World Wedding Traditions seems to have them catagorized by geography. The oddest in this collection:
In Somalia a man is allowed to have as many as four wives if he can support them all, and it is not uncommon for a girl to be engaged before she is even born.
To this, I ask only one question -- sonograms not being all that common in Somalia, I assume, how does one know whether the unborn child is a girl or boy, and thus whether to offer the child as a bride or not?
YourWedding101 has some American traditions. What it says about the (now out-of-date) tradition of tossing rice:
Showering the couple with rice is an ancient tradition. As rice is considered a "life giving" seed it is thought that by throwing in on the couple they will be bestowed with fertility and have many children. Many churches now forbid it on their property but there are some safe alternatives to throwing rice.
Life-giving maybe to some, but not to the birds who don't do so well with the eating of the rice. ;-)
WeddingFlowersAndMore says that the wedding kiss means the bride and groom swap souls (Prelude to a Kiss, anyone?!):
You may exchange souls with the bride
Yes, this is what the big wedding kiss symbolizes--the swapping of souls between the bride and groom. Even earlier than this Christian belief, the Romans used a kiss to seal a contract. The kiss was considered legally binding. I don't know about you, but I'm glad that a handshake suffices today.
What's more, a bride marrying in the Church of England had to kiss the minister before she smooched the groom. I would really love to go to a wedding where the minister said, "Now, I may kiss the bride."
I'll give you a smooch, Dad! No worries! Just lemme kiss Paul first, eh? Need I remind you what you said to Uncle Stan when he told you you could "kiss the bride" at your wedding 21 years ago?
I'm just glad tongue was optional in the deal-sealing kiss of ol'!
Hitched says there's a reason the bride stands on the left:
The bride stands on the left of the groom during the marriage ceremony to allow his sword arm to be free ready to fight off other men who may want her as their bride.
Maybe invitations should say "Black tie and swords optional."
GagGirl (unfortunate name for a site that has a list of wedding traditions, ain't it?) has one tradition I'm a fan of:
Ritual Bath -- A ritual bath is a widespread custom in many European countries, especially in France. The custom symbolizes the purification of the bride of all evil influences - and thoughts of previous boyfriends - from earlier in her life.
Also, you know, it made the pretty brides smell nice. "Especially in France" -- I love it! And since when are previous boyfriends NOT evil influences? Oh, I'm just kidding, relax!
What if the groom is left-handed? Fortunately, I'm not, so I can safely stand on the right to fight off all the ex-boyfriends who will finally realize the error of their ways and come to get you. :-)
My Paul, ladies and gentlemen... Is it any wonder I adore him? As if anyone else could turn my head from your direction, my love...
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