What does a Wedding mean?
“Wedding” literally meant the purchase of a bride for breeding purposes.
The word wedding comes from the root meaning to gamble or wager. The Anglo-Saxon word “wedd” meant that the groom would vow to marry the woman, but it also meant the money or barter that the groom paid the bride’s father. This is believed why it is still customary for the father-of-the-bride to “give away” his daughter.
“Tie the Knot”
To “Tie the Knot”, came from the Roman times when the bride wore a girdle that was tied into knots which the groom had the fun of untying.
You may Kiss the Bride…
The kiss that seals the wedding is much more than a sign of affection. It has long been a token of bonding and the exchange of spirits as each partner sends a part of their self into the new spouse’s soul, there to abide ever after.
Bride’s side/Groom’s side
In ancient days, fathers would offer daughters as peace offerings to warring tribes. Because of the hostility, the families were placed on opposite sides of the church so the ceremony could go on without bloodshed. The ceremony united the two warring factions into one family, and danger of war was resolved.
Bride on the Left…
The origin of the bride standing on the left goes back to the days when the groom would capture his bride by kidnapping her. If the groom had to fight off other suitors, the groom would hold his bride-to-be with his left hand allowing his right hand to be free to use his sword.
The tradition of bridesmaids evolved from the custom of surrounding the Bride with other richly dressed women, in order to confuse the evil spirits.
The first marriages were by capture. The best man would help the groom fight off other men who wanted the chosen woman, and prevent her family from finding them. The “best warrior” would stand for the groom, thus the “best man”.
After the successful capture of the bride, was “the hiding” (Honeymoon), and by the time the bride’s family would find them, the bride would already be pregnant.
The word honey is from “meala” in Irish. The word for honeymoon is “mi na meala“, the “month of honey” and refers to how the bride and groom would spend that period of time.
Irish monks first produced the fermented honey brew called mead for medicinal purposes; then found it could make well people feel even better. Following the wedding a sufficient amount of mead was given to the bride and groom, along with special goblets, so they could share the unique brew for one full moon after the wedding–and thus the term honeymoon was coined. It was believed that this delicate yet potent drink was the best way to ensure a good beginning for a new marriage and it was also believed to endow powers of virility and fertility.