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Weddings Through the Ages

Ever wonder where some of these wedding traditions came from?

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decades of decadence
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Ancient Times

Three major wedding traditions can be traced back thousands of years, starting with that symbol of eternity and everlasting love: the wedding ring. In ancient Egypt, a band of hemp or rush (a leafless, grasslike plant) was worn on the third finger of the left hand, as it was believed that the vein in this finger led directly to the heart. And you can thank the Romans for both your bridal party and your veil. Bridesmaids and groomsmen originally served as protection against jealous demons that were out to get the to-be-weds, while it was thought that a veil protected the bride from evil spirits. (The tradition of the veil has other possible origins, but this is one of the earliest mentions of it.)

Photo: Shutterstock / The Knot

See More: Wedding Traditions & Wedding Customs