Wedding ceremonies are full of traditions that reach far into history.
* The practice of keeping bride and groom apart until the ceremony was important prior to the 18th century. After all, most marriages were arranged and no one wanted a runaway bride or groom. Today, the tradition is becoming less important. About 59 percent of adults live together before marriage, according to Pew Research.
* Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe. This lucky advice to brides first appear in print in 1871 and is still practiced today, likely without the silver sixpence.
* White dresses. Red was the most popular color until Queen Victoria wore a lacy white gown for her 1840 wedding. Later, the white dress came to symbolize innocence and purity.
* Wedding rings: While women have worn rings to symbolize betrothal since Roman times, men have only worn rings since the 1940s. Jewelers attempted to popularize male engagement rings in the 1920s, but it never caught on.
* The banns. During the Middle Ages, the custom arose of announcing an impending marriage three times in church, called the banns of marriage. This allowed news of the wedding to spread and could possibly prevent bigamy.
Today, in traditional church ceremonies, the officiant may still ask the congregation to speak now or forever hold your peace. The number of weddings with that exhortation has dramatically diminished, since just 22 percent of weddings are performed in churches today. That is down from 41 percent in 2009.
Image by Carissa Rogers