I'm not big into fancy weddings, but I LOVE learning about traditions in other parts of the world.
Check out these 32 facts and traditions!
Good Luck and Bad Luck
1. Wear a sugar cube tucked in your gown...according to Greek and Persian culture, the sugar will sweeten your marriage.
2. In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the "best day" to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health.
3. Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. Funny -- it's the most popular day of the week to marry!
4. Rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck, according to Hindu tradition!
5. For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day. Ouch!
6. Middle Eastern brides paint henna on their hands and feet to protect themselves from evil.
7. Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice.
8. A Finnish bride traditionally went door-to-door collecting gifts in a pillowcase, accompanied by an older married man who represented long marriage.
9. Moroccan women take a milk bath to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony.
10. In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds' home as a symbol of fertility and luck.
It's Got a Ring To It
11. Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
12. In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness.
13. A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because its shape echoes that of a tear.
14. One of history's earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time.
15. Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England...the coils winding into a circle symbolized eternity.
16. Queen Victoria started the Western world's white wedding dress trend in 1840...before then, brides simply wore their best dress.
17. In Asia, wearing robes with embroidered cranes symbolizes fidelity for the length of a marriage.
18. Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.
19. In Japan, white was always the color of choice for bridal ensembles...long before Queen Victoria popularized it in the Western world.
20. In Korea, brides don bright hues of red and yellow to take their vows.
21. Brides carry or wear "something old" on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past.
22. In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits!
23. The "something blue" in a bridal ensemble symbolizes purity, fidelity, and love.
Food and Family
24. In Egypt, the bride's family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can relax.
25. In South Africa, the parents of both bride and groom traditionally carried fire from their hearths to light a new fire in the newlyweds' hearth.
26. The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride's head for fertility's sake.
27. An old wives' tale: If the younger of two sisters marries first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband.
Show Off at a Cocktail Party
28. In many cultures around the world, including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings, the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple's commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase "tying the knot").
29. The bride stands to the groom's left during a Christian ceremony, because in bygone days the groom needed his right hand free to fight off other suitors.
30. On average, 7,000 couples marry each day in the United States.
31. Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve are the two busiest "marriage" days in Las Vegas...elopement central!
32. Bachelor parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor days goodbye with a raucous party.