Wedding Traditions: Why Does the Groom Stand to the Right of the Bride?
August 9, 2011
Photo Credit: Edyta Szyszlo Photography via 100 Layer Cake
This week we’re wondering: Why does the groom stand to the right of the bride during the ceremony?
Evidently back in the day, people were a little less afraid to stand up and object to a union. In fact, they’d take it one step further and charge the altar in attempt to capture the unexpecting bride. Whether the trouble makers were looking to be heroes and save the bride from impending martial doom or were just jealous men who wanted the bride for themselves, it didn’t matter; a groom always came prepared. And just how did he prepare himself? By bringing a sword of course! Standing to the right of his lady meant the groom could defend his bride by holding her back with his left hand while drawing the sword away from her to fend off his competition.
People also say that the groom’s positioning on the right may stem from the belief of the right side being considered a position of privilege and power. This harks back to the Bible and times when women would be seated on the left side of the church, while their husbands sat in the pews to their right.
These days, the bride still tends to keep to the left side of her husband-to-be. We’re pretty sure people try to refrain from bringing swords to a wedding, but hey, tradition tends to stick. If you want to throw a curveball, switch sides. The “bride on the left” tradition certainly doesn’t ring true for all faiths. In the Jewish tradition, the groom stands to the left of the bride. And hey, it’s 2011- you can stand wherever you want.
By: Kelly Hamilton