Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wedding Traditions and Customs: How Much Do You Know?

You know you need flowers. You know you need cake. You know you need a bunch of girls standing around in likely-clad clothes. But do you dear, bride-to-be, know why? Wedding traditions such as these have been passed down through the generations. We follow the rules often without a second thought and most of time without fully understanding W-H-Y.

Today, we can test our knowledge of wedding customs and see if we can uncover where these 10 wedding traditions came from.

1. Why does the bride carry flowers?
a. So she doesn’t have to take a shower
b. Because brides in the past carried foul-smelling garlands to ward off evil spirits
c. Because orange blossom represent fruit and flowers and are the world renowned wedding flower

2. Why do brides carry something “blue?”
a. Because it reflects purity
b. Because in ancient Israel the color blue denoted love, modesty and fidelity
c. It rhymes with new

3. Why do we say “tie the knot?”
a. Because in Roman times, the bride wore a girdle the groom got to “untie” after the wedding
b. Because if the bride can tie a cherry stem with her tongue, she is good marriage potential
c. Because men used to race to tie a knot in a rope and whoever was finished first, won the bride

4. Why do we hold bridal showers?

a. To help the bride relieve stress
b. So the bride and groom don’t have to buy as much stuff for their new house
c. From the days when a bride’s father wouldn’t approve of the marriage and provide a dowry-the village pitched in to help the bride get married

5. Why do we have a first kiss during a wedding ceremony?
a. Because in ancient times the groom had never kissed his bride and he couldn’t wait any longer
b. To make sure the bride knew how to kiss. If she didn’t, the groom could cancel the wedding
c. Because in ancient Roman times, the kiss represented a legal bond

6. Why do we eat cake during a wedding reception?
a. So everyone can share the sweetness of the couple’s new marriage
b. Because it represented fertility in ancient days
c. Uhm. Duh! Because who doesn’t like cake?

7. Why does the bride wear a wedding veil?

a. So the groom won’t see her before they are officially married
b. To protect the bride from evil spirits
c. To protect the bride from jealous suitors

8. Why do newlyweds take a honeymoon?
a. Because after all of that wedding planning they need a vacation!
b. Because in ancient times, the bride was kidnapped and taken away for an extended period in hopes she would become pregnant and the groom would get to keep her.
c. If the bride married someone her family disliked, they would take a honeymoon in hopes that the family would forgive them by the time they returned.

9. Why did people traditionally throw rice at the wedding?

a. To feed the birds-they are hungry, too
b. So the bride could collect it and make dinner on her first night as a wife
c. To wish the couple a fruitful and plentiful life together

10. Why do brides have a maid-of-honor?
a. So her sister can dress up in a pretty dress
b. So she can show her friends who she likes the best
c. Because in ancient Greece, a more experienced bride would perform this role and impart her wisdom to the new bride

How did you do on the quiz? What are you favorite wedding traditions? Which answers surprised you?

Answers: 1)B&C; 2)A&B; 3)A; 4)C; 5)C; 6)B; 7)A,B,C; 8)B&C; 9)C; 10)C

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