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Wedding Superstitions Revealed

Updated on September 3, 2014
You may be on the road to either a happy or sad marriage
You may be on the road to either a happy or sad marriage

What Every Bride Should (or Shouldn't) Know

Like obsessed Monica Gellar in Friends, there a lot of women out there who have been planning their wedding virtually since the day they were born.

Luckily, I never wanted to get married and I hate when I'm invited to a wedding. What's the purpose when most marriages end in divorce?

But, the obsessed are still planning and pining away for their special day and you know what I found out? Other than the traditional superstitions (i.e. the rhyme "Something Old, Something New" etc.) I found there are a lot more superstitions out there which you better add to your list.

Of course the race to the altar begins when you get the proposal from the man you've bagged and corralled. In the past, when the marriage proposal was much more formal, the prospective sucker (err groom) would send out members of his family or friends to represent his interest in the prospective bride.

However, the road to matrimony was either smooth or bumpy, depending on what they saw along the way. If the travelers saw nanny goats, pigeons or wolves these were good omens which would bring fortune to the marriage. Unfortunately, if they saw a blind man, monk or a pregnant woman these were bad omens.

After becoming engaged, it's bad luck to congratulate the bride-to-be but instead congratulate the poor sucker (err groom).

Also, since every woman in the world wants to try on your engagement ring tell them "No!" and go on with your life. It's believed that if another woman tries on your ring she will be the woman who steals your man and if the engagement ring is ever taken off, the one who put it on your finger is the one who has to replace it.

Buying the engagement and wedding rings at the same time is thought to bring bad luck and wearing the wedding ring before the ceremony can bring dire consequences.

You should also be careful of the groom's surname as its bad luck to marry a man whose surname begins with the same letter as yours. And when you're still in the engagement phase its bad luck and tempting fate to practice writing your new name before the wedding.

In today's society it's still unacceptable for a woman to propose to a man, but it's okay to do so during a leap year so propose away during that year!

Before we get into the flowers, wedding, etc., you should know that at the bridal shower, the first gift to be opened is the first gift she'll use. Also someone should write down her comments as she opens the gifts and they should be repeated on the wedding night. (Hey whatever you want to do behind closed doors is your business and I don't want to know where that spatula's been).

And here's an interesting note: the person who gives the bride the third gift to open will soon have a baby.

Some tips to remember before walking up the aisle are never make your own wedding dress (for every stitch you sew you'll cry a tear) and if you borrow a dress it means good luck for you but bad luck for the lender. To keep your good luck going (you'll hate me for this) its lucky to wear old shoes during the ceremony.

While still traditional to wear white there's a little rhyme about the different colors which goes like this:

Married in white, you have chosen alright.

Married in green, ashamed to be seen.

Married in red, you will wish yourself dead.

Married in blue, you will always be true.

Married in yellow, ashamed of your fellow.

Married in black, you will wish yourself back.

Married in pink, of you he'll think.

Married in grey, you will go far away.

Married in pearl, you will live in a whirl.

Married in brown, you will live in the town.

As a guest it's considered bad luck to wear red to someone else's wedding and your gown should not be longer than the bride's.

Since we're on the subject of the wedding gown, it's unlucky to put on the full bridal array before the wedding and if the bride sees herself in a mirror (fully dressed) you're sure to have bad luck.

If the gown should happen to rip (on the day of the wedding) the marriage will end in death and we all know the groom should never see the bride in full wedding drag until the ceremony.

But it's interesting to note that the tradition of having bridesmaids came about in ancient times so that evil spirits would have a more difficult time finding the bride (I'm sure this is where the tradition of ugly dresses came in to play) so they could not put a hex on her. This is also the reason for the veil and in some cultures to disguise the bride (for an arranged marriage) so the groom could not back out of marrying her.

Of course flowers play an important role at any wedding ceremony. Two colors to avoid in the bouquet are red and white. These colors represent blood and bandages, while peonies represent shame; azaleas represent temperance; roses love; snowdrops represent hope and orange blossoms symbolize purity and chastity.

So when the big day arrives what can you expect to happen on your special day? Well you can't predict the weather and if you're marrying outside chances are you can ward off bad weather by hanging rosary beads out the window the night before the ceremony.

You can also boil rocks on your wedding day for sunshine.

But some people say that rain on your wedding day is a good omen for there will be less tears shed during the marriage. Some also believe that if it rains on your wedding day its old boyfriends crying after you. Cloudy skies and wind are believed to cause stormy marriages and if you want a lot of kids and money be sure it's snowing out since snow is associated with fertility and wealth.

Believe it or not, the moon also plays a part when you get married. For a full moon two days before the ceremony your married life will be filled with luck while bad luck is to marry during a waning moon. It's also a good idea to wed during the waxing moon.

When the bride is ready to leave the house, a quick glance in the mirror is good luck but don't go back for another look since the journey will result in bad luck. However seeing a spider in your gown is a good omen. I beg to differ with this last one. If I were a bride and knew a spider had taken up residency in my dress, I think I'd burn it.

Other good signs to look for on your wedding day are a rainbow, black cat or a chimney sweep.

If a cat sneezes the day before your big day it will signify good luck and a week before the wedding you should let a cat eat out of your left shoe.

Be sure to wear some earrings when you get married for you'll always be happy and if you should happen to share a few tears, you'll never cry again for the duration of the marriage.

On the downside, if you should happen to see an open grave, a pig, a lizard or hearing a cockerel crow after dawn this signifies bad luck. Monks and nuns are bad luck signs since they are associated with poverty and chastity. Death is also foretold if the car refuses to start.

It's also considered bad luck to say your vows at the bottom of the hour and if you have candles and they start to sputter, an evil spirit is nearby. As the bride, you should put a coin in your shoe for luck (or your father can) and step into the church right foot first for good luck.

Should you happen to start down the aisle on time, this is also bad luck, as well as playing Wagner's "Wedding March" (Here Comes the Bride), from the opera, Lohengrin (the opera is a tragedy where the bride betrays the groom and after he leaves she dies).

Even though the groom basically has to show up, he should carry a piece of iron in his pocket to keep the evil eye (mal'ochino) away from him and his bride. The iron is supposed to reflect the evil spirits and banish them. His best man should be responsible for keeping the groom free from bad luck (once the groom begins his journey he cannot go back) and pay the minister's fee an odd sum to bring luck to the new couple.

After waiting a few seconds to begin your walk down the aisle, you should be on your father's right arm since this is proper etiquette for a man to offer his right arm and there should be nothing which stands between love.

While we know about the throwing of the bouquet and garter did you know that it's quite alright for your mother-in-law to throw an old shoe over her shoulder? If she does the two of you will be friends forever.

And since shoes seem to be a girl's best friend (behind diamonds) they do play an important part in the ceremony. From the old shoes you should wear at the ceremony to tying old shoes to the car (this is to bring good luck) it is considered lucky for the guests to hit the car. Of course in today's world, I think everyone hires a limousine rather than drive their own cars so don't hit the car!

Lesser known is for the bride's father to give the groom a pair of old shoes to symbolize the responsibility for the daughter to her new husband. The groom was then to tap her on the forehead with one of the shoes to assert his dominance (before the bouquet toss the bride used to throw an old shoe to the single women).

With the single women always fighting for the bouquet, the bridesmaids (prior to the ceremony) should write their names on the bottom of the bride's shoes. Which ever name is still left at the end of the night will be the next to get married.

In your Dorothy Bag (I have no idea what this is) it's a good idea to put a horseshoe in it (hung by the ribbons) or a wooden spoon along with whatever effects you need and remember the rhyme:

Something Old,

Something New

Something Borrowed,

Something Blue

and a Silver Sixpence for her Shoe.

Dropping the ring during the ceremony is also an evil omen. Whoever drops the ring will be the first to die (the same with on the wedding night as to who falls asleep first).

Immediately after the ceremony whoever purchases something from the maid of honor will be the dominant force in spending (hey guys if you're reading this your new bride and her maiden have already decided she's buying something so it's best to beat her to the punch).

When you leave the church make sure the church bells are ringing (good fortune) and the evil spirits will be chased away.

Before cutting the wedding cake, remember these interesting facts- if the bride cuts the first piece (childless marriage); if every guest eats at least a little of the cake (bad luck both for the couple and the person who refused their cake) and if the bride keeps a piece of the cake (husband will be unfaithful).

Now that your day is complete remember the following: you must be carried over the threshold (even if you're both drunk). One reason for this tradition is if the bride falls when entering the house she'll be visited by bad luck. An alternative is that the bride will be unlucky if she steps into the new home with her left foot first and the third myth of being carried away by her groom.

So however you plan on celebrating your special day don't buck with tradition or make up your own. After all, who do you think makes up superstitions?

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    • Eric Tuchelske 1 profile image
      Author

      Eric Tuchelske 3 years ago from Detroit

      Unfortunately yes and if they're not, I'm sure future brides will probably take a look at this and start panicking that they originally didn't include some of these wacky superstitions.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      I can't believe all this stuff! It's incredible - are people really so caught up in this stuff!