Rewinding a century or two back makes it evident that the choice of partner was not the privilege of many grooms and brides. The tradition of the groom and bride not seeing each other before their wedding day had different reasoning behind it back then.
When arranged marriages were the norm, the respective parents of the bride and groom took no chances that either would flee and prevented any interaction before they were standing at the altar. But at least today, we turned it into a romantic tradition!
A Special Room for the Groom and Bride
The first few moments of solitude as husband and wife are part of the protocols at Jewish weddings. Immediately after leaving the chuppah, or altar, the couple is escorted to a room known as the yichud room.
Here, the newlyweds are afforded a few minutes of alone time to reflect upon the fact that they are, in fact, now married. The couple breaks their fast in the yichud room and shares a meal together. Once done, though, they rejoin the festivities.
Having an Intimacy Mentor
The role of a mentor extends slightly past the wedding duties for Swahili. It is common for arranged Swahili marriages to have a mentor for the bride to educate her on the more intimate nature of marriage. The sensual helper does not merely pull out an anatomy book, however.
The mentor will lie under the marital bed and provide instruction for the beginner bride! Performance anxiety must be a killer for these couples!
Saturday Brings No Luck at All
The English were fastidious about choosing the right day on which to marry, believing that each day of the week carried its own unique brand of being promising or unfortunate. To sum it up, they even had a little nursery rhyme: “Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth. Wednesday is the best of all. Thursday brings crosses and Friday losses, but Saturday brings no luck at all!”
Nowadays, we cannot leave it up to the forces of destiny but rather our work schedules!
Wearing the Ring on the Fourth Finger
Ancient Egyptians held the belief that the fourth finger of the left hand carried within it a very special vein: the love vein. Or, in Latin, the vena amoris. In modern times much is known about the circulatory system, and as endearing as this belief is, modern science can confirm there is no such vein.
The tradition persists, however, and in many societies across the globe – especially Western – married couples wear their wedding rings just as the ancient Egyptians used to.