History of Weddings
Origin of the Word
The word, "Wedding" comes from the root
term meaning “gamble” or “wager”.
The word Anglo-Saxon word "wedd" meant
a man would vow to marry a woman and
give money to the Bride's father.
Weddings in Ancient Egypt
In ancient Egypt it seems that young men had the
liberty to choose their own brides. Getting
married and having children was considered a
very important issue although the ceremony was
very simple and had no official or religious
value. In many cases, however, a written
agreement was made.
The bride's father usually
gave a dowry to the groom who bought gifts for
the bride and her family before the wedding
day. Polygamy was very unusual even if it is
known that pharaons had very conspicuous harems.
Sumer, Assyrian and Babylonian Weddings
For these populations weddings were mainly
political events and were basically contracts
between two families for military, political and
Weddings in Ancient Greece
Weddings were not so different in
ancient Greece. The reasons for a women and man
to marry were always social and economic. It
seems that the tradition of holding the bride in
the groom’s arms while entering the main door of
their new home is an ancient Greek tradition.
was a symbol of misfortune if the bride slipped
on the floor while entering through the door so
this is why the man held the woman in his arms.
This tradition was also adopted by the Romans.
In Celtic clans the role of women was very
strong. Women could be queens and conduct the
army battles. They could also choose who to
marry. Weddings were considered a free union
between two free individuals. There were two
types of marriages: temporary or definite.
the first of August the Celtic populations
celebrated temporary weddings. On the first of
May these weddings could be confirmed or
transformed into definite ones.
took place in the woods, near water sources
which were considered sacred. A religious
official would celebrate the wedding ceremony
which would begin 7 days before with a series of
purification acts referring to the four
elements: water, fire, earth and wind.
same period, they would start to braid a cord
with red and white yarns which symbolized the
two parts: man and woman. The day before the
actual ceremony, offers where made to neutralize
subtle energies which were considered negative.
The couple would also choose a stone for the
wedding day which would have to be washed and
purified. This stone was supposed to protect the
energy of their families and was passed on to
During the wedding ceremony
the bride and groom’s hands were tied together
with an embroidered cloth. They would then drink
honey-mead and light a candle which would
represent their future life as a couple. The
ceremony would end with a great feast with
banquets, music and dancing.... continues...