Weird Wedding Traditions From The Olden Days

By Preeta Rajkarnikar | May 11, 2023 08:08 AM

Bride and groom displays a joyous expression as they celebrate their wedding and the moment is captured by Soi Photography
Bride and groom displays a joyous expression as they celebrate their wedding and the moment is captured by Soi Photography( Source : instagram )

Weird wedding traditions from the olden days include kidnapping the bride, burying the bourbon bottle, and more. Weddings are incomplete without such customs.

Wedding is an important day or event in the lives of the two lovers. The couples want their big day to be filled with joy, happiness, and love. It becomes even more special when meaningful traditions are included in the ceremony.

Traditions also help the bride and groom to create happy and fun memories during their big day. Many customs from the olden days are slowly disappearing or are modified to fit modern society.

Strange wedding traditions around the world are still being practiced. In Germany, newlyweds saw a log into two pieces, and in Kenya, the father spits on the bride for good luck.

Here are some of the weird customs from the olden days that no longer exist or are modified.

1. Wearing A Snake Ring As A Wedding Band

During the Victorian era, many men would propose to their lovers with a snake ring. The trend was set by Prince Albert of England.

The Prince had proposed to Queen Victoria with a snake ring featuring an emerald head. Since then people followed the tradition of purchasing the snake ring with red eyes as a wedding band.

The ring is said to be a protected charm that symbolized the union of the lovers and their eternal and never-ending love for one another.

The tradition remained popular through the Art Nouveau era but gradually decreased since then. The gifting of the snake ring in modern times is hard to find since the couple is seen wearing diamond or platinum bands.

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2. Freezing A Piece Or The Entire Top-Tier Of The Cake

The tradition of saving the first tier of the wedding cake dates back to the late 19th century. The cake was used for the christening of the couple's first child.

In the early days, it was assumed that the newlyweds' first child was born within the first year of the marriage. As time passed, the birth of the couple's first kid happened on their wedding day, so the two events were discontinued.

Later the tradition changed to the pair eating the frozen cake on their one-year wedding anniversary for good luck. The trend has gradually decreased as the cakes prepared have elaborated ingredients.

When this custom started in the 19th century the wedding cakes were dense fruit cakes full of wine and bourbon. As the year went on the bourbon and  the fruit cake continued to ferment and the cake was still edible.

The newlyweds sport smile on their faces as they cut their wedding cake
The newlyweds sport smile on their faces as they cut their wedding cake( Source : instagram )

3. Kidnapping The Bride

Kidnapping the bride is a weird wedding custom performed in Romania. It is a mock abduction planned by friends and family.

The tradition is not only followed in Romania but other parts of the world such as northern and eastern Europe. In this custom, the bride is abducted by friends and family before the wedding under the groom's nose.

The groom must rescue his lover by paying a ransom such as buying drinks or a romantic gesture like a public declaration of his love.

4. Only Some Brides Could Wear Veil

Ancient marriage customs believe that brides who were middle-aged or elderly could not wear a wedding veil. 

According to Dunbar's Complete Handbook of Etiquette published in 1834, the women of middle age and widows were wedded in bonnets.

But the tradition has changed with time as there are no age restrictions to style the wedding look with a veil.

In modern society, it is the bride's personal choice whether she wants to complete her wedding look with a veil or not.

Bride flaunts her long net veil which compliments her wedding gown
Bride flaunts her long net veil which compliments her wedding gown( Source : instagram )

5. Burying the Bourbon

Burying the Burbon is an olden days tradition that is followed in the Southern part of the USA. Many couples today also follow this tradition.

As per the custom, it is believed that if you bury a bottle of bourbon at the venue of your wedding then you'll be rewarded with sunny skies. The bottle must be buried a month before the ceremony.

After the ceremony is completed the bottle is dug back up and shared with the guests at the reception party. 

Many brides and grooms follow the custom due to the humid weather conditions in the South. Heavy rains and monsoon weathers are common even during the summer and spring seasons. So, to ensure good weather this tradition became popular.

While burying, the bottle needs to be full and it needs to be buried upside down.

A bottle of bourbon buried upside down as a custom
A bottle of bourbon buried upside down as a custom ( Source : pinterest )

6. The New Married Couple Were Forced To Kiss Over Cake

In medieval times, spiced buns were piled between the couple. The newlyweds had to try to kiss over the stacked buns without knocking them down.

A successful kiss meant that the bride and groom were guaranteed a happy and prosperous married life. The buns were decorated with elaborated pastry crust with various fillings such as pine kernels, oysters, lambstones, cockscombs, sweetbreads, and spices.

This custom began the trend of tall-tiered wedding cakes of today.

7. Brides Wore Non White Dress

White is the staple color for bridal gowns. The trend of white wedding gowns was started by Queen Victoria when she tied the knot with Prince Albert.

In the early days, the brides wore any color of dress according to their preference. When Queen Victoria wore an elegant and flowing gown, people were mesmerized by her look. So, the custom of a white wedding gown was born.

A bride attired in a red dress for her big day
A bride attired in a red dress for her big day( Source : pinterest )

8. Herbs Were Used For The Bridal Bouquets

Brides of today put a lot of thought into their bridal bouquets. Many women want the flowers in the bouquet to hold a significant meaning for the big day.

In Middle Ages, the bridal bouquet consisted of herbs, especially garlic, and dill. It is believed that the smell of the herbs would keep the evil spirit and bad luck away from the bride and groom.

The dill was consumed by the couple post-ceremony to consummate their love. The custom of carrying a flower bouquet became popular during the Victorian era.

The newlyweds look at each other with adoration
The newlyweds look at each other with adoration( Source : instagram )

9. Only One Song Was Used When Brides Walked Down The Aisle

In early times, the tune Here Comes the Bride by Richard Wagner was the most popular processional song. It was first played in the British royal wedding.

With time the brides have walked down the aisle in songs that are special to them or have an emotional meaning. There are several parents processional songs that brides prefer to be played at their wedding ceremony.

10. The Ceremony Had To Happen In June

June wedding tradition is traced back to ancient times as the month of June is named for the goddess Juno.

The elders believe that the goddess would bless the newlyweds for a happy marriage. Nowadays, the couple pick their ideal wedding month as per their schedule or their favorite seasons.

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