It may seem perfectly normal, but when you think about it, Western brides' white garb is strange. Indian brides, for example, traditionally wear red saris, while brides in Africa don a multitude of vibrant colors and designs. What's even more shocking is that not so long ago, Western brides had more color options for their wedding wear. It wasn't until Queen Victoria donned a white gown in 1840 for her marriage to Prince Albert that brides began losing their taste for color. Queen Victoria's garb was extremely controversial in its day, as white was a color associated with mourning [source: Flock].
But how times change. Within a decade of the Queen's nuptials, white was the only color brides wanted to wear [source: Flock]. Today, any other hue is taboo (at least for first-time brides), and Queen Victoria's rebellious choice is now arguably the most recognized wedding standard in the Western world.
Although some of the wedding customs featured in this article might initially seem strange, don't judge them too harshly. For all we know, our grandchildren will slip rings on each other's toes after having their feet smacked with fish and call it tradition.