It's not exactly intuitive for men to get together to catch the underwear of their friend's new wife. But if you're wondering how this daring tradition came about, consider the mystery solved. Basically, the league launch originated when some witnesses got too excited about the action and grabbed the bride's clothes as she passed by. Eventually, as Mental Floss reports, people realized how creepy this was, so instead the groom would take off some underwear and throw it outside to prove consummation to witnesses.
The release of the league is essentially proof that the bride has been deflowered in a very public setting. This tradition may seem romantic (or, at least, evidence of the groom's strength), but its origins are very similar to those of the league launch. According to The Knot, the ritual began with the ancient Roman grooms, who literally dragged their wives into their homes after the wedding. The lack of enthusiasm could have been a lack of consent, or simply an effort to keep the girlfriend from seeming too eager for sex.
The tradition arose with Queen Victoria, who chose a white silk satin dress for her wedding to Prince Albert 176 years ago. According to Time, her choice was a break from the popular color for brides in her time red. Many brides, not so much grooms, see a presumptive and sexist bias in social media and online marketing, before and after their wedding. Weddings have evolved and so have rituals that were once rooted in archaic or sexist practices.
The fact that women historically had no say in this transaction still leaves a bitter note for many people now, even when the act of asking for permission is more symbolic than anything else. Many parents are looking forward to the sweet moment of taking their child down the aisle. While this tradition stems from sexist roots, Jennifer Taylor suggests reclaiming the moment rather than completely wasting it.