Origin of Wedding Rings

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A brief history about wedding rings

  • The circle was the symbol of eternity, with no beginning or end, not only to the Egyptians, but many other ancient cultures.
  • The hole in the center of the ring was considered as a gateway, or door; leading to things and events both known and unknown.
  • The materials these rings were made of didn’t last very long and soon were substituted with rings made of leather, bone or ivory. The more expensive the material, the more love shown to the receiver; the value of the ring also  demonstrated the wealth of the giver.
  • It is said that the Romans were the first to engrave their rings.
  • A theory states that the soft metal (traditionally gold for wedding rings) is less worn or injured on the finger of the left hand, due to most of the world being right handed.
  • Pinkies being small, making a small ring with little surface area to decorate, perhaps motivated people to then place it on the next least used finger, namely the fourth finger on the left hand, which is roughly the size of the other fingers.

 

Bouquet throwing

  • Back in the 1300’s, when people were particularly superstitious, it was believed that taking a piece of the bride’s clothing would grant the guests good luck. This lead to many guests that would literally tear cloth from the bride’s dress (which made for a very peeved bride!). So, in an attempt to stave off greedy luck-seekers, many brides began to throw items to guests that could be easily removed from her and that included her garter. Eventually, grooms began to remove the garter and tossed it to the men as a means to prevent tipsy male guests from trying to do the deed themselves. In an effort to help the women feel included, it eventually became customary for the bride to throw her bouquet at the female guests.

 

Good-luck/bad-luck traditions

  • In Greek culture, a sugar cube is tucked into the bride’s glove to “sweeten” the marriage.
  • For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day.
  • The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck.
  • Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice.
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since. The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below.

 

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