Now You Know

Why was grace originally a prayer said after a meal?

Today, we say grace before a meal in thanksgiving for an abundance of
food, but in ancient times, food spoiled quickly, often causing illness or
even death. Nomadic tribes experimenting with unfamiliar plants were
very often poisoned. Before a meal, these people made a plea to the
gods to deliver them from poisoning, but it wasn’t until after the meal,
if everyone was still standing, that they offered a prayer of thanksgiving,
or “grace.”

Why is June the most popular month for weddings?

The ancient Greeks and Romans both suggested marriage during a full
moon because of its positive influence on fertility. The Romans
favoured June, a month they named after Juno, the goddess of marriage,
because if the bride conceived right away, she wouldn’t be too pregnant
to help with the harvest. She also would probably have recovered from
giving birth in time to help in the fields with the next year’s harvest.

Why does a groom carry his bride over the threshold?

The custom of carrying a bride over the threshold comes from the kidnapping
practices of the Germanic Goths around 200 AD. Generally,
these men only married women from within their own communities, but
when the supply ran short, they would raid neighbouring villages and
seize young girls to carry home as their wives. From this practice of abduction
sprang the now symbolic act of carrying the bride over the threshold

Why do brides wear “something old, something new, something
borrowed, and something blue” to their weddings?

According to wedding tradition, the bride wears something “old” to
remind the couple of the happiness of the courting period. She wears
something “new” to represent the hopeful success of the couple’s new life
together; something “borrowed” to symbolize the support of friends; and
something “blue” because it’s the colour of fidelity. If a bride wears a single
girlfriend’s garter, it will improve that girl’s prospects of marriage.

Why do bridegrooms have a best man?

In ancient times, most marriages were arranged, and so the groom wasn’t
always the bride’s first choice. The man she favoured would often
swear to carry her off before or during the wedding. To avoid this, the
groom stood on the bride’s right to keep his sword arm free and would
enlist a warrior companion to fight off the rival if he showed up. This
companion was, in fact, the “best man.”

Why is a wedding reception called a “bridal” party?

The expressions bridal feast, bridal bed, and bridal cake, among other
bridal references, all date back to around 1200, when a wedding was a
rather boisterous and bawdy affair. The word bridal comes from “brideale,”
which was the special beer brewed for the wedding and then sold
to the guests to raise money for the newlyweds. Because of the brideale,
weddings were quite rowdy until around the seventeenth century,
when the church managed to get a grip on the whole thing.

From The Book Titled "Now You Know" by Doug Lennox