Pastor David Bowen dives in to marriage traditions

“I Do” 

Pastor David Bowen dives in to marriage traditions.

By David Bowen

February is known as the month for love. Love leads to marriages.

The wedding ceremony has very deep roots and traditions that go far beyond TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress.

Why is there a groom’s side and a bride’s side?

Going back to ancient times, it was not uncommon for a father to offer one of his daughters as a peace offering to resolve a war between families. To eliminate any conflict during the ceremony, the two families would sit on opposite sides of the room.

Why does dad walk his daughter down the aisle?

The bride is walked down the aisle on her father’s left side. Why? This was so that the dad’s fighting hand would be free to pull out his sword and defend the bride, keeping her safe from harm.

Why is white the color of the wedding dress?

Most say it’s because white is the symbol of purity, which it is. However, in ancient times, many brides had only one best dress and naturally were married in that dress. It was not uncommon for brides to be married in dark colors, even black. The white wedding gown was a luxury for only the rich. Because it was so hard to keep clean, white was not a practical color for someone of common means. The color of choice was often blue. If one could not afford a blue dress they would wear a blue ribbon, thus the modern day saying, “something blue…”

What is the origin of the bridesmaid’s dress?

Originally the idea was to dress the bridesmaid or bridesmaids exactly as the bride. This was designed to protect the bride from anyone who would want to do her harm.

Why does the bride wear a veil?

In an arranged marriage, which was very common, the veil keeps the groom from seeing his bride until after the ceremony. One can argue that this was a sign of purity, or it was a sign of deceit so the groom wouldn’t change his mind.

In the vows, why is the groom asked, “Do you take this woman…?

There was a day when it was common for a single man to enter the town or village and literally choose a bride by picking her up and taking her back to his father’s house. He would literally take the woman. That would begin the courtship period in which the man would begin adding on to his father’s house so he and his bride would have a place to live. She would then go back to her father’s house and wait for her husband to come “take” her once again.

Why does the ceremony end with a kiss?

The kiss represented a bond that literally sealed your contract. The kiss is the first moment after your vows that you are united as husband and wife. It’s a much more tender moment today than in ancient times. There was a time when the kiss would signal the wedding guests to rush the bride and rip off a piece of her dress, which was considered a piece of good luck.

Where did the honeymoon originate?

Traditionally the bride and groom would have an extended period of time for privacy. The most common calendar was a lunar calendar, which is based off the moon. As for the honey, during this time of separation the couple would be brought mead, which is a honey-based alcoholic drink. Thus the “honey” (mead) and the “moon” (cycle) was established.










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