Most of us do it at least once in a life time. In the west we do it in the name of love but most cultures are far more practical about it ~ marriage that is. I fall into that small percentage of women who didn't wear white, covert a diamond engagement ring [I abhor diamonds so that is no hardship! lol], or walk down an aisle. All that fuss for an hour or so!
We say things like, " They're tying the knot," with no idea of what we're saying. At Celtic marriages [& Hindu & Egyptian weddings] the bride & groom's hands are literally tied together, hence tying the knot! Mind you, the Celts at least had so many marriage variants, including the fairytale *for a year & a day*, it's something of a worry.
If you wear a wedding band on the usual 4th finger of the left hand then you are imitating the ancient Egyptians who believed the vein of love ran from this finger directly to the heart. Gold is the usual precious metal for a wedding band ~ 17 tonnes a year are needed in the U.S.A alone to make them! Mind you, while I rather like snakes, I'm adverse to wearing them & the earliest wedding rings were snaky with little ruby eyes because the joined coils signified eternity. We've kept the symbolism but ditched the snaky bit ~ & a good thing too!
Most of us know the veil was originally for warding off the evil spirits [Roman ladies wore virulent fiery yellow ones!], that the white wedding dress is for virginity/purity, & throwing rice or confetti is to confer fecundity on the happy couple but what about the kiss at the end of the service? In the good old days, & aren't I pleased they're long gone!, the bride & groom consummated their marriage there & then under the eyes of the whole village!!!! The chaste kiss is all that remains of this particular practise! Whew!
For centuries June was the most popular month for weddings. I understand that's summer in the northern hemisphere & there is a good chance of fine weather but June was also the month dedicated to the Roman goddess Juno, patron of home & hearth & all that goes with it.
And when all the shouting & the tumult dies & the newly wed couple departs with a trail of rattling tin cans tied to their bumper [to ward of more evil spirits] they are usually headed for an exclusive secluded retreat for a wonderful *honeymoon*. Umhummm. What I bet they didn't know is where that term comes from. Yes, more of the good old days, really old, good days. When men were men &...oops, probably the wrong story. Well, when men were encouraged to indulge their Neanderthal instincts & capture a bride by force he would carry her away [good grief this sounds like a bad fairy tale!] & hide her away where he though family & friends wouldn't track her down. There, in this secluded & hidden retreat, he would ply her with wine made from honey [to encourage her to accept his amorous advances] & keep her for the length of one moon phase ~ hence honeymoon!
I'm so sorry I got onto this topic. I'm going to stop now. Yikes! The medieval idea of women being a *little exchange of property* is starting to look attractive!