When youÍve questioned the necessity of some element in the wedding, youÍve probably heard your bride say ñWe have to do (insert whatever) because itÍs a tradition.î ItÍs true, wedding are all about tradition, often customs that have been practiced for centuries. For example, todayÍs elegant white wedding dress might not be as modern as it looks; the style is an evolution of the white lace gown first made popularized by Queen Victorian during the 1800s. And, did you know the custom of having groomsmen is stems from European days of yore. Groomsmen were actually body guards for the bride, to ensure that she made it to the groomÍs home with her dowry! Now you know why itÍs expected to give groomsmen gifts.YouÍll be surprised, and perhaps scratching your head in confusion, to learn about some rather strange wedding traditions from the past.




Brides and female relatives of the Tujia people, make crying a priority when it comes to getting married. One month before the wedding, the bride must cry for one hour per day. After ten days, her mother joins in the crying and then ten days later the brideÍs grandmother adds her crying to the wailing song. Believe it or not, the ïcrying songÍ is supposed to be an expression of joy.




‡ Get a pen and paper for a note to self _ stay awake! Supposedly, the first spouse to fall asleep on the wedding night will be the first person to eventually die.




‡ Beware of pigs, lizards or rabbits crossing the road on your wedding day, these are bad omens. On the other hand, seeing rainbows, sunshine, a black cat or chimney sweep are all good omens! Many also still believe that rain on wedding day is good luck




‡ The bride must enter the new home through the front door, being careful not to stumble or fall. This is how the tradition of carrying the bride across the threshold began.




‡ In Southern Sudan people of the Neur tribe believe that the marriage is not complete until the woman has had two children. If she fails to do so, the groom is able to seek a divorce.




‡ The number of ribbons a bride breaks when opening wedding gifts predicts how many children she will bear.




‡ Tying cans to the back of the newlywedÍs getaway car harks back to the ancient days when loud noises were thought to ward off evil spirits.




‡ In the Congo, getting married is nothing to smile about. In order for the union to be taken seriously, the bride and groom are not permitted to smile at each other (or anyone) throughout the entire ceremony.




‡ Wedding guests used to sneak into the newlywedÍs bedroom and snatch their removed stockings; the first guest to fling a stocking and successfully hit either the bride or groom would be the next person to marry.




‡ In France, friends of the bride and groom collect all of the leftovers, bits of trash, and anything else they deem to be sufficiently gross within a toilet bowl which they would then force the bride and groom to drink out of. Today, the trash is often substituted with chocolate; but youÍre still drinking brown stuff out of a real live toilet bowl. WouldnÍt it be much more civilized to use a personalized beer mug or champagne flute?




‡ The first wedding gift a bride opens must be the first wedding gift she uses, no matter how strange or impractical it is. LetÍs hope for your sake, she opens a pretty piece of lingerie.



‡ It is very unlucky for the bride and groom to see each other on the wedding day before the ceremony. This old tradition, which comes from the times when most marriages were arranged, is still one of the most practiced hold-overs from wedding history.





‡ If you though your mom was nosy, youÍll not believe this! Certain villages in Africa require an older woman to accompany the newlyweds into their bedroom on the wedding night in order to ñshow the bride the ropesî. Although this is usually a village elder, sometimes it can be the brides own mother. Maybe if you distract her with a fabulous gift for mom, sheÍll forget about her instructional duties.