Arranged marriages are rare among Canadians. Most people prefer to get to know members of the opposite sex by going out together. If two people decide to get married, they be-come engaged and the bride-to-be may receive a diamond ring from her fiancé'. While the parents' permission is not required unless the bride or groom is under legal age, most couples do hope for their parents' approval of the marriage. Today weddings can take place at any time of the day.
Weddings also vary in style depending on the ethnic traditions of the bride and groom. May is traditionally unlucky for weddings. Before the wedding, the bride may be given a number of "showers" by her friends. Friends of the groom may throw a bachelor party before the wedding day. The expense of the wedding itself is traditionally the responsibility of the bride's parents, but today the costs are more likely to be shared by both families and by the bride and groom themselves. This tradition comes from two or three centuries ago, when wealthy families would pay an eligible bachelor to take an unmarried daughter off their hands in exchange for a large dowry. On the day of the wedding, it is considered bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. The groom usually wears a tuxedo or a formal suit; the bride wears a white gown with a veil. Around the sixteenth century, white became the symbol of purity and innocence. The veil was first introduced by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who wanted to protect the bride from the evil eye of a jealous suitor. The custom of having bridesmaids and ushers probably began with the Romans, who required ten witnesses at a wedding. Bridesmaids dressed like the bride, and ushers dressed like the groom. The idea was to outwit the evil spirits. She should have "something old, something new, something