Why is the Bride carried across the threshold?

Once again, the Bride being carried across the threshold is a tradition that had some not-so pleasant origins. The traditions we see as part of such a happy day in modern society all seem to have started from superstition or even violence. Who would have thought?

There are actually a few different origins to the threshold scenario. The first and certainly least acceptable by today's standards is the wife had probably been captured or stolen from her parents family against her will and therefore needed to be carried into her "husbands" home. No woman I know would voluntarily walk in to her captor's home.

Another origin is that the wife needed to enter by the front door and must not trip or fall as to avoid bad luck and so began the tradition of her husband carrying her over the threshold.

In more puritanical times it served to keep up the socially acceptable appearance (really?) that the wife wasn't entirely willing and needed to be carried. I'm not sure that one sits well with me either. Even if it's just a pretence, why would you not want your wife to be willing?

Yet another reason the bride was carried was to stop her touching the floor as she entered her new home, therefore providing a barrier between her and evil spirits. Wow, there really were a lot of evil spirits around those days.

Strangely there are no mentions of a bride being carried because her feet are sore after dancing in heels and having a damn good night at her wedding. That seems to be the most likely story these days.

Brenton ParryComment