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Wedding Traditions Explained: Tie the Knot & Get Hitched

You’ve probably heard the phrases “tie the knot” or “get hitched” when referring to someone getting married. We hear and use these sayings all the time, but have to admit we actually don’t know where these phrases originated. So, we decided to do a little investigating! Read below to see what we found.

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Photo Credit: VM Photography

Tie the Knot

The term tie the knot originated from the ancient Renaissance ceremony called handfasting. The ceremony created a marriage contract between a bride and a groom by joining their hands. Their hands were “tied” together for one year and a day, allowing the couple to see if they wanted to be legally married. After a year and a day, if they decided they did not want to be married, they went their separate ways. This is essentially what we refer to today as an engagement period – when a couple creates a contract between each other to get married on a future day.

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Photo Credit: Jackie Wonders Photography

Get Hitched

Hitched is a word traditionally associated with horses. When horses are hitched together, for example to a wagon, they have to work together and share equally in pulling the load of the wagon. This is a fitting comparison to marriage, because when a couple is married they are joined together and have to share in the responsibilities of a household – raising a family and providing for one other. You can see how the phrase “getting hitched” is a comparable one to “getting married.”

When using the phrases “tying the knot” or “getting hitched” when referring to your wedding, now you’ll know the meaning behind these sayings!

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Photo Credit: A Practical Wedding

We’ve done research on other wedding traditions. Find their history on our blog here.