Wedding traditions: why bridesmaids, bridal veils and bells?


A happy couple gets rice thrown at them as they leave the church after their wedding. Source: (

Weddings have a long tradition, and let’s be honest, some of them are pretty weird. A quick look at the origins of many of today’s wedding traditions reveals commonalities. And it’s not love. These traditions were born as a means of warding off evil spirits that literally ruined the wedding day and brought bad luck to the wedding. Wedding of newlyweds. Let’s take a look at some of these wedding traditions and see how people have invented ways to charm spirits in the past.

Bridesmaids in Matching Dresses

You might think that the purpose of a bridesmaid at a wedding is to have friends and family stand by and show support for the bride’s big day, but you’d be wrong. . In the past, the purpose of bridesmaids was to have several women wear wedding dresses to ward off evil spirits. If a woman attending a wedding today could do something like this, the bride would of course be beaten, but back then, one of the bridesmaids would have had bad luck and the bride would have survived unscathed. It had been. for a long time. long haul. a happy marriage.

Wedding Veil

The “evil eye” curse was of great concern to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Jealous people, mean people, and evil spirits can cast evil eyes on the bride on her wedding day. The bride wore a cloth veil so that the power of the evil eye would not affect her. It also helped brides going into arranged marriages, especially young women whose attractiveness was questionable. They were able to hide their simplicity behind a veil until their marriage was over.

Bridal Bouquets

Today, brides walk down the aisle carrying beautifully scented bouquets, but that wasn’t always the case. In ancient Greece, brides carried bouquets of spices, plants and spicy herbs. The more it stinks, the better. They thought that the fragrant herbal concoction would keep evil spirits away, giving them no chance to curse the newlyweds for their bad luck.

Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold

The quaint but romantic tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold when a couple returns home has nothing to do with the groom’s eagerness to carry the bride into the bedroom. . As you might guess, it has something to do with evil spirits. In many ancient cultures, the threshold of the house was a favorite abode of evil spirits. These spirits were expected to hitchhike into the house if someone crossed the threshold. Sometimes I would cling to the soles of people who tried to get inside. The groom carried the bride over the threshold so that she would be protected from evil spirits and not accidentally taken to a new house.

Wedding Bells Ring

After a church wedding, church bells are often rung to let the world know that the happy couple has just got married. Bells are also a popular motif for weddings outside of churches. Medieval people believed that the sound of church bells warded off evil spirits that lurked within the church to spread evil.

Rice Rain

On their wedding anniversary, as the newlyweds leave the church, they are greeted by a rain of rice (or bird seeds if eco-friendly). Rice has a double meaning. First, it is a symbol of fertility, so throwing rice at newlyweds is a way to encourage reproduction. Secondly, rice literally feeds on evil spirits, so they don’t have to feed on the good vibes of the happy couple. Like the dead, it was believed that marriage-destroying evil spirits could be distracted from their malevolent missions by free food.