First comes love, then comes marriage, and you know the rest. If you have attended a fair share of wedding ceremonies, you may have witnessed some time-tested traditions or perhaps taken special note of obscure customs you haven’t seen. Whatever traditions the lovely couple chooses to practice, chances are the history involved is just as interesting as the wedding itself. Here are a few special traditions that have especially stood the test of time.
Saying I Do:
When it comes to saying I do, modern vows tend to run a bit secular. However, history dictates that many different religions have their own slant on how you say I do. It appears that the oldest mention of a wedding vow is traced to the Book of Common Prayer. Written by Thomas Cranmer, an Archbishop of Canterbury, mostly known for building the case for Henry VIII and his annulment to Catherine of Aragon. While it seems unlikely that the same man would write a book to prompt couples everlasting devotion to one another, this was the same man in charge of reforming the Church of England.
A Circle of Love:
With a perfect circle of never-ending love, who can go wrong? Well, it’s almost never-ending. It seems that the wedding ring dates back older than any other wedding tradition. In fact, some historians date the wedding ring back to ancient Egyptian times. However, Christians started using the ring as a symbol of eternal love in 860. The left ring finger became the finger of choice by the Romans. It’s said that the Romans believed that the ring finger is the “Vein of Love.”
A Sweet Treat:
It appears that in ancient Rome, the Romans crumbled mustaceum, a wedding cake made with grains, over the bride’s head. This ritual was called “confarreatio”–a coming together ceremony–according to Carol Wilson’s book, Wedding Cake: A Slice of History. During the middle ages, it was the English who decided to give the wedding cake height. Smaller cakes were made and stacked on top. Finally, the French added the bride and groom to stabilize the cake. Nowadays, cakes are an art form and ritual that many couples still use today. However, today’s modern twists on cakes range from practical to pure art forms.
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