THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM "TO TIE THE KNOT"

The term "tie the knot" also goes back Roman times. the bride would wear a girdle that was tied in many knots which the groom had the "duty" of untying.


THE ORIGIN OF BRIDAL SHOWERS

Bridal showers were meant to strengthen the ties between the bride and her friends, provide her moral support, and help her prepare for her marriage. Gift giving at showers dates from the 1890's.


THE ORIGIN OF STAG PARTIES

In Sparta, during the height of Greek civilization, soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would have a party for his friends the night before he was to marry. He would bid farewell to his bachelorhood and pledge his continued allegiance to his comrades.


THE ORIGIN OF THE BRIDAL PARTY

This term has many origins from different cultures. In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom had the help of "bridesmen" or "brideknights" to help him capture and/or escort his bride. Later they would make sure that the bride got to the church and to the groom's home afterwards. The women who accompanied and assisted the bride were called "bridesmaids" or "brideswomen".


THE ORIGIN OF THE TRADITIONAL WHITE WEDDING DRESS

In 1499, Ann of Brittany popularized the white wedding gown. Prior to that time, a woman simply wore her best dress or a new dress without regard to the basic color.

THE ORIGIN OF SOMETHING "OLD", "NEW", "BORROWED", AND "BLUE"

The tradition of carrying carrying one or more items that are "old", "new", "borrowed" and "blue" also comes from English. There is an old English rhyme describing the practice which also mentions a sixpence in the brides shoe. Something old, signifying continuity, could be a piece of lace, jewelry, or a grandmother's handkerchief. Something new, signifying optimism in the future, could be an article of clothing or the wedding rings. Something borrowed, signifying future happiness, could be handkerchief from a happily married relative or friend. Something blue, signifying modesty, fidelity and love, comes from early Jewish history. In early Biblical times, blue not white symbolized purity. Both the bride and groom usually wore a band of blue material around the bottom of their wedding attire, hence the tradition of "something blue". Originally the sixpence was presented to the bride by her future husband as a token of his love. Today, very often, it is the bride's father who places a coin in the brides shoe prior to leaving home for the church.

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