Romans used engagement rings to indicate ownership.
According to the American Gem Society, anthropologists believe that engagement rings date back to a Roman custom in which wives wore rings with keys attached, which indicated that their husbands owned them.
Engagement rings began to get a little less dark in 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria commissioned an extravagant diamond ring for his new wife. The accessory grew in popularity in the Victorian era, and gradually the diamond ring trend trickled down from nobility to the masses.
Bridesmaids originally dressed alike to confuse vengeful spirits from harming the bride.
There is a theory that the tradition of bridesmaids dressing alike dates back to ancient Rome, the bride considered to be prime bait for vengeful spirits. So, all the women dressed alike to confuse the spirits from interrupting the bride and groom's nuptials.
Another theory, however, dates back to the Victorian era. Dr. Liz Gloyn, a lecturer in Royal Holloway at the University of London, told?The Independent?that the tradition stemmed from fear of competition.
"It is my belief that by regulating the bridesmaids formally into exactly the same garments, there was no room for any of them to try and outdo each other, let alone the bride, through the use of grander fabric, grander jewelry," Dr. Gloyn said.
Centuries ago, a groom had to "kidnap" the bride if her family disapproved of their union. The best man was put in place to defend the groom in case the family retaliated.
The best man originated as the groom's choice protector. Many centuries ago, it was common for a groom to "steal" a bride from her family if they didn't approve of the union — and it was the best man's job to fight the family if they retaliated.
It was also common practice for the best man to stand next to the groom with a sword in tow on the day of the wedding. In fact, ancient groups like the Huns, Goths, and Visigoths would store weapons in the floor of the church in the event of a brawl.
Carrying the bride across the threshold was symbolic of the bride unwillingly leaving her family.
The practice of the groom carrying the bride across the threshold of their new home or bedroom dates back to ancient Rome. At the time, the bride had to prove that she didn't willingly leave her father's home, as doing so would have been improper.
Romans also believed evil spirits attempted to curse the couple one last time at the threshold, so the groom had to lift the bride's feet above the ground so as not to let the spirits enter her body.
The bouquet was originally used to mask the bride's body odor, and it was often made with pungent herbs.