While marriage sure has changed a lot over the years, there are many things that have remained the same. These traditions have become as much a part of our culture as anything else. From the moment you get engaged to the minute you walk down the aisle, there are so many aspects of the whole thing that have deep roots in various cultures’ history. Like, why do men traditionally propose? What about going down on one knee? Can a woman propose? Why diamond engagement rings?

Young man kneeling and proposing his girlfriend.

According to historians, men went down on one knee to show submission, respect and honor, similar to praying in church or going before the king.

Women have traditionally only been allowed to propose during a leap year, thanks to the Irish saint Brigid who asked St. Patrick to marry her on a leap year. While he declined her offer, the tradition stuck.

Beautiful jewelry rings (high resolution 3D image)

As for engagement rings, the tradition seems to go all the way back to Roman times. The introduction of diamonds didn’t really take hold in the US until the 1930s — less than 100 years ago.

While it’s more exciting to make your own traditions these days, it’s nice to see some old stuff mixing in with the new, which is the best way to help make your wedding unique.

Did you do anything non-traditional at your wedding? Let us know @Britandco!

(h/t The Sun; Photos via Getty)