Nup­tial trivia

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

In many cul­tures, the groom his­tor­i­cally of­ten kid­napped the bride, and the groom’s friends would help him, lead­ing to the mod­ern-day grooms­men.

At the al­tar, the groom al­ways stood on the bride’s right side so his right hand -- or his sword hand would be free to fight off a jeal­ous ri­val.

Flower girls tra­di­tion­ally threw flower petals in the bride’s path to lead her to a sweet, plen­ti­ful fu­ture.

Nearly all cul­tures have show­ered the wed­ding cou­ple with sym­bolic food. For ex­am­ple, early Ro­mans or Greeks threw nuts, dates, and seed-bear­ing plants.

Throw­ing rice at wed­dings sym­bol­izes fer­til­ity, pros­per­ity, and bounty. In some coun­tries, the bride might even carry or wear sheaves of grain. How­ever, many mod­ern churches and wed­ding lo­ca­tions dis­cour­age rice-throw­ing be­cause rice can be fa­tal for birds who eat it.

Guests in an­cient times would tear off part of the bride’s gown as to­kens of good luck, lead­ing to the tra­di­tion of the bride throw­ing both her garter and her bou­quet.

A wed­ding cake is tra­di­tion­ally a sym­bol of good luck and fer­til­ity and has been a part of wed­ding cel­e­bra­tions since Ro­man times, when a small bun, sym­bol­iz­ing fer­til­ity, was bro­ken above the bride’s head at the close of the cer­e­mony. Dur­ing the Mid­dle Ages, cus­tom re­quired the bride and groom to kiss over small cakes.

The phrase “ty­ing the knot” ini­tially came from an an­cient Baby­lo­nian cus­tom in which threads from the clothes of both the bride and bride­groom were tied in a knot to sym­bol­ize the cou­ple’s union.

Gerry and Ca­role Poll, June 21, 1975, Sut­ton, Québec Marie-France La­celle and Joël Ques­nel, Oc­to­ber 4, 2014, Église St-Alphonse-de-Liguori, Hawkes­bury

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