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Why the bride always stands on the left side of the groom.

Mamamia logo Mamamia 04/01/2017 Brittany Stewart

© Rex Images There are a lot of decisions to be made about weddings. The dress, the theme, the venue, the food, whether or not to invite Uncle Jim who caused an unforgettable scene at the last family get-together when the bar tab ran out.

The one thing you probably don’t even think about? Which side of the altar/priest/celebrant you’ll stand at while you say your vows.

Typically the groom will always stand on the right, with the bride on their left – and no, it’s not because it’s his or her better side in photos.

While it may seem trivial, the reason why this is the standard position dates back to hundreds of years ago - and it's not exactly romantic.

According to The Knot, the practice dates back to the times of "marriage by capture", which yes, was as horrible as it sounds.

It involved the man simple capturing (read: kidnapping) the woman he wanted to marry and is actually reportedly still practised in some countries in Central Asia and parts of Africa.

Because of the nature of the bride "selection," the groom needed to stand on the right so his right hand (aka his fighting hand) would be free to draw his sword without injuring his bride to defend her against any daring suitors who might try to steal her at the last minute.

You can imagine the part of the ceremony where anyone with an objection is called to step forward was very tense indeed.

Of course this "tradition" largely depends on your religion.

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While it's generally customary for the bride to stand on the left in Catholic ceremonies because it puts her closer to Virgin Mary, in Jewish weddings the bride actually stands on the right due to an interpretation of a verse in Psalms (45:10) "The queen stands on your right hand in fine gold of Ophir."

If you're not religious, there's no real reason to stick to it. So if your better side is your left, you have a hairstyle that needs showing off or you just want to do something different, feel free to mix it up.

Is marriage forever or for now? We fight it out. 

Say I don't to these wedding traditions

Say "I don't" to these wedding traditions

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