Weddings are steeped in tradition. But did you ever stop to wonder why there are so many customs surrounding the way the bride dresses on her big day? From wearing a veil to tossing the garter, here’s the inside skinny.

Not seeing each other before the ceremony?
In the early days of arranged marriages, the bride and groom often never saw each other at all before the wedding. Even when couples were acquainted before they married, it was still considered bad luck for the groom to glimpse the bride pre-ceremony, as she would not be pure and new. Neither was the bride supposed to see herself — it was believed that if she saw her reflection she would leave some of herself behind in the mirror. (Brides today probably wouldn’t take too well to not being able to preen before the wedding!) These days, many couples still uphold the not-seeing-each-other tradition. Others throw caution to the wind and spend time alone together pre-ceremony to calm their nerves or enjoy the excitement.