Traditions and Superstitions - 50 Fun Facts:
1) A traditional Moroccan wedding ceremony usually lasts four to seven days. This is because, after the couple says their vows, and before the new bride can become the mistress of her new home, she must walk around her house three full times.
2) The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress is good luck.
3) For ancient Greeks and Romans, the bouquet was a pungent mix of garlic, herbs or grains. The garlic was suppose to ward off evil spirits and the herbs or grains were to insure a truthful union.
4) In ancient Poland, it was believed that sprinkling sugar on a bride's bouquet kept her temperament sweet.
5) In China, the color red being used in a wedding ceremony signifies love, joy and prosperity and is used in several different ways. In Chinese wedding traditions the homes of both the bride and groom are usually decorated in red on their wedding day.
6) In the English tradition, Wednesday is considered the "best day" to marry. Although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health.
7) In the Greek culture, if the bride puts a sugar cube into her glove it is said to sweeten her union.
8) The first kiss a bride and groom share at the close of the ceremony has carried special significance through the centuries. Many cultures believed that the couple exchanged spirits with their breath and part of their souls were exchanged as well.
9) In Japan, it is not unusual for the bride to be to be painted in pure white from head to toe. This is done to show the brides maiden status of the gods.
10) The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below.
11) According to the English folklore, Saturday is the unluckiest day to get married.
12) The first wedding comprised of a groom taking his bride by capture. He would take her somewhere hidden away so her relatives and villagers couldn’t find them. There they stayed for one moon phase and drank mea, a wine make from honey, to make them more amorous. Thus, the word honeymoon was born. Today, the honeymoon is the time when the couple can get away for awhile.
13) In Sweden, a bride will wear three bands on her wedding day. One is her engagement ring, another is her wedding ring and the third is a ring for motherhood.
14) According to Hindu traditions, rain on your wedding day is actually good luck.
15) Moroccan women are said to take a milk bath before their wedding in order to purify them.
16) In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds home as a symbol of fertility and luck.
17) Engagement and wedding rings are worn on your left ring finger because it was once said that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
18) One of the oldest wedding traditions, the custom of throwing rice, originated with the ancient Hindus and Chinese. In these cultures, rice is the symbol of fruitfulness and prosperity. Tossing it after the ceremony was believed to bestow fertility upon the bride and groom. Eating rice and other grains was thought to guarantee heath, wealth and happiness for the newlyweds. Today, rice tossing is being replaced by the more ecologic friendly birdseed tossing. This is because uncooked rice is damaging to birds who eat it off the church lawn.
19) In Russia, church weddings are not considered official. This is because couples wanting to get married must exchange vows at a Russian marriage civil ceremony. The bride and groom are given bread and salt to symbolize health, prosperity and long life.
20) Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians towards the end of the fifteenth century.
21) In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness.
22) A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because it holds the shape of a tear.
23) Mystique and romance has surrounded the veil for more than one thousand years. Originally, the veil is thought to have been used to hide the bride from abductors, just as the similar dress of her bridesmaids was meant to do. But a more romantic interpretation evolved later which believed that concealment (as the brides face beneath a veil) rendered what was hidden more valuable. Another early interpretation of the veil was that it symbolized youth and virginity.
24) In Puerto Rico, a priest performing the wedding ceremony will bless a plate of coins and give them to the groom. This is because after the couple exchanges vows the groom gives the plate of coins to his bride, which she keeps as a present from her husband. The coins represent good luck and prosperity for the newlyweds.
25) Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States.
26) Aquamarine represents marital harmony and is said to ensure a long, happy, marriage.
27) Queen Victoria started the western worlds white wedding dress trend in 1840.
28) In Korea, bridges don bright hues of red and yellow for the couple to take their vows.
29) One third of engaged couples retain a wedding consultant.
30) The average household income of a newly married couple is $60,000/year.
31) Nearly 75% of first time brides will receive a diamond engagement ring.
32) In Argentina, the mother of the groom and the father of the bride escort the couple down the aisle and stand next to them during the ceremony. The bridesmaids, a maid of honor or best man are not part of a traditional wedding in Argentina.
33) Brides carry or wear something old on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past.
34) In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross dressed to confuse evil spirits.
35) The tradition of a wedding cake came from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride's head for fertilities sake.
36) The something blue in a bridal ensemble symbolized purity, fidelity and love.
37) 80% of traditional weddings are performed in churches or synagogues.
38) 20% of traditional weddings are preformed in places other than a church or synagogue.
39) Couples spend an average of $4,000 on their honeymoon. That's three times as much as the average United States citizen spends on vacation.
40) In Jamaica, the wedding cake is a dark fruit cake liberally laced with rum.
41) In Bermuda, a tiny sapling is placed on top of the wedding cake. After the wedding, the newlyweds plant the young tree and watch it grow as their marriage grows.
42) In Fiji, the groom presents a valuable gift to the bride's father. This present should be a whales tooth which symbolizes status and wealth.
43) In Denmark, it is a custom to build an arch of pine branches in front of the bride's family's home. This arch is called the gate of honor. When a couple celebrates their silver anniversary, another gate of honor is built.
44) On average 7,000 couples marry each day in the United States.
45) Valentines day and New Years Eve are the two busiest marriage days in Las Vegas.
46) Stag parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor days goodbye with a raucous party.
47) In many cultures around the world, the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple's commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple.
48) 45% of honeymoon trips are to domestic locations. 55% are to foreign places.
49) In Switzerland, the bride wears a crown or wreath symbolizing maidenhood. After the ceremony, the wreath is removed and burned. It is considered good luck if the wreath burns quickly.
50) In Venezuela, it is an old tradition for the newlyweds to sneak out of the reception without sayings goodbye because sneaking out was considered to bring good luck to the marriage. This is not done very often any longer, if at all.