This custom stems back to the Middle Ages, when men would keep their sword-fighting right hand ready for conflict with those attempting to rescue the bride, who was frequently kidnapped before the wedding. Today, it is done as a sign of respect - the right hand is shown as an invitation for friendship or partnership.
The custom continues in Asian weddings where the groom will keep his sword hand exposed until after the wedding ceremony when it is covered by his robe.
In Native American ceremonies, the groom exposes his right hand while making a vow never to kill another human being. After the wedding, he covers the hand with a ring bearer or attendant.
In some African weddings, the groom keeps his right hand exposed after marriage as a sign of protection for his wife.
In Latin American weddings, the groom shows his acceptance of the bride by exposing his right hand.
In Modern Western weddings, guests display their acceptance of the couple by raising their right hands.
The custom is still observed in Muslim weddings where the groom leaves his right hand exposed after marriage.
In Jewish weddings, the groom's right hand is held out in blessing over the congregation after which it is folded on his chest.
We're sorry to break it to you, but you might not like the reasons: the tradition of the bride standing on the left side of the altar stems from the days of "marriage by capture," which required the groom to leave his right hand (aka, his fighting hand, which he used to hold the sword) free in the event that...he needed it to defend himself or fight off would-be attackers.
For most modern weddings, this is a source of embarrassment for the bride. She'll often ask her friends not to tell anyone about this ancient custom - especially men!
The reason for this is simple. In olden days, women were expected to bear arms when warring nations attacked, so they needed their husbands by their sides to protect them. The tradition of the bride standing on the left survives in some countries today, especially India, where women are still expected to be passive and allow men to do battle for them.
In other words, she stands on the left because ladies used to fight dirty too!
Today, most couples prefer to have their wedding ceremony held outside. If it's cold out, there's no need for the bride to suffer through another season change just for her wedding. But since most ceremonies happen in religious settings, the tradition of the bride standing on the left remains intact.
And even if your wedding takes place at a secular location, we still recommend that the bride stand on the left.
Because your heart is on the left, the bride stands "under his (the groom's) heart." This frees the groom's right hand ("fighting arm" or "sword arm") to protect his wife if an opponent tries to abduct her at the last moment. The wedding ceremony comes full circle as the couple joins their arms together in front of them.
This arrangement is based on traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies, but it has become popular all over the world. There are a few variations depending on local customs but they all share some similarities: the groom will usually wear white and the bride will wear blue. They will then walk down the aisle together followed by bridesmaids and groomsmen holding red candles, and finally a black-shrouded priest will perform the marriage ceremony. After the wedding, it is customary for the couple to stay inside the church for about an hour after the service waiting for everyone to leave before they go up stairs to a room where they can be alone.
In the Western world, the tradition is somewhat different because the groom doesn't need to protect the bride from attack. So instead, he stands to her right so that they can exchange gifts later in the ceremony.
The left side of the body is associated with women in many cultures around the world. This includes traditions such as men giving women flowers or jewelry on the left side of their bodies to show respect.
The custom of having groomsmen at a wedding stems from the ancient practice of kidnapping the bride. A guy had to employ his fellow buddies or warrior companions to assist him fend off other warriors and keep the bride's family from locating the pair before they could marry. This way the couple could have their own private ceremony without worrying about what other families thought of them.
The modern groom's role is to provide support for his wife during marriage and in life. He is also expected to lead her on romantic getaways and introduce her to his friends and family. In return, the bride makes all of the decisions regarding how she wants to live her life (including who her husband should be friends with) and when married, she has the right to divorce her husband if he becomes abusive.
In ancient Greece, the groom would fight with swords against men who tried to kidnap the bride. Today, the groom usually sends his best man to protect the bride from evil spirits and provide guidance during the wedding ceremony.
In India, the groom's role is assumed by his father-in-law because marriages used to be passed down through the male line. So, the groom's family looks to the father-in-law to show them how to run their household and manage their money.
The first is that it originated in Medieval Europe, when many people believed that a bride was especially exposed to evil spirits through her feet. So, in order to keep those evil spirits from entering the couple's new house, the groom would carry his wife through the front door.
This tradition is still observed in countries where horse-drawn carriages are used as a mode of transportation, such as England and Germany. In other countries, such as India, it is common for the bride to be carried into the house by her father or brother.
There are several reasons why the groom should carry the bride over a threshold. First of all, it is done as a sign of respect toward the bride, since she is being brought home. It also shows that the husband is willing to protect and provide for his wife. Last but not least, it is done out of practicality: if the bride is very heavy, then someone has to help her get inside the house.
In modern-day America, this practice is popular among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It is recommended that the man lead the way into his wife's parents' home after they have been married for at least six months. The reason given is so that he can give her away.
Within the LDS Church, it is traditional for men to give their wives away at marriage ceremonies.