Wedding Traditions, Scandals, Stats & Everything In Between – 50 Facts

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1Steve Martin’s Wedding

Steve Martin’s wedding came as a surprise to his guests. The roughly 75 star-studded attendees (including the likes of Tom Hanks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, and Carl Reiner) said that he had invited them to his house just for a “party.” To their shock, upon their arrival, his wedding began.


2. In 1994, Microsoft's Bill Gates, whose fortune was estimated at nearly $7 billion, bought out all the available rooms at the 250-room hotel to keep media from staying there and reportedly hired all the helicopters on Maui to keep photographers from flying over the wedding.


3. Prince Philip was not allowed to invite his three sisters to his wedding to Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth in 1947, because they were all married to German noblemen, and this would have been considered inappropriate in postwar Britain.


4. Groom kidnapping is a phenomenon in some parts of India wherein eligible bachelors are abducted by the bride's family and later forcefully married, to avoid heavy dowry costs.


5. Bride kidnapping (marriage by capture) was a historically widespread practice and still continues today in parts of Asia and Africa. According to some sources, the honeymoon is a relic of abducting the bride and going into hiding to get her pregnant and avoid reprisals from her relatives.


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6Dhivehi Vows

A Swiss couple in the Maldives paid £820 to have their wedding vows renewed in the native Dhivehi language. When the wedding video was posted to YouTube, the subtitles revealed that the minister had actually been insulting them, calling them “infidels” and their children “bastard swine.”


7. R Kelly was 27 when he illegally married singer Aaliyah (15) who falsely stated her age as 18.


8. Stan Lee proposed to his wife after two weeks of dating. She was already married and filed for a quick divorce in Nevada an hour before being married to Stan. The judge who granted the divorce was the same one who performed the marriage ceremony.


9. There is an inverse correlation between the amount of money spent on a wedding, and how long the marriage lasts. The more people spend on the ceremony, the more likely the couple will get divorced.


10. The first documented case of a ‘mail order bride’ / ‘catfishing’ was in 1539 when Henry VIII agreed to marry Anne of Cleves based on a painting of her he was sent. He found her so unattractive that he tried to send her back to Germany, and when he couldn’t, divorced her 6 months later.


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11Ted Bundy’s Marriage

Ted Bundy took advantage of an obscure Florida law in court - that a marriage declaration in front of a presiding judge was counted as a legal marriage. As he questioned his girlfriend Carol Ann Boone, he asked her to marry him, and announced they were married to the court when she accepted.


12. In 1990, a police department in Michigan staged a fake wedding with undercover cops acting as the bride and groom and invited local drug dealers to attend. At the reception, they busted them all at once.


13. The children of Princess Anne, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, carry no Royal Titles. They are still in the Royal line of succession but have no peerage titles because their father was common-born and refused a title upon marriage into the Royal Family.


14. In 2012, a Manchester couple jokingly invited Queen Elizabeth to their wedding. The Queen accepted and made an appearance along with Prince Philip.


15. Having bridesmaids at a wedding wasn't originally for moral support. They were “intended to confuse evil spirits or those who wished to harm the bride.”


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16Clothing Ration Coupons

Because of the austerity measures following the war, Queen Elizabeth had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her wedding dress. She was given hundreds of clothing coupons by brides-to-be to help her, but she had to return the coupon gifts as it was illegal to transfer them.


17. Alan Rickman dated the same woman for over 40 years. In 2012, he married her in a secret ceremony and then walked over the Brooklyn Bridge together. They didn’t tell anybody until 2015.


18. The widowed mother of Henry VI was barred from remarrying by a law stripping her betrothed of wealth. Thus, she married a landless Welsh servant, Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudur. His name eventually became Owen Tudor, and his descendants would rule England for over 100 years.


19. Princess Diana was 19 when Prince Charles, 31, proposed to her. Because royal custom required Charles to marry a virgin, nearly every other woman of good lineage close to his age was disqualified.


20. Charles Darwin and his wife were first cousins. They had 10 kids, 7 making it to adulthood. Worried that his marriage had something to do with the deaths, he began to experiment with plants. He learned that with any kind of breeding, it's better to cross-breed than to keep relatives together.


21Charles Manson’s Marriage

In 2014, Charles Manson was granted a marriage license, but the wedding was canceled after it was discovered that 26-year-old Afton Elaine "Star" Burton only wanted to marry Manson so she and a friend Craig "Gray Wolf" Hammond could use his corpse as a tourist attraction after he dies.


22. William the Conqueror (aka William the Bastard) was denied a marriage proposal by Matilda of Flanders who felt marrying a bastard was below her. He won her heart by reading the response and immediately riding 250+ miles from Normandy to Bruges to grab her by the hair and throw her in the mud.


23. The “50% of marriages in the USA end in divorce” statistic is misleading. In reality, divorce rates peaked in the early 1980s and have been steadily decreasing since then. If current trends continue, only a third of today's marriages will end in a divorce.


24. The diamond engagement ring fever was invented by an ad campaign in the 1930s. Before that, few Americans proposed with the precious stone, and the price of the diamond was falling.


25. In medieval Germany, married couples could legally settle their disputes by fighting a Marital Duel. To even the field, the man had to fight from inside a hole with one arm tied behind his back. The woman was free to move and was armed with a sack filled with rocks.

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