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I am officiating my Aunt Maryanne’s wedding this weekend back home in Southern Illinois.  She raised me in large part.  Her husband passed away 7 years ago and she’s met a lovely guy and is creating a really nice Act II for herself.  I couldn’t be happier or more honored that she’s chosen me to officiate her ceremony.

As I was preparing the ceremony, I came across this rundown of common wedding rituals and their origins… and the origins are wild.  Like, do you know why we have bridesmaids and groomsmen?

Bridesmaids originally dressed all alike to ward off evil spirts from harming the bride.  The thought was if all these women were dressed alike, the evil spirits wouldn’t know which one was the bride.  Are you trying to tell me evil spirits are that stupid?  I bet they could figure it out.  Now, it’s more about tradition and preventing any woman from outdoing another, right?

What about the best man?  Centuries ago a groom would kidnap his bride and if the family objected, the best man was to help fight off the family and defend the groom. Now, the best man is just supposed to pick up your bar tab at your bachelor party.

Carrying the bride across the threshold was symbolic of her resistance to leave her family.

Bouquets were originally made with strong herbs to mask body odor.  Related – June weddings are so popular because people used to take their annual baths in May (I take mine in April).

Veils used to be red so the bride would look like she’s on fire, which would ward off evil spirts.  Again, evil spirits pretty stupid… if they can’t tell the difference between a veil and real fire.  I don’t understand that line of thinking.  The spirits can do all these wild supernatural things, but a piece of red fabric will totally throw ‘em.

And finally – honeymoon started as a trip to go visit family who couldn’t make it to the wedding.

Learning all of this makes me extra grateful that we ended up having a pandemic wedding with 4 people in a park.  We got to skip out on most of this stuff.

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