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Origination of Wedding Traditions


The Best Man:

In the days when men raided neighboring villages for their brides, a prospective groom often took with him a buddy who was skilled in hunting and warfare to help him fight off any angry kin of the bride’s. (By the way, the bride originally stood to the left of the groom so he could use his right hand to defend himself — and her — if her family showed up and demanded her return. In many early churches, weapons even were hidden beneath the altar in preparation for such a scenario.) See Chapter 5 for details on minimizing the costs associated with the wedding party.  

The Diamond Engagement Ring:

Engagement rings may be vestiges of times when women were considered property; even today, a ring on the third finger of a woman’s left hand indicates she’s “spoken for.” Until the 1940s, diamonds were seldom, if ever, used in engagement rings.  

The Ring Pillow:

Since ancient times, crowns were carried on lush pillows at the coronations of new kings and queens. Eventually, this custom was adapted to weddings to present the most precious element of the ceremony: the rings that symbolize a new unity and unending love.  

The Veil:

In ancient Rome, brides wore full-length veils that later served as their burial shrouds. Veils also were common in societies that arranged marriages; the bride’s identity was hidden until the end of the marriage ceremony so the groom couldn’t back out if he didn’t find her attractive.  

The Wedding Cake:

Wedding cake started out as rice or wheat cakes that guests broke over the bride’s head (or tossed at the couple) to ensure fertility. By the Middle Ages, guests simply tossed rice at the couple and brought their own scones or biscuits to the wedding; leftovers were distributed to the poor after the ceremony. In the British Isles, the guests piled their biscuits together and the couple exchanged a kiss over the top; the bigger the pile, the more good fortune the couple was supposed to have. The elaborate tiered wedding cakes we know today didn’t come into being until the mid-1600s.  

The White Wedding Dress:

Before Queen Victoria’s time, people simply wore their best clothes when they were married; color didn’t matter. Queen Victoria popularized the white wedding gown in the mid-1800s, and Empress Eugenie (wife of Napoleon III) set the standard for the elaborate styling and details of wedding dresses. 

53 Things a Wedding Planner Will Do And You Will Never Know

(P.S. I’ve done all of these)

1. Make up a story to get family members from the bridal suite, so the bride feels comfortable and not overwhelmed by everyone in the room. 

2. Grab things the couple/family forgot to buy or bring 

3. Level barrels and tables with napkins, rocks, paper…. 

4. Politely fight any vendors to do what the couple requested instead of saying “this way is better” 

5. Be the one to take the blame for your decisions that your family members do not like. 

6. Store your wedding cake in a cool location so it doesn’t melt, and fall. Then bring it out when it’s time to cut it. 

7. Make a cake topper. 

8. Deal with a late cake delivery that didn’t arrive until during the reception. Ensure the bride never knows the cake was delivered to the wrong church.  

9. Have a fork, plate, and napkin ready for your cake cutting 

10. Have drinks ready for you and your new husband after the ceremony. 

11. Figure out an alternative if you are short on dinnerware, napkins and/or utensils 

12. Re-create centerpieces to make up for ones that died in the heat…or were caught on fire by candles(see #43)  

13. Babysit intoxicated guests 

14. Be the middleman between other vendors and the couple  

15.  Put your cards in a safe place 

16. Move your gifts to the designated person’s car 

17. Make sure sparklers get put out properly and don’t light guests (or you) on fire(SPARKLER SPEECH!) 

18. Put out favors at the end of the evening 

19. Place table numbers and/or place cards in the right locations 

20. Make sure the correct number of guests are at each table 

21. Move items so they won’t get rained on(or blown away) 

22. When there is a noise that is interrupting the ceremony, go find the source of the noise and request that it stop until after the ceremony 

23. Make sure you have everything you need or requested at your place setting 

24. Find the owners of lost items such as jewelry, shoes, cameras, purses, and phones 

25. Keep your vendors on schedule so you can enjoy yourself and relax as much as possible 

26. Gather your bridal party for announcements and special events during the reception 

27. Tell your vendors when to be ready for toasts, bouquet toss, garter toss, cake cutting, etc so they don’t miss it 

28. Sew buttons back on to groomsmen tuxes 

29. Redo your entire reception when one of our Texas thunderstorms blows through and knocks everything down 

30. Safety pin your bustle back together because almost 100% will fall 

31. Ask guests not to use phones or cameras in the middle of the ceremony aisle(or at their seats) because you have paid for a professional photographer who does not want photos of everyone with their phones out 

32. Making sure farewell drivers (limo, uber, etc) actually make it to the venue instead of getting lost 

33. Drying chairs after a rain storm at an outdoor ceremony 

34. Clear dishes and trash when your caterer didn’t do it so that dirty dishes and mounds of trash are not in your photos 

35. Clear fallen branches and debris from your ceremony area after a rain storm

36. Have back up plans and the ability to think on their feet to remedy a situation 

37. Convince your photographer to get you back from photos so the reception starts on time 

38. Help intoxicated wedding party members out of the bathroom because they can’t figure out how to unlock the stall door 

39. Take apart and remake an entire bouquet that was not to the brides expectations 

40. Create extra boutonniere(s) when the counts were inaccurate and the florist dropped everything and rushed out 

41. Remedy when you’re short a rental table linen(or table itself) 

42. Put out fires (literally-people like to move your centerpiece candles!)  

43. Locate the extension cord that was accidentally unplugged, causing half the lights in a tent, on the dance floor or at dinner to go out 

44. Set extra tables when people who didn’t RSVP show up 

45. Signal musicians on when to play songs during ceremony, cocktail hour, reception 

46. Locate family for photos after the ceremony 

47. Bus dishes from tables, bathrooms and the floor when staff isn’t keeping up 

48. (Nicely) convincing the caterer to NOT place random items on the set tables… and removing them when they won’t listen. 

49. Clean up your reception in the dark, including hauling trash and climbing ladders to cut floral arraignments down  

50. Clean up broken glass, spilled drinks and pieces of cake on the dance floor when everyone is still dancing without noticing it  

51. Cut and serve the wedding cake   

52. Politely convince inebriated female relatives to cease from chasing your groomsmen around the reception tables (literally) 

53. Convince the grooms intoxicated college friend to pull up his pants (from around his ankles) and stop urinating in front of the venue as your guests are leaving