How Did the Custom of the “Bridal” Party Originate and Where Did the Tradition of a Wedding Reception Come From?

The expressions bridal feast, bridal bed, and bridal cake, among other bridal references, all date back to around 1200, when a wedding was a rather boisterous and bawdy affair.

The word bridal comes from “bride-ale,” which was the special beer brewed for the wedding and then sold to the guests to raise money for the newlyweds.

Because of the bride-ale, weddings were quite rowdy until around the seventeenth century, when the church managed to get a grip on the whole thing.