5 Unexpected Origins of Modern Wedding Traditions

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Love and lore go hand-in-hand, and weddings carry a rich history of traditions, many with incredible origins. 

Join us as we explore the unexpected origins of 5 modern wedding traditions, and how they came to be.

1. The Engagement Ring 

Ever wondered how the engagement ring tradition began? In 1215, Pope Innocent III introduced a waiting period between betrothal and marriage, and engaged couples started displaying their commitment with a ring. Bling! 

2. Wedding Bouquet

The tradition of carrying a bouquet of flowers on the wedding day stems from England. Hundreds of years ago, it was believed that a piece of the bride's dress would carry good luck. To stop women from ruining the dress, the bride would toss the bouquet and made a swift exit. 

3. The Ring Finger

The reason we wear an engagement or wedding ring on the ring finger? Because the romantic Romans believed that the vein in the fourth finger on the left hand runs directly to the heart. The Romans call this vein the "vena amoris", or vein of love. 

4. Wedding Standing Order

A common question that brides and grooms ask is “which side do we stand on?". Traditionally, the groom will stand to the left of the bride - but why? This stems from the old days of 'marriage by capture', where the groom will need to have his right hand (his sword arm) free to defend the bride rival suitors. 

5. Tiered Wedding Cake

The wedding cake has a wealth of intriguing traditions and superstitions surrounding it. It was believed that in medieval England, the bridal couple would lead a prosperous life together if they successfully kissed over a multi-tiered cake. Cakes were stacked higher and higher, creating a light-hearted game that came to influence modern day wedding cakes. 

Written by Rachel Westbury. Image by Chris Hall Photography

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