Everything you wanted to know about weddings, but weren’t sure who to ask

So, you are getting married – congratulations!  Over the coming months you are going to be doing a lot of planning, talking and thinking on the subject of weddings.  Sometimes it can all get terribly serious, with one decision after another – I thought this was supposed to be fun?! In this post we lighten the mood with some wedding trivia.  Quirky facts from times past, foreign cultures and ancient folklore.  Hopefully, they’ll give you amusing food for thought and enable you to show off a surprising encyclopaedic knowledge that’s sure to impress family and friends - enjoy!

Lucky you…

  • Why does the groom carry the bride over the threshold…what’s all that about?  Ancient tradition has it that this will protect her from evil spirits lurking below.
  • In Finland brides-to-be would go door-to-door collecting gifts in a pillowcase.  They would be accompanied by an older married man who represented long marriage.
  • Sticking a sugar cube in your glove will sweeten your marriage – or so the Greeks think.
  • In olden times if you found a spider lurking in your wedding dress that was a good omen – but scary none the less!
  • In Holland a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds' home as a symbol of fertility and luck.
  • According to English folklore Saturday is the most inauspicious day on which to wed – that one has obviously been forgotten in the mists of time!  Wednesday was considered the "best day" to marry, although Monday was for wealth and Tuesday for health.
  • Ancient Romans studied pig entrails to determine the luckiest time to marry.  Yeuch!
  • In Sweden the bride puts a silver coin from her father, and a gold coin from her mother, in each shoe (uncomfortable?).  This is supposed to ensure that she'll be richer rather than poorer.
  • Hindus believe that if it rains on your wedding day this is actually a good sign.
  • Moroccan women bathe in milk to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony.

Ring of truth

  • Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because in ancient times it was believed that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.  
  • Each gem stone has its own symbolic meaning.  A sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness.  A pearl engagement ring is thought to be bad luck because its shape is said to resemble that of a tear.  Aquamarine represents marital harmony and is said to ensure a long, happy marriage.
  • Priscilla Presley's engagement ring was a whopping three and a half 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.
  • One of history's earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was only two years old, so it was very small!
  • How many tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States?  Seventeen!
  • Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England—the coils winding into a circle symbolized eternity.

Fashion facts

  • Queen Victoria started the white wedding dress trend in 1840 - before then, brides simply wore their best dress, whatever colour that was.
  • Where did the veil idea come from?  Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits…and the rest is history.
  • In Asia, wearing robes with embroidered cranes symbolizes fidelity for the length of a marriage.
  • In Korea, brides like to take their vows adorned in bright red and yellow.
  • In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits – can’t see that catching on over here!
  • Wearing or carrying "something old" on your wedding day symbolises continuity with the past, while "something blue" in a bridal ensemble symbolises purity, fidelity and love.

Food of love

  • Get married in Egypt and the bride's family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can relax – sounds good, but you might want a bit of time to yourselves?
  • 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.
  • Where did the wedding cake tradition come from?  It is thought to have started in ancient Rome, where guests broke a loaf of bread over a bride's head as a symbol of fertility.
  • Queen Victoria's wedding cake weighed a whopping 300 pounds – she liked her food!
  • How’s this for an old wives' tale?  If the younger of two sisters marries first, the older one must dance barefoot at the wedding or run the risk of never landing a husband.

So, there you go – everything you never really needed to know about weddings!  However, if there is more useful and practical information you need then just ask us.  We’re more than happy to share our knowledge and experience to make everything run as smooth as silk on your big day.