Have you ever wondered why during wedding ceremony, it is customary for the bride to stand on the left and the groom on the right? I was recently married and thought about the history of this myself. This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, when women were traded and sold for marriage. So why does the groom stand on the right side of the altar? Well, your heart is located on the left so the bride stands “under his (grooms) heart”. This keeps the groom’s right hand (“fighting arm” or “sword arm”) free to defend his bride should an enemy try to steal her away at the last minute. If any man or attacker made it past the groomsmen at the altar, the groom would hold his bride with his left hand, while using his sword or weapon with his right hand against any oncoming attackers. Another explanation for this is that men and women used to be split up when they went to church, with the men sitting on the right side, and women sitting on the left. Because of this, it made sense for the men to stand on the right side of the altar, and the women on the left. In modern interpretations, it is said that when a man and woman join hands at the altar, it symbolizes their unity and strength. It also shows their combined resources they bring to the marriage. Another idea is that when newlyweds turn and face their friends and family at the end of the ceremony, the bride is standing to the groom’s right, symbolizing her spot as his “right hand” throughout the rest of their lives together. Whether you choose the right side or not, we thought you’d like to learn a few reasons for this tradition!
All photos courtesy of Shadowcatcher Imagery
In researching history for wedding receptions in Europe, we discovered some great facts! One item that we found intersting was the history of the toss bouquet. Today the toss bouquet is a miniature version of the bridal bouquet and it is tossed to a crowd of single women. The woman who catches the bouquet is believed to be the next one to marry! In 14th Century Europe it was believed that no one was luckier than a bride on her wedding day. In hopes to leave the affair with some type of lucky charm, women would tear at the bride’s wedding dress to take a piece as a keepsake in hopes to capture some of her luck and be the next to marry. Over a period of time and many torn wedding dresses, the tradition of the bride throwing one of her shoes came about, which then evolved into the traditional bouquet toss that we all know and love. Although the toss bouquet tradition is taking a new form, it is still a memorable part of the reception. One of our favorite things we have seen at weddings today is the bouquet being presented to someone closest to the bride’s heart such as her mother! Whichever route you decide to go for your big day, your bouquet toss or presentation should be meaningful to you!
Bouquet by Isari Flower Studio
Photography by Flavio of Leaf Photography