"When it comes to history, we prefer to believe what suits us."
That quote, by Margaret MacMillan, is from an interesting book you might want to check out:
"DANGEROUS GAMES," based on a series of lectures given at the University of Western Ontario, catalogs the various ways that history has been warped, manipulated and just plain fabricated in order to serve one purpose or another. Covering everything from Scottish kilts to the Treaty of Versailles, the book debunks the distorted versions of history that nefarious opportunists made for the purposes of control and excessive gain.
Here's an excerpt relevant to my "AVOIDING MARRIAGE" series:
"The customs of the 'traditional' wedding (the elaborate church ceremony, the white dress, etc.), were concocted not that long ago. In fact, for most of the history of Christianity, a wedding was a low-key affair conducted at home without the benefit of clergy."