Viewing posts for the category Facts

The Weird And Wonderful World of Weddings - Rings And Shiny Things

Posted by Rachel Donnelly in Facts on January 18, 2013

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but have you ever wondered why diamonds are so popular, or why jewellery became such a significant part of most wedding ceremonies? Here are some facts about one of the most exciting (and expensive!) parts of a traditional wedding ceremony.

  • Diamonds are the most popular stone used in engagement rings. Over 74% of first-time brides will receive a diamond ring, which symbolises pure and eternal love. 
  • The practice of giving or exchanging engagement rings began in 1477 when Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, gave Mary of Burgandy a diamond ring as an engagement present. 
  • Pope Innocent III (1160-1216) declared that a waiting period should be observed between betrothal and marriage, which led to separate engagement and wedding rings. (You can thank him for having to buy two rings!) 
  • Ancient Greeks thought diamonds (adamas) were tears of the gods, while the Romans thought “diamas” were splinters from heavenly stars. 
  • A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because its shape is similar to that of a tear. 
  • Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the fifteenth century. 
  • A sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness. 
  • Approximately seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the US alone.
  • The Puritans banned wedding rings because they saw them as “frivolous” pieces of jewellery and symbolic relics of the Pope’s control.

 - image via Mervis Diamond

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The Weird and Wonderful World of Weddings - Celebrity Weddings

Posted by Rachel Donnelly in Facts Funny on October 19, 2012

Over the top, outrageous, indulgent... In honour of all things extravagant, here's a round-up of some of the more excessive and unusual celebrity wedding events. 

  1. Elizabeth Taylor was the first to sell a magazine the rights to her wedding to Larry Fortensky, for $1 million in 1991.

  2. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes spent $900,000 alone in airfares for their guests to attend their wedding at the 15th century Odescalchi Castle outside of Rome.

  3. The food at Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas’ wedding was priced at $500 per head. They had 350 guests.

  4. Britney Spears wore ripped jeans and a baseball cap when she walked down the aisle at her first wedding to Jason Alexander. The marriage lasted just 56 hours!

  5. Charlie Sheen’s pre nuptial agreement when he married Denise Richards included a $4 million bonus if he cheated on her.

  6. Celine Dion’s seven pound tiara had to be stitched into her hair for her wedding to Rene Angelil.

  7. Katy Perry married Russell Brand in a tiger sanctuary in India.

  8. Guests at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding had to hand over all their mobile phones and cameras before the ceremony and were issued with wrist bands to enable them to retrieve them afterwards.

  9. Elizabeth Taylor was married and divorced eight times – twice to the same man.

  10. Liza Minelli and David Gest spent $40,000 on their twelve tier wedding cake, and $700,000 on flowers at their 2002 wedding.

  11. When Elizabeth Hurley married Arun Nayar in 2007, their wedding actually lasted 8 days, and included three separate wedding ceremonies in the UKand India.

  12. The food at Wayne Rooney’s £5 million wedding was pizza.

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Wedding Dress Culture

Posted by Rachel Donnelly in Facts on October 05, 2012

Did you know that Queen Victoria started the Western world's white wedding dress trend in 1840? Although white has long been accepted as the traditional colour of the wedding dress, they have not always been white. Until 1840, brides simply wore their best dress, no matter about the colour. 

Around the world, brides of different cultures marry in a variety of vibrant colours, with different meanings for each. The following are example of different styles of dresses from around the world. 

Morocco: Bright yellow dresses are worn to scare away the evil eye, and green to bring good luck. 

Africa: Dresses with bright and cheery colours and patterns are worn to represent the bride’s village. 

China: Red dresses are worn for joy and luck. These are embellished with gold or silver patterns. 

Japan: White silk wedding kimonos lined in red are worn to symbolise happiness and a new beginning. 

American Indian: A long dress covered in beading and finished with fringes is worn. Colours representing north, south, east and west are included in the garment.

India: A silk sari embroidered with gold thread is worn. Depending on the region, the silk can be red or white, with a red border or a combination of yellow, green and white. 

Korea: A lime-green wonsam or hwarrot is worn over the traditional wedding dress, the hanbok. The womsam and hwarrot are embroidered with flowers and butterflies, and banded with red, indigo, and yellow. The bride's hands are covered in white, as a symbol of respect.

 

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The Weird and Wonderful World of Weddings - Greek History

Posted by Rachel Donnelly in Facts Funny on September 28, 2012

Following on from the ancient Romans and their crazy traditions, here is a selection of interesting and unusual historical facts about ancient Greek weddings. 

  • The tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand is traced back to an ancient Greek belief that a vein in this finger runs directly to the heart. 
  • A typical Greek wedding consisted of three parts – the pre-wedding ceremonies, the actual wedding itself, and the post-wedding ceremonies. This meant a wedding ceremony generally took three days to complete. 
  • The preferred time for Ancient Greeks to marry was during winter, particularly in January (Gamelion), as this was sacred to the goddess Hera (of women and marriage). 
  • In Ancient Greece, the age difference between husband and wife was approximately fifteen years. 
  • Greek brides wore traditional wedding veils of yellow or red, which represented fire. These brightly coloured veils were supposed to protect the bride from evil spirits and demons. 
  • At the pre-wedding feast, the bride to be had to make childhood sacrifices, as after the wedding, she would no longer be a child. These sacrifices included her toys, dolls, clothing, and any other childhood items. These items were given away to younger members of her family. 
  • The typical feast that follows a modern day wedding actually took place the day after the wedding in Ancient Greece. It was held in the groom’s house and included food, music, and dancing. 
  • At Ancient Greek weddings, gifts were given only to the bride and were held in a trust so that if her husband died prematurely she would have a way of taking care of herself. 
  • Stag parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor days goodbye with a raucous party.

 

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Something Old, Something New...

Posted by Rachel Donnelly in Facts on September 14, 2012

You may hear this popular wedding rhyme a lot, but have you ever taken much notice of what it means, or the significance behind it? Me neither. So here you have it, explained in full!


“Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in your shoe”

 

Although this rhyme originated in Victorian times, some of customs referred in it are much older.

  1. Something old" - Traditionally, this was an old garter which was given to the bride by a happily married woman in the hope that her happiness in marriage would be passed on to the new bride.

  2. "Something new" symbolises the newlyweds' happy and prosperous future.

  3. Something borrowed" is something of sentimental value often lent by the bride's family. The bride must return the item to ensure good luck.

  4. Something blue" originated in ancient Israel, where the bride wore a blue ribbon in her hair to represent fidelity.

  5. Placing a silver sixpence in the bride's shoe was to ensure wealth in the couple’s married life. Today, some brides substitute a penny in their shoe during the ceremony as silver sixpences are not common.

 

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