- In olden times, the priest performing the wedding would bind the bride and grooms hands with rope during the ceremony. In modern day, you will often see the priest place a sash around their hands rather than rope, and it is from this that the saying comes. Although the practice is not as common as it was, depending on your denomination, it is still done.
- Others look at it symbolically. Tying a knot unites two pieces of rope into one intertwined unit, just as the marriage unites the man and woman as one.
- Another theory is that the knot referred to is all about the marriage bed. Before the springy matresses we know today, beds used to be constructed of knotted rope netting. So, if you're going to get ready for a marriage you had better tie the knots, and be ready for a wild honeymoon.
P.T. Barnum and a young Tom Thumb. (Photo from the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)
Tom Thumb's wedding was featured on the cover of Harper's Weekly Magazine. (Photo from Google Images.)
Residence of Gen. Tom Thumb, at Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Photo from the Robert Bogdan Collection.)
A circa 1940's Tom Thumb wedding. (Photo from Google Images.)
George Allen and his sister, Sarah, dressed up in Tom Thumb garb. (Mid 1930's photo courtesy of Howard Ware.)