Something Old, Something New, Why We Do What We Do

June is a big month for weddings, but whenever the Big Day is planned, ask yourself these questions:  Did you know why brides wear a veil?  Carry flowers?

Those and many wedding traditions are based on superstitions that date back hundreds, even thousands of years.  For example…

  1. Bridesmaids: This custom originated in ancient Rome, where the
    ugly bridesmaid dresses
    Can’t wait to wear this frock again.

    bridesmaids would all dress like the bride to confuse evil spirits trying to hurt her.  Today, bridesmaids support an industry making the ugliest dresses in the world that they pay a lot of money for and never, ever wear again.

  1. Groomsmen: Again, an ancient custom, having a bunch of guys around to confuse evil spirits.  Today, groomsmen are responsible for getting the groom sobered up from his bachelor party and into a reasonably upright position at the altar.
bachelor party_01
Dude, love your sister’s dance moves.
  1. The Bachelor Party: An excuse for men to hire a stripper and get drunk, as if men need an excuse to hire a stripper and get drunk.
  1. The Bridal Shower: An excuse for women to go to a club and watch buff, bare-chested men perform erotic dances while the women get drunk, as if women need an excuse, etc.
maternity_05
Where’s HIS white?
  1. The White Wedding Dress: This represents the bride’s purity, so don’t ask me why white wedding dresses also come in maternity versions.  Notice that there’s no corresponding white anything in the groom’s wardrobe to represent his purity.
  1. The Bridal Veil: This dates back to the Middle Ages, when parents arranged marriages and the bride and groom didn’t meet until they were at the altar.  The groom wasn’t allowed to see the bride’s face in case she was a bow-wow and he’d be tempted to run for the nearest exit.
  1. The Bride’s Bouquet: Until the invention of deodorant, for centuries people, quite frankly, stank.  Bathing was an annual event, as was changing your underwear.  Carrying a bouquet meant the bride, for one day in her life, smelled nice.  Everyone else, not so much.
smashing-the-wedding-cake-in-your-face
I give it two months.  Maybe three.
  1. The Wedding Cake: Wedding cakes weren’t originally eaten but thrown at the bride for fertility luck.  In ancient Greece, marriages were sealed when the groom smashed a cake over the bride’s head.  Now, couples smash cake into each other’s faces, then post the pictures on Facebook while they’re still at the reception.
  1. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue: All based on superstition, meant to bring the couple good luck, fortune and fertility.  And, oh yeah – to ward off evil spirits.  And finally…
women-fighting-over-bouquet-480x420
(l to r) Loser, loser, major loser.
  1. Throwing the Bouquet: This, for a change, has nothing to do with evil spirits. Instead, when the bride tosses the bouquet to her mob of single female friends, it’s her way of saying, “Now I’m married and you losers aren’t.”

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