Sep 13, 2018

Random Thursday

It's time to return to the Customs chapter from The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox! Let's see what new and interesting things we'll learn about customs we likely never thought twice about! This week actually stuck to the theme of weddings! As the facts went on they switched over to parties in general, so we'll read about those next week!

(image borrowed from Pinterest)
June became a popular month for weddings way back with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Romans favored June because it was named after the goddess, Juno, who was the goddess of marriage. It was thought that if the bride conceived right away she wouldn't be too pregnant to help with the harvest and that she would likely be recovered from pregnancy to help in time for next year's harvest in the fields.

(image borrowed from People/How Stuff Works)
The history behind carrying the bride over a threshold does not have a happy backstory! In fact, it's rather scary! It dates back to around 200 AD with the Germanic Goths. When the supply of marriageable women became low, the men would raid nearby villages and kidnap young girls to take home and make them their wives. Somehow from this barbaric act, we got the whole act of carrying the bride over the threshold.

Yeah, that's just creepy! 

(image borrowed from Holy Trinity & St. Saviour's Church)
The act of announcing wedding banns before a marriage began in 800 AD when the Holy Roman emperor Charlemagne was alarmed by the high rate of interbreeding in the empire. He ordered that all marriages must be publicly announced at least a week before the ceremony and that anyone knowing that the bride and groom were related must come forward.

Oh. My. I get that interbreeding was a thing wayyyy back when, and gross. But to think that Charlemagne had to do this to help stop interbreeding was a bit disturbing, but good for him!

(image borrowed from Etsy)
The tradition of something old, something  new, something borrowed, something blue was basically to help promote a happy marriage. The something old was to remind the couple of their happiness while dating, the something new was to represent the success of their new life together, the something borrowed was to symbolize the support of their friends and family, and the bride was to have something blue because blue was a the color of fidelity. The bride was also to wear a garter from her single girlfriend to improve her prospects of marriage.

That was actually rather interesting! Though I don't remember hearing about the silver sixpence in her shoe that the picture talks about. Guess I should've bought myself a garter before my sister's wedding and had her wear it too! Though I was pretty much the only single one there, so I can't say it would've helped! LOL!

(image borrowed from Watch Friends Online)
The act of having a best man dates back to ancient times when marriages were arranged and the bride's preferred choice would come and carry her off during the wedding. It became a custom that the groom would have a "best man" at his side who would act as a guard and basically keep anyone from stealing the bride away!

And to think now, the best man has a happier note to it! 

(image borrowed from
The wedding reception that comes after the wedding soon gained the name "bridal party" as well as the formerly mentioned one. It was around 1200, other terms used were bridal feast, bridal bed, and bridal cake and it's not necessarily related to the Bride herself, but the drink that was often had. The drink was "bride-ale", this was a special beer brewed for weddings and then it was sold to guests to raise money for the newlyweds. As you might assume, this would lead to some rowdy parties and it wasn't until the 17th century that the church managed to get things under control.

Or did they? Lol! Though I've attended like 3 weddings already this year, I didn't stay all that long for the receptions. They weren't super rowdy but you always hear about those other receptions happening down the hall! LOL!


  1. Have you seen Adam Ruins Everything? He has a short episode on weddings and how they're terrible. I highly recommend.

    I DID NOT know that about carrying the bride over the threshold. Gross.

  2. I had no idea how any of these traditions started, and I found them all fascinating (and sometimes scary!). Thanks for sharing!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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