Wedding Bells - Wedding Good Luck Charms and Traditions
Good luck Charms
Weddings are a time of joy and excitement. Plans are made, people are invited and we all look forward to the big day.
But how can you make you wedding day more fortuitous? Back in the day there were spells and potions, charms and poems spoken before the wedding to bring good luck to the bride and groom.
For example some days were luckier to get married on, and others, well, not so good! And many magical wedding gifts were carried by the bride or groom to make sure everything went well on their special day.
The Date of the Wedding
The date and time of the wedding should always be chosen with great care, because it was really bad luck if you changed it later. Unless of course there was a very good reason for the change of date.
For example, a full moon is very auspicious, and back in the old days many brides would memorize this rhyme to make sure they didn't choose the wrong day.
Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday the best day of all,
Thursday for crosses,
Friday for losses,
Saturday, no luck at all.
Many young people these days would be horrified at that poem, as most weddings tend to take place on a Saturday!
Funnily enough, Lent weddings were said to be unlucky, as this poem will tell.
If you marry in Lent,
You will live to repent!
And Harvest time was, well, lets just say, even worse!
They that wive between sickle and scythe,
Shall ne'er survive !
Something old something new
Every bride will know this tradition.
Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue.
Something old proves that her friends will be faithful to her when they are needed.
And something new will bring success into her new life.
Something borrowed is special. It means she is taking the love of her family with her.
Something blue shows constancy. In other words the marriage will be forever, or at least a very long time.
Misfortune and bad luck
The bride must make sure that she removes all pins from her wedding dress before putting it on. Just one small pin that has been left behind will bring bad luck.
But if you find a spider in the folds of the dress, it will mean good luck and good fortune. Unless of course you hate spiders! In my case it would mean me chasing around in a circle while screaming, 'Get rid of it!' Followed by 'Help'!
On the point of bad luck, never try on the wedding dress before the ceremony. Unless it needs taking in or shortening. Its a huge no no!
And for the groom to drop his hat, well, you may as well all go home now! Of course you can quickly shove a small horseshoe in his pocket. That will take the bad and turn it into good luck.
Back in the old days when telegrams were the norm, no one was allowed to hand one to the groom before the wedding has started. Bad luck all round if they do. Even if its a good luck telegram! These days it would be a text or letter.
Phew! So much to remember! Oh, and don't forget the money one either.
Evidently, if the groom gives out money on the day it should be in odd change!
The Birds and the Bees!
If you spot a tiny wren on the way to your wedding, and especially if it is singing then its a lucky omen. But for goodness sake keep your ears blocked for the sound of Ravens!
Evidently you may have a huge family when you are married, but you will all be as poor as a church mouse.
Rosemary is a lucky thing to wear as its the emblem of remembrance and family. But its main meaning is fidelity in love as it says in this poem.
Young men and maids do ready stand,
With sweet Rosemary in their hand,
A perfect token of the virgin's life,
To wait upon you, they intend,
Unto the Church to make an end,
And God make thee a joyful wedded wife.
When the groom appears, the bridesmaid would hand him a posy of rosemary tied up with a ribbon.
The bride would then take the rosemary home with her in memory of her old home, and all the 'loving hearts that loved her there'. The rest of the rosemary would be planted in the garden.
We are all used to seeing the wedding cakes that are made today. Most of them are at least three tiered and decorated with marzipan, icing sugar and fruit. Then topped off with a small likeness of the bride and groom.
Not so back in Elizabethan times!
After the marriage, friends and family would line the path to their new house, and throw cakes at the bride and groom. I do hope a few managed to pass their lips on the way to the floor!
As today, if the bride doesn't cut the wedding cake she will be childless! No pressure then!
Today, my Julia, thee must make,
For mistress bride, a wedding cake,
Kneade but the dow, and it will be,
Turned to prosperitie by thee,
And now the paste of almonds find,
Assures a broode of childer nine.
White Doves and a Horseshoe
A Dove has always been the symbol of peace and gentleness. It was given to the wedded pair as a wedding gift.
This gave them certainty of a happy life. But......!
If the person who acquired them in the first place, bought them with money, then whoa and betide the poor wedded couple! So the person who got the Doves should only get them by swapping for something else!
The Horseshoes were always given to protect from the devil. Based on the old story of St. Dunstan shoeing the devils hoof, and deliberately hurting him. In exchange for mercy, the devil promised never to enter a place where a horseshoe was displayed.
Today the bride and groom still carry them in their pockets, and you will see them decorated on top of the wedding cake. Even the congratulation cards have them as a symbol.
A shoe and a name
Shoe's tied to the back of the wedding car hails from Pagan times. Back then it was said to be lucky to for the wearer, purely because if you wore nice shoes then you were well off, as most people wore terrible footwear, or none at all.
Even more so, it was a sign of esteem and leadership.
A weddin', a woo, a clog an' a shoe,
a pot full o' porridge an' away they go.
The bride and groom should never ever have a surname beginning with the same letter, as it says in this poem,
To change the name and not the letter,
Is a change for the worse, and not for the better.
I will leave you with one last thought. The best spells or good luck charms are magical. Take this quote from the fabulous film Practical Magic.(below)
A sprinkle of Magic, and off you go!
And that's all you need! And when that lovely man or woman crosses your path and you feel that sparkle, then hold onto them, love them and then have an amazing Wedding and a wonderful marriage.
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© 2018 Nell Rose