Groomsmen's Blog

The Threshold of Love: Why the Groom Carries the Bride

Posted on Apr 17, 2010. 0 comments

As a groom, it is your right - nay, your duty as a newlywed to carry your bride over the threshold. If you ranked the top masculine moments of your life, scooping up your woman and whisking her into your new home will just barely beat out the time you shared cigars and scotch with your bros after presenting them personalized humidors as groomsmen gifts. Carrying your bride over the threshold is your debonair moment of the decade.

As manly as it might seem, when did all this heavy lifting start? It's not like you had treacherous floor boards put in while you were on your honeymoon - or did you?

Just like most of the wedding origin stories, grooms have been practicing this fairytale moment of chivalry for thousands of years, and they don't really know why. Whether it's a fear of ghastly splinters, or just another chance for the groom to show off his brute strength, here's a list of reasons why the groom carries the bride over the threshold.

 

The Origins of Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold

1. Anglo-Saxon a.k.a. "The Controlling Guy"

Looking back at The Role of the Original Groomsmen, it was common practice in the middle ages to abduct a bride from a neighboring village, force her into marriage against her will, and get her drunk off honey wine for an entire moon cycle. Honey wine + moon cycle = honeymoon, get it? On the upside, these Anglo-Saxons class it up for this threshold tradition. During the festivities of the wedding, the groom would physically carry the bride (sometimes against her will) up to the bridal chamber to rock the casbah while guests stayed to enjoy the party.

2. Roman Misfortune

Ancient times called for roads, sweet robes and crazy superstitions. It was a widely held belief by Romans that if a bride tripped on the entrance to her home, the newlyweds could be plagued with a lifetime of misfortune. As a safe guard, the groom carried the bride across the threshold.

3. Over My Slavic Left Foot

Slavic tradition says that if a bride enters her house with her left foot first it could result in many years of bad luck for the marriage. We get that when the groom carries the bride across the threshold that she won't have the chance to enter the house with her left foot forward, but is there nothing written about if she lands on her left foot first. Where's the superstition bi-laws?

4. The Greek Underworld

Greek superstitions don't make any sense, but they sure are fun to hear about. Back in the day, there was a lot of commotion of evil spirits from the underworld rising up and sealing the fate of young, beautiful brides. With no proton packs in sight, the Greeks turned to the next logical remedy of warding off ghosts: innocent children with flowers. They sprinkled flowers EVERYWHERE! Down the aisle. In the seats. Even on the bed. As a precaution on the house, the groom would carry the bride from the doorway to the bed to ensure her protection from the underworld.

5. Medieval Demure

Not all middle ages nuptials were weddings by kidnapping. The upper class during medieval times deemed it improper for a young woman to be eager to consummate her marriage on the wedding night. To appear unenthusiastic to the groom's marital intentions, it was the groom's job to carry her away.

6. The Viking Chop Block

Nobody likes extramarital spiritual baggage. Especially Vikings. They believed the bride might accidentally bring evil spirits from her old house of origin into her new one. You'd think those hats with the horns coming out of them were scary enough to keep any spirit at bay, but as a special precaution these warriors of Valhalla carried their bride across the threshold as a means of preventing any demon's access to the new home.

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