There are over 2.4 million weddings performed every year in the U.S., and while many couples in search of their dream wedding follow some of the most well-known traditions, many don’t know the true stories behind where they come from. If you are planning your dream wedding this year, here are four facts about some of the most common wedding traditions that you probably didn’t know.
The Origin of White Wedding Dresses
No dream wedding is complete without an iconic wedding dress. A white wedding dress is something that many brides dream of, and it is seen both as a symbol of marriage and one of the most traditional dress colors. However, this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, the white wedding dress actually originated with Queen Victoria during her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Although red wedding dresses were common at this time, Queen Victoria chose a white satin dress for her wedding; a choice that ended up having a greater impact than anyone could have predicted.
While some may think that the Queen chose white as a display of purity, something that white wedding dresses are associated with today, the color was actually chosen to be a display of wealth. This is because white, being a color that’s difficult to clean, was seen as something that would only be worn once, which was a luxury few of the time could afford. If you are choosing to wear a white dress for your dream wedding, take pride in the knowledge that you’re upholding a rich, royal tradition. After all, on your special day, you should absolutely feel like a queen.
The Ring Finger Has Roman Origins
Wedding rings are a symbol of love and commitment, and no dream wedding could be complete without their exchange. However, while this is a long-standing tradition, many people don’t realize where the significance of the placement comes from. Stemming from a belief held in ancient Rome, the placement of wedding rings on the fourth finger comes from the belief that a vein, called the vena amoris (vein of love), ran from this finger to the heart. While the vena amoris doesn’t exist, past belief in it has had a lasting impact on why we wear wedding rings on our fourth fingers.
Getting Married In June
June has traditionally been one of the most popular months to be married, and the origin of this once again comes from the Romans. The reason for June’s popularity comes from the goddess Juno, who was a protector of women in marriage and childbearing. It was considered good luck to marry during her month in order to secure a happy and healthy marriage. If you have chosen a June date for your dream wedding, not only can you count on comfortable weather, but you will also be participating in this long-standing tradition that stretches back to ancient times.
Thresholds and Evil Spirits
Once again stemming from ancient Rome, the tradition of carrying your bride across the threshold originated from the belief that the spirits of past inhabitants resided in new homes, and carrying a bride over the threshold was meant to protect her and provide the couple with good luck. Although today most people aren’t concerned about upsetting spirits, this is one tradition that prevails, even as the knowledge of its origins has faded.
Numerous wedding traditions prevail today, and these are only four of many that most couples don’t know the origins of. If you are planning your dream wedding and incorporating any of these four, keep in mind the facts behind them in mind as you carry them on for yet another generation.