Wedding Traditions Explained
The Best Man
In ancient times, men sometimes captured women to make them their brides, and would take along his strongest and most trusted friend to help him fight resistance from the woman's family. This friend was considered the best man among his friends. In Anglo-Saxon England, the best man accompanied the groom up the aisle to help defend the bride.
Tossing the Bouquet
Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that stems from England. Women used to rip pieces of the bride's dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Today the bouquet is tossed to single women with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry.
Giving Away the Bride
The tradition of the father giving away his daughter goes back to the days of arranged marriages. Daughters in those times were considered their father's property. Therefore, it was the father's right to give his child to the groom, usually for a price. Today a father giving away his daughter is a symbol of his blessing of the marriage.
Bride on Groom's Left
Grooms in Anglo-Saxon England often had to defend their brides, the bride would stand to the left of her groom so that his sword arm was free.