across the threshold, there are a huge variety of quirky traditions and superstitions built around the big day. To help you decide which of these you’re going to follow and which you’re going to sidestep, we’re taking a look at some of the weirder origins of these well known traditions.
Throwing the garter
If the idea of throwing a piece of ‘sexy’ underwear at your mum, grandma and aunties, feels a little weird, you’re not alone. This unusual tradition can be traced back to France. As @bustle explains, “In France, brides had even more to worry about, as it was common practice for guests to rush her at the altar, hoping to snag a piece of her dress for good luck.” However, some crowds would become a little too eager to get their wedding souvenir and it wasn’t uncommon for brides to be overwhelmed by people trying to get their piece of the dress. To help keep their dress intact, fast thinking brides started throwing their garters into the congregation to pacify the over-enthusiastic crowds.
The best man
These days, the most difficult task faced by the best man is getting the crowd to crack a smile during his all-important speech. However, for many years, the best man was more or less responsible for the entire wedding. Traditionally, the groom would choose the ‘best man’ from among his tribe or village. This would generally be the strongest or cleverest of the bunch. The best man would then be tasked with stealing or kidnapping the bride from her family home and bringing her to the ceremony. If he didn’t do his job, there would be no wedding at all.
The tradition of the honeymoon actually follows straight on from that of the best man. Following the kidnapping of the bride, the groom would have to lay low for a while to avoid any repercussions. At the end of this period, the bride’s family would either stop looking for her or acquiesce to the marriage, giving the groom the chance to move home and get on with married life.
Carrying the bride across the threshold
In order for brides to seem pure and virtuous, they had to put up a bit of a fight before submitting to their husbands. It became a tradition for newly married women to struggle as they entered the house of their new husband. The groom would therefore have to pick up his wife and carry her over the threshold into her new home.
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