Did you know these crazy facts about ancient world weddings?
Melded together over the years, different cultures and their customs have created a hodgepodge ceremony we now engage in our declaration of ultimate love. So let us peek at a few.
Wedding vows did not take place within the church or religious houses. The commitment occurred at the bride’s home, her intended’s household or outside the chapel door, blessed inside after the initial ceremony. Celts preferred to remain outside among nature and barefooted, connected to mother earth.
Hand-fasting was a trial arrangement. No need for pre-marital jitters here, after a year and a day the agreement between the two to either split or to make their union official would be finalized. To get married no formal contracts or ceremonies were necessary. Simply giving your consent freely and stating your commitment was enough to see you dually hitched.
Public contracts were necessary later in history due to legal claims and other religious changes.
Blue, brides in Western civilizations more often wore a blue gown on their wedding day as was associated with faithfulness, purity and later the Virgin Mary. White was not a favored color until after the 19th century. Did you know the color white was worn by French Queens while in mourning? No, I did not.
Bridesmaids were a needed distraction. These women were required to dress in a similar fashion to confuse malicious spirits intent on harming the bride, and that is not all. The bride’s bouquet contained herbs warding off these same intended party crashers whose goal was to curse the blessed virgin. Well that, and if covered by a veil these evil machinations would be unable to see their intended target. That or scared off by wedding bells. Duh!
Groomsmen were the protectors of the lucky woman from thieves out to steal her dowry, her person or even her life, ensuring the maidens timely arrival to the ceremony in all aspects, including the potential runaway. The best man often had the role of ultimate guardian and remained armed and ready to protect the groom from perhaps angry family members who may try to intercede the wondrous event, retrieving an abducted sister, daughter or cousin. Hence the groom and groom’s man kept their right hands free in case needed for defense. Forgiveness was a possibility with the cooling off period of a honeymoon or the groom coughing up some mullah and doling out a bride’s price.
I will not spoil our romantic versions of love within a marriage or the freedom of marrying by choice, most often quite rare.
That is where your historical romance authors come in to tell a fine tale!
Write On! ❤ Jessica