There are a number of traditions associated with the event of a wedding, which are observed either before or after the actual ceremony itself. Some of the more obvious traditions include the engagement ring, the bridal shower, the bachelor party, rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon.
Pope Nicholas I first deemed the engagement ring as a requirement for a nuptial intent in 860 A.D. It was insisted that the ring be gold, thus requiring a significant financial sacrifice and signifying the seriousness of the man’s intent. The Venetians popularized the diamond engagement ring in the 15th century. Because a diamond is the hardest most enduring naturally occurring substance, it symbolizes a lifetime of enduring love. Today the man is still responsible for the expense of the engagement ring. There are a endless variety of styles to choose from with the acceptable financial expenditure is 2-3 months salary.
The Bridal Shower provides the opportunity for the bride to deepen her ties with the bridal party. The function of the bridal shower has remained the same throughout history. In the late 1890’s, however, gifts became a common occurrence of the bridal shower and today a themed shower is widespread phenomenon. The gifts received allow the bride to begin equipping her home with the things she needs but the underlying reasoning for the shower is to provide the bride with the moral support she’ll need during and after her big day.
The bachelor party serves much the same function as the bridal shower in the sense that it is a chance for the groom to enjoy time with the guys before he weds. This party has become to identified as the groom’s last hooray, thus resulting in a variety of activities decided on by the groomsmen.
The rehearsal dinner is a chance for both families to come together on the eve of the ceremony that will officially unite them. The expense for this occasion is allocated to the groom’s family.
The honeymoon’s earliest reference is Jacob’s marriages to Leah and Rachel in the Old Testament. It was a Jewish custom from the newly married couple to spend a week alone directly safer their wedding. In early America, a honeymoon usually entailed visiting relatives, however, with industrialization and quicker and safer travel, newlyweds were able to escape from the family. While the time varies for each couple, the honeymoon is still a time-honored tradition and an industry has sprung up to meet the demand of the romantic honeymoon getaway that many couples seek.