Want to be a hit at the next trivia game? Here are a few bits of engagement trivia that you may or may not have known. Can you say why we do what we do?
Don’t worry if you can’t, that’s what I’m here for. I’ve done some digging and some research and here’s some trivia to keep your friends and loved ones scratching their heads and saying: Who knows this stuff?
Tying the Knot
This euphemism for getting married dates back to Roman times when the bride sported a girdle tied in knots that the groom then had the fun of untying.
Leap Year Proposals
Okay, this takes a little explaining. Tradition says that women may propose on February 29th, the leap year day – but this has no recognition in English law because the leap year day was leapt over and therefore had no legal validity. This also meant it was ignored. However, because it has no legal status and it was ignored – it was an opportunity for women who felt like they might be leapt over as well – to propose marriage to the man of their choice. Another argument could be made that since leap years re-balance out the days of the year – that this is an opportunity for women to correct the inequity of the man being the only one who can propose.
The Engagement Ring
Since men in Roman times were required to barter for their brides, the engagement ring served as the security for the betrothed. The idea was considered that the diamond held a stronger and more binding promise than even that of the wedding vow. In medieval times, Italians proposed and used diamonds for their rings because the diamond was associated with the flames of love. How many here knew that?
The Bachelor Party
Okay, this one actually floored me. Ready? The bachelor party was the future groom’s last chance to gather money for his future gambling before the wife took over the finances. In ancient customs, the wife ran the home, which means she controlled the purse strings. In Ancient Sparta, the soldiers held stag parties where the men would all feast together and the man to be married bid farewell to his days of being single and offered an oath of allegiance to his comrades.
This custom is another stumper. It actually began with the idea that a father disapproved of the bride’s wedding or her choice in grooms. Either way, the bridal shower took the place of the father’s dowry so that the bride was able to bring a variety of household items and supplies into the new home. The more modern idea of the bridal shower did not begin until the late 1890s.
So, who knows this stuff? You can honestly say you do now. Have a great Tuesday!