The Strange History of Wedding Traditions

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Why do we celebrate the way we do? Because people feared evil spirits, kidnappers liked to crash weddings, and brides smelled bad.

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Sources: Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition by Vicki Howard | Bridal Couture: Fine Sewing Techniques for Wedding Gowns and Evening Wear by Susan Khalje | The Roman Wedding: Ritual and Meaning in Antiquity by Karen K. Hersch | “10 Strange Wedding Traditions,” howstuffworks.com | “10 Wedding Traditions With Surprising Origins,” howstuffworks.com | “The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions,” mentalfloss.com | “The Roman Empire in the First Century: Weddings, Marriages & Divorce,” pbs.org

Illustration: Jessica Duff, Groupon

Check out more beauty timelines and learn about the history of mascara, hair dye and tattoos:

An Illustrated History of Beauty

Poison eye drops, black tooth dye, and brides with body odor—it’s been a bumpy ride from 5,000 B.C. to today.