Unfortunately, many bridal traditions have dark origins — like carrying the bride over the threshold. You may have seen this custom in romantic comedies where it’s usually either a humorous or sentimental moment.
However, Insider reports that the practice originates with the Rape of the Sabine Women, an event in Roman mythology in which soldiers abducted and subsequently raped local women.
Later, the tradition became a common Roman wedding practice. Insider says that following the wedding, the bride attempted to run to her mother’s home while the groom and his friends chased her. They then carried her into the groom’s home “over the threshold.”
At this point, the cat-and-mouse game was a show meant to represent that the bride didn’t want to leave her parents.
However, the American Wedding, which provides wedding invitations and stationery, also says that generations ago, a bride maintained her dignity by appearing unwilling to “give herself” to her new husband. This was for appearance’s sake so at the threshold of the bedroom, the husband carried his wife in.
The American Wedding also points to the long-ago belief that demons followed the bride to her new home.
“To keep them from entering the home, the groom would carry her across the threshold the first time she entered the home,” it says. ”After that, demons could not come in, and the bride was free to come and go as she pleased.”
The threshold itself also his several meanings, according to Insider. The British believed the threshold could contain evil spirits capable of damaging a marriage or the woman’s child-bearing ability. Therefore, the groom could not allow the bride to touch it.
Thresholds are also important in Zoroastrianism, an ancient Iranian religion. Insider reports that Zoroastrians smear the couple’s doorjambs with turmeric after a wedding. The groom then passes through without touching the threshold, and his new mother-in-law marks his forehead with red pigment and throws rice at him.
Bottom Line: While this tradition may have some disturbing origins, if it’s something you and your husband want to do, go for it! If not, this practice has fizzled over the years and won’t bring your marriage bad luck!