The wedding industry is a multi-billion dollar one. It is hard to tell read tradition from a marketing/sales ploy. They play on the notion of paying to preserve the tradition. For example, diamond engagement ring didn’t go back much further than the 1920s. As a Chinese, I can confirm that my grandma didn’t have any giant rock on her finger.
Some traditions are real and evolved from old ideas.
A Flower Bouquet
Ever thought of walking down the aisle with a bouquet of garlic and dill? Until modern times, brides did carry garlic and dill. The idea originated from the time of the plague where people clutched the herbs over their nose and mouth for survival. Over time, brides added better-smelling flora to the arrangement.
The earliest tradition in bridesmaid tradition was to dress the bridesmaids exactly the same as the bride. The idea was to ensure they lookalike and any troublesome spirit could not fixate on the bride.
The veil of the brides has origins in the idea that she’s vulnerable the enchantment, so she must be hidden from evil spirit. Perhaps the most evil spirit of all, in an arranged marriage, is the threat of the groom, seeing the bride for the first time, wouldn’t like what he sees. Saves everyone the embarrassment in the short term. In many religion, it is the sign of humility and respect before God. In modern times, we have assurance that the groom had seen the bride and won’t be disappointed.
The honeymoon came from the days when grooms abducted their brides from the neighbors. Back then, those abductions became fun-filled, ritualized enactments of capturing brides. These escapades led to a tradition in which the bride and groom went into hiding for 30 days! And during those days, a friend or family members would being them a cuppa honey wine, so that 30 days of consumption equaled a “honeymoon”.
Wedding and Engagement Rings
Is this a legitimate long-held tradition or not is subjected to some heavy debate, because it is corrupted by commerce. A pope in the 12th century decreed that wedding would be held in church and that the brides were to receive rings. He also decreed that the time between engagement and marriage should be lengthened which boosted interest in engagement rings. But those rings didn’t have diamonds!