I was dreaming when I Rome'd this
Picture From Italy Magazine: The Romans: Marriage and Weddings
Lots of modern Wedding Day traditions have roots in ancient times. Impress folks at your reception with fun facts about the origins of modern day social customs and expectations.
From Mental Floss: 21 Historical Roles and Responsibilities of the Wedding Party from Jen Doll's Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest
"Ancient Roman law required 10 witnesses to be present at a wedding, which is considered a precursor to the bridal party tradition."
"In some traditions, bridesmaids led the bridegroom to the church and the groomsmen led the bride."
"In ancient Roman weddings, the matron of honor was a moral role model, known for fidelity and obedience. (She had to have been married no more than once, and to have a living husband.) She joined the right hands of the bride and bridegroom for the first time at the ceremony."
"In ancient times, brides carried bunches of aromatic herbs, like garlic, dill, and rosemary, to ward off evil spirits; this tradition continued into the 1800s. (Guests, it’s said, might also nibble on the herbs for fresh breath.) Queen Victoria, who carried a bouquet of snowdrops, also gets credit for starting the modern floral trend." (Jen Doll @ Mental Floss)
Ceremony Rites: "The sharing of water and fire (aquae et ignis communiciatio) was symbolically... refers to the sharing of natural resources."
Gender Equality: "In the earliest periods of Roman history, Manus Marriage meant that a married woman would be subjugated by her husband, but that custom had died out by the 1st century BCE, in favor of Free Marriage which did not grant a husband any rights over his wife or have any changing effect on a woman's status"
From Explore Italian Culture:
"Ancient Romans then developed from a simple band to a more elaborate design of a gold signet design showing hands clasped, or a couple entwined. They named this the 'Concordia' or harmony ring but the design also became known as 'fede' rings
[These] 'engagement' rings now spoke of strength, a promise to marry, trust, harmony and 'fede', meaning a pledge of love - and in Italy today 'fede' is what a wedding ring is called.
Rings were worn on the third finger of the left hand - Roman culture following the Egyptian belief that from that finger ran the "nerve of love" directly to the heart."