Why the bride stands on the left side during wedding ceremony

Have you ever wondered why during wedding ceremony, it is customary for the bride to stand on the left and the groom on the right?  I was recently married and thought about the history of this myself. This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, when women were traded and sold for marriage.  So why does the groom stand on the right side of the altar?  Well, your heart is located on the left so the bride stands “under his (grooms) heart”.  This keeps the groom’s right hand (“fighting arm” or “sword arm”) free to defend his bride should an enemy try to steal her away at the last minute.  If any man or attacker made it past the groomsmen at the altar, the groom would hold his bride with his left hand, while using his sword or weapon with his right hand against any oncoming attackers.  Another explanation for this is that men and women used to be split up when they went to church, with the men sitting on the right side, and women sitting on the left.  Because of this, it made sense for the men to stand on the right side of the altar, and the women on the left.  In modern interpretations, it is said that when a man and woman join hands at the altar, it symbolizes their unity and strength.  It also shows their combined resources they bring to the marriage.  Another idea is that when newlyweds turn and face their friends and family at the end of the ceremony, the bride is standing to the groom’s right, symbolizing her spot as his “right hand” throughout the rest of their lives together. Whether you choose the right side or not, we thought you’d like to learn a few reasons for this tradition!

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