Loud noises were believed to chase away evil spirits, so during the ceremony guests would make loud noises to keep the spirits away. Today, it's traditional for the bridal party to honk their car horns while leaving the ceremony.
Evolved from Holland when a father disapproved of his daughter's choice and the villagers gathered to "shower" her with the dowry her father refused.
Today, bridal showers strengthen the ties between the bride and her friends, provide her moral support, and help her prepare for her marriage.
Bows or love knots symbolize eternity; some brides hang ribbons from her bouquet and tie several knots on each one and/or have Hand fasting ceremony in which the couple’s clasped hands are tied together by a cord or ribbon.
Rain on Your Wedding Day:
While most brides don't want it to rain on their special day, it's good to know that, if it does, it symbolizes good luck, abundance, and fertility!
Rice is a symbol of fertility and a wish for prosperity and a full pantry.
Birdseed, flower petals, confetti, and bubbles are often used today instead of rice.
Garter and Bridal Bouquet Toss:
Since a piece of the bride's clothing or belonging was thought to bring good luck, brides began throwing their garter belts and their bouquets to their guests.
This seems to stem from the noblest Order of the Garter, the oldest order of knighthood in Europe. Its regalia included a collar, a star and an actual blue velvet garter. Since queens and princesses are the only women invested with the Order, and a bride is "a queen for a day", she may enjoy royal prerogatives by wearing a blue garter below her left knee.
Dancing & Games:
Ancient wedding dances were communal and symbolic of life giving and beginnings. The first dance of the bride and groom leading to their dancing with the guests was to give them strength from the community.
Diamond Engagement Ring:
An engagement ring symbolizes the promise of marriage, sealed with the giving and accepting of a ring. Diamonds are the most enduring gems and so symbolize an engagement and marriage that would endure forever.
Diamond in time became associated with sweethearts, and its mysterious inner fire was likened to the equally mysterious fires of passion. The diamond as an engagement ring began in 1477 with Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy.
A ring, circular shape with no beginning or end is a symbol of everlasting love and commitment in marriage; grew out of the ancient tradition of using circlets of grass to decorate a bride's wrists and ankles.
Although not required to validate marriage under a civil law, rings were required in 16th century by the Council of Trent.
Why Fourth Finger, Left Hand?
Engagement rings and wedding bands are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because the ancient Egyptians thought the "vein of love' ran from this finger directly to the heart. Wearing the wedding ring on this finger then speaks of eternal love.
The "ring" finger has sometimes been on the left hand, sometimes on the right, according to country and custom. Among English-speaking persons, it has been on the left since the edict of Edward VI in 1549.