When it comes to planning a wedding, people have to worry not only about food,
flowers, and what they wear, they also have to honor many traditions, even if they don't
understand their origins or meanings. However, to not follow these traditions,
understood or not, might mean bad luck for the marriage or, at the very least, disgruntled
Every culture cherishes its own marriage traditions and superstitions. Many are
not understood but are still seriously followed because "it's always been done that way"
(Kendrick). Even people not normally superstitious wouldn't think of violating these
Many traditions originated from old rhymes, folktales or tribal traditions whose
origins are lost in time. For example, one of the original meanings of the word
"wedding" was to gamble or wager. This comes from the time when a bride price was
required before marriage. This bride price could include land, social status, political
alliances or money. Thus, the "Anglo-Saxon word 'wedd' meant that the groom would
vow to marry the woman, but it also referred to the bride price (money or barter) to be
paid by the groom to the bride's father" (Kendrick).
There are equally surprising origins for such traditions as the ring finger, wedding
ring, engagement ring (and its diamond), and wedding cake. For example, the finger
used as the ring finger differs from culture to culture. In Greece during the third century
the index finger was used. In India they used the thumb. The "modern" ring finger
started being used in the fourth century when the Greeks originated the belief that the
third finger was connected to the heart by the "vena amoris," or the vein of love.
Use of a wedding ring can be traced back to Roman times, and even back then it
was made of gold. Roman rings were often decorated with a carving of two hands to