Wedding traditions are many and are a part of nearly every part of the wedding- beginning with the engagement. But how much do you really know about wedding traditions and the various superstitions associated with getting married?

While many of us are familiar with the commonly seen wedding traditions, it might surprise you to learn the “why” behind the actions or elements included in a wedding.

How These Wedding Traditions and Superstitions Came to Be

Will You Marry Me

Have you ever wondered why the proposal is often on bended knees? After all, sure, it is romantic, but what started it? Interestingly, unlike many wedding traditions, it is unclear why this is done. But many believe kneeling – known as genuflection, came about during the Middle Ages and was done by the men to show their lady adoration. It is also noteworthy that kneeling in front of someone in religion symbolizes respect, loyalty, and obedience. Also, kneeling shows vulnerability and surrender, making it more romantic!


Engagement rings were first used in Ancient Egypt as a symbol of everlasting love. The addition of a diamond comes from the Sicilians, who believed the stone was a sign of fiery love. The rings are worn on the left hand, the fourth finger, because many thought a vein ran directly from that finger to the heart.

While diamond engagement rings are still the most traditional stone, other stones are not uncommon and come with symbolism of their own. The sapphire represents marital happiness and the aquamarine happiness and longevity; interestingly, a pearl is considered bad luck because its shape is similar to a tear.

The Best Man

One of the most longstanding wedding traditions is the best man. As weddings were initially seen- in many cases- as business transactions, it was the best man’s job to have the groom’s back to ensure the bride or her family went through with the arrangement.

Not Seeing Each Other on the Wedding Day Until the Alter

Again, we have the viewpoint of the wedding as a business transaction to thank for this. Because there was always a concern that either the bride or groom might try to escape the marriage, they were not allowed to see one another. Today, this tradition is often still honored as a way to build excitement.

Bride Standing to the Left of the Groom

This goes back to ancient times so the groom could protect her from danger- especially when her family might feel the groom is “stealing her.” By standing to his left, he could protect her with his left arm and wield a sword with his right.

These are a few of the wedding traditions handed down through the centuries, and it is your choice how many you wish to incorporate. But regardless of how many traditions you want to include knowing the “why” is always fun. After all, who knew that pearls were bad luck?

The Gala Events Facility is a great place for your special day, no matter what wedding traditions you decide to include in your wedding. We are happy to help you incorporate as many (or as few) wedding traditions as you want and have event planners here to make your day all you have dreamed about. If you have any questions about what wedding traditions you want to include- or perhaps want a few elements all your own, just let us know. We can’t wait to help you with your big day!