Going to the chapel and getting married? Maybe you’ve got your bridesmaids and a flower girl and ring bearer too. Amid all your busy planning, did you ever wonder where some of these traditions come from? Historians believe the first wedding occurred nearly 5,000 years ago, around the same time as the first dowries. Legend says that bridal showers began in the Netherlands around the 16th century, to support brides when a father couldn’t afford a dowry—or flat out refused.

And white weddings? Those were deemed fashionable in the west after Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Traditional wedding attire, however, differs greatly around the world, from Kilts to Saris. Today, weddings are both religious and cultural traditions and also very big business. While the average price of a wedding reported in the media is usually inflated, most couples spend at least several thousand dollars—and often much more—on their “Big Day”.

From destination weddings to theme weddings to the most traditional of ceremonies, the styles, colors, decor—and the day itself—are as different as the people whose union is being celebrated.