From tossing the bouquet to being carried over the threshold, weddings have been mired in tradition since ceremonies were first held.

But how did these traditions originate? And how many of these age-old customs are still being practised today?

It’s hard to say because weddings are constantly evolving and changing. With the introduction of new trends, old traditions are quickly being replaced with modern customs. And while we’re fans of the more modern approach, we certainly appreciate the story and history behind some of the more ancient wedding traditions.

Here are four customs whose origins may surprise you.

Wedding dresses weren’t always white

it was Queen Victoria who started the white wedding dress trend.

While many associate the white wedding dress and veil with purity, the colour white only became popular after Queen Victoria married Prince Albert back in 1840 (which makes this trend, oh, only about 176 years old).

Apparently she simply chose a white dress because she fancied it. Of course, this went down a treat, as today white is the most popular wedding gown hue in Western cultures.

Before that, people were known to either wear their Sunday best, or blue. Blue was worn specifically among early Christians as the colour was closely associated with the Virgin Mary and represented wholesomeness.

Instead of being eaten, cakes were thrown at brides
Sure, some couples love to playfully shove wedding cake into each other’s mouths, maybe smearing it across a cheek or a chip, but this tradition goes way back. Instead of being eaten, the first wedding cakes were thrown at brides (yes, at their faces!) . The tradition itself stems from ancient Rome, where loaves of bread  were broken over a bride’s head as wheat represented fertility.