Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fun facts about "brides and weddings"

"Bridal" comes from Middle English and refers to the wedding feast with its copious amount of "bridale" - "bride ale."  The word "wed" or "wedde," an older term, also derives from Middle English and meant "pledge."  A man pledged goods in exchange for the bride.  Bride prices, dowries, a father "giving away" his daughter, transferring his power over her to another man, all remind us that marriage across societies and time periods was primarily a financial transaction and the practice of marrying for love is not very old."

"Queen Victoria's 1840 wedding is generally cited as the start of the widespread adoption of white, as brides copied her satin gown in Europe and North America.  In China, India, Vietnam and some other Asian countries red garments are traditionally worn, although the bride often changes into a white Western dress for the reception."

These comments were from a enjoyable soft murder mystery by Katherine Hall Page featuring a grand wedding on the New York Gold Coast.  The author's notes included some fascinating facts about wedding traditions.

The Body in the Boudoir by Katherine Hall,  Harper Colling Publishers, 2012    Pagep248

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