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Wedding Customs and Their Origins: Why Do Grooms Carry Their Brides Through the Front Door?

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I t’s exciting that bridal couples not only want to incorporate enduring customs, but want to know their origins, too. Here’s an interesting one:

A Hudson Valley bride asks: “What’s the history behind carrying a bride over the threshold? My future husband insists that he’ll do that. I would love to be able to tell him where the custom came from.”

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The Wedding Guru says: I found two origins for this somewhat archaic tradition. The first is that it originated Medieval Europe where many believed that a bride was especially vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet. So, to protect her from bringing those evil spirits into the couple’s new home, the groom would carry his bride through the front door.

Another piece of lore tells us that, at the time of Northern European barbarians (a name given to them by the Romans), a groom placed his captured bride to his left to protect her as he kept his right hand free to use for defense. Also originating from this practice of abduction — which literally swept a bride off her feet — sprang the later symbolic act of carrying the bride across the threshold of her new home.

Speaking of carrying the bride over the threshold: tradition dictates that the bride must never trip and fall as she enters her new home or she will have bad luck for all the years to come. Watch your step!

» More about wedding escorts and walking down the aisle
» More from The Wedding Guru
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2013

 

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