As anyone who has ever planned or attended a wedding knows, there are many elements that people include without thinking twice about them. Unless a wedding is completely bucking tradition, things like bridesmaids' dresses and bouquets are standard parts of the affair that help create a romantic scene. Romance, though, wasn't exactly the reason why these nice little wedding staples came into being. 

"Dearest husband, did you remember to invite anyone who isn't a lecherous old man?"

For many, many years, love was not necessarily the basis of marriage, which means that a crap ton of wedding traditions have ulterior motives. Here are 16 examples of wedding traditions that sound much less cute when you know the story behind them (unless you think evil spirits sound nice).

1. The wedding ring.

The tradition of the ring came about for a few reasons. At one point, wedding rings were made of things like grass, with the purpose of warding off bad spirits. Obviously, grass doesn't last long, thus prompting a switch to more permanent materials that doubled as symbol of love/ownership. Mostly ownership. Much like today, rings were a status symbol even back in Ancient Egypt.

"Thank you for this ring. Now let's never speak again."
Sources: Bride's Book of Etiquette