times, always with the same person."
Mignon McLaughlin, (1913-1983), American journalist and author.
It is customary, near the end of the reception, for the single female guests to gather around the bride who will throw her bouquet over her shoulder for one of them to catch. Originally, the bride would actually throw one of her shoes over her shoulder during this ritual. Tradition says that whoever catches the bouquet shall be the next to marry.
It is believed that an unmarried male guest who keeps a piece of wedding cake under his pillow as he sleeps will increase his chances of finding a mate. An unmarried bridesmaid who does the same will dream of her future husband.
The custom of throwing rice at the newlywed couple was to symbolize fertility. In some cultures, it was not rice which was thrown, but rather small cakes or pieces of a crumbled cake.
In old England it was traditional to bake a ring into the wedding cake as a symbol of bliss and happiness. The guest whose piece of cake contained the ring, it was said, could look forward to a full year of uninterrupted happiness.
Another old English custom was to throw a plate with a piece of wedding cake out of a window on the occasion of the bride's first return to her family home after the wedding. If the plate broke she could expect a happy future with her husband - but if the plate remained intact, prospects for the future became grim.
Cutting the wedding cake together, still a predominant ritual at weddings, symbolizes the couple's unity, their shared future, and their life together as one.
Cakes have played a part of weddings all through history. The Romans shared a plain cake of flour, salt and water during the wedding ceremony itself, as Native Americans still do today. The traditional fruit cake originated in Britain, with the fruit and nuts being a symbol of fertility.
Tradition says that the first member of the newlywed couple to purchase a new item following the wedding will be the dominant force in the relationship. As such, to this day some superstitious brides will pre-arrange to buy a small item from one of the bridesmaids immediately following the ceremony!
The tradition of having members of the wedding party dress alike was started with the hopes that this would cause confusion for the spirits and send them on their way.
Playing pranks on the newlywed couple was also a tradition which began with the intentions of warding off evil spirits. Loyal friends of the couple would do this in hopes that the spirits would take pity on the couple for already being picked upon enough, and would then leave the couple alone.
The tradition of tying tin cans to the back of the newlywed's vehicle originated long ago when items which would produce noise were tied to the back of the couple's carriage to scare away evil spirits.
In times past, if a young man encountered a blind person, a pregnant woman, or a monk while on his way to propose to his intended bride, it was believed that the marriage would be doomed if he continued along because these images were thought to be bad omens.
Did Ya Know 2005 was the Only Year to Retire 5 Hurricane Names?
Deadliest Hurricane: More than 8,000 people perished Sept. 8, 1900, when a category 4 hurricane barreled into Galveston, Texas. Waves were higher than 15 feet and winds howled at 130 mph, destroying more than half of the island's homes. Scroll further down for a list of the top 10 fatal storms.
Costliest Hurricane: Andrew, a ferocious category five storm that is the third-strongest hurricane on record to hit the U.S. mainland, left a $25 billion trail of damage in southeast Florida and then caused another $1 billion in damage in Louisiana. The storm is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. It damaged 100,000 homes, wiped out 102 miles of power lines and destroyed 90 percent of small businesses. It killed 23 people. Scroll further down for a list of the top 10 most expensive storms.
Most Intense Hurricane: An unnamed storm slammed into the Florida Keys during Labor Day, 1935. Forecasters estimated the winds hit 150-to-200 mph with wind gusts likely exceeding 200 mph. The storm killed an estimated 408 people.
Longest Hurricane: Hurricane/Typhoon John lasted 31 days in August and September 1994. It is known as both a hurricane and a typhoon because it moved through both the eastern and western parts of the Pacific Ocean.
Greatest Storm Surge: In 1969, Hurricane Camille produced a 25-foot storm surge in Mississippi. Camille, a category five storm, was the strongest storm of any kind to ever strike mainland America. When the eye hit Mississippi, winds gusted up to 200 mph and water rose 24 feet above normal high tides. The hurricane caused the deaths of 143 people along the coast from Alabama into Louisiana and led to another 113 deaths as the weakening storm moved inland.
Deadliest Storms -- The Top 10
1. Galveston, Texas, 1900, 8,000 to 12,000 dead.
2. Lake Okeechobee, Fla., 1928, 1,836.
3. Florida Keys and South Texas, 1919, more than 600 to 900.
4. New England, 1938, 600.
5. Florida Keys, 1935, 408.
6. Audrey, Southwest Louisiana and North Texas, 1957, 390.
7. Northeast U.S., 1944, 390.
8. Grand Isle, La., 1909, 350.
9. New Orleans, 1915, 275.
10. Galveston, Texas, 1915, 275.
Costliest Storms -- The Top 10
1. Andrew, Florida and Louisiana, 1992, $35 billion.
2. Hugo, South Carolina, 1989, $7 billion.
3. Floyd, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, 1999, $4.5 billion.
4. Fran, North Carolina, 1996, $3.2 billion.
5. Opal, Florida and Alabama, 1995, $3 billion.
6. Georges, Florida Keys, Mississippi and Alabama, 1998, $2.31 billion.
7. Frederic, Alabama and Mississippi, 1979, $2.3 billion.
8. Agnes, Florida, Northeast U.S., 1972, $2.1 billion.
9. Alicia, Texas, 1983, $2 billion.
10. Bob, North Carolina and Northeast U.S., 1991, $1.5 billion.
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
A funny connection with hurricanes to end today's trivia:
In 1998, Hurricane George hit Gulfport, Mississippi, blowing a cat named Big Boy up into a big oak tree. Three years later, Big Boy's owner said the cat never left the tree. The feline eats, sleeps, and climbs the branches for exercise!Have a calm, happy day!