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 was captured or killed during their marriage. This way, they could be reunited after the war.
Today, most countries have abandoned this tradition because it is seen as antiquated and sexist. The left-handed wedding ceremony is now becoming more common as more and more couples realize that it makes sense for the bride to be on the left since she is the one leaving her family behind.
The custom also comes with some other interesting myths. It's been suggested that if the bride stands on the left, she will be able to see the priest from where she sits. While this is possible, the actual reason for the tradition is much less exciting: it makes it easier for the couple to take part in the holy mass.
There are also stories about how standing on the left side of the aisle ensures that the bride won't get cold during the wedding ceremony. However, it should be noted that in most countries, the wedding ceremony takes place outside so there is no risk of the bride getting cold anyway.
Finally, some people believe that if the bride stands on the left, it will help her husband find new employment.
The left side The bride traditionally takes her seat on the left side of the altar after walking down the aisle. 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. If the groom was not present at the wedding, it was customary for him to send his army to protect the bride.
Today, this tradition has been replaced by a more peaceful solution: the bride's father or some other member of the family will stand in for her. If no one stands in for the bride, then she must walk down the aisle alone.
The groom's side is usually reserved for the husband of the bride. He sits next to her and opens up the service. The best man gives a short speech during this part of the ceremony and then opens up the seating chart for questions and announcements.
At the end of the ceremony, the ring bearer starts things off by carrying the wedding ring down the aisle. Next, the mother of the bride or maid of honor carries a small table decorated with white flowers down the aisle. On top of the table is a bottle of wine for the couple to drink from together as a symbol of unity. After the mother comes the father, if he can make it down the aisle without falling over the backs of the chairs.
The bride traditionally takes her seat on the left side of the altar after walking down the aisle. If nothing else, the bride's presence furthers the purpose of the ceremony: bringing peace between two families by joining them together in marriage.
However, today most brides choose to sit in a chair instead of standing. And if they are very young, perhaps 10 or 11 years old, they may be given a place next to their father during the service.
The groom stands behind the bride during the service and remains by her side until after the reception when he will usually go home with her. But if she has family in the church waiting to see the couple leave together, then the groom will stay with her.
In some cultures, it is traditional for the groom to lift the bride over the threshold of the house that she is going to live in with him. This shows that he is giving her authority over his own home so there will be no confusion about who is in charge once they marry.
In other cultures, it is traditional for the groom to carry his wife over the threshold of her house because she will be relying on him to protect her and keep her safe from harm.