Wedding traditions such as the toss of the bouquet or having bridesmaids, have been around for centuries. Chances are that even if you are throwing a modern wedding, you'd probably keep at least some of them. Whether it's just for the fun of it or because you want to pay respect to the good ol' times, some traditions are likely not going anywhere anytime soon.
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But do you know where or why these traditions began? As it turns out some of them are less than romantic. We spoke to Amber Harrison, Wedding Paper Divas style and etiquette expert who gave us a short history lesson on wedding traditions.
1. Bouquet Toss
"Because the bride is seen as lucky on her wedding day, many women in attendance would try to take something of hers, like pieces of her dress, to take some of the luck home with them in hopes they would be the next to be married. This turned into brides throwing their bouquets to offer a souvenir of luck to all of her guests and prevent them from bothering her actual appearance in the reception."
"In the time of dowries, having bridesmaids wear something similar to the bride was a way to confuse any unwanted guests from stealing the bride to stop the 'transaction' from occurring."
3. Father giving away the bride
"In the times when brides were sold to their husbands by their fathers, the father would 'give away the bride' at the wedding as a transfer of ownership to the groom, with the guests acting as witnesses to the contract. It has now become something much more emotional and sentimental–thank goodness!"
4. Throwing rice on newlyweds
"Ancient Romans would shower a newly married couple with wheat, which symbolized fertility. By the Middle Ages, wheat was replaced with rice, which was also considered to be a symbol of fruitfulness.
If you are looking for a more modern or playful take on throwing rice, couples have taken to tossing flower petals, bird seed, coarse glitter or confetti. Of course there is also the very popular trend of handing guests sparklers to wave as the couple makes a dramatic exit!"
5. Thank You cards
"Thank you cards originated with the ancient Chinese and Egyptian cultures as letters were written on papyrus to encourage friendship and good luck. In more modern times, a German immigrant Louis Prang, brought greeting cards and thank you notes to America in 1856. Since then, couples have continued the tradition of writing handwritten notes to all their guests."