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Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

Updated on June 10, 2018
Beautiful wedding saying.
Beautiful wedding saying. | Source

Interesting Wedding Gown Tidbits

Did you know that the color of choice for a wedding gown has not always been white? Back in Victorian times you could wear a wedding gown in any color you choose. Of course, wearing black to your own wedding was considered to be bad luck.

White did not become the color of choice until 1840 when Queen Victoria wore a white gown to her wedding to her cousin Albert of Saxe-Coburg. From that time on it was seen as an emblem of purity and innocence of girlhood. It represented the unsullied heart that she yield or gave to the chosen loved one.

In earlier times the white wedding dress had nothing to do with purity. In ancient times it was very expensive to bleach cloth and to have it be pure white took more than a few times of bleaching. The whiter the cloth the more affluent the family need to be. So, no matter how pure you were or were not, if your family had money you could have the white dress. White was a matter of money not virtue.


Wedding Superstitions
Wedding Superstitions | Source

Superstitions

  • Put a penny in your shoe for wealth in your marriage.
  • Throwing rice is supposed to be a way of wishing fertility and prosperity to the bride and groom.
  • The bride should step into the church with her right foot first to ensure good luck.
  • If the bride cries on her wedding day, those shall be the last tears she ever sheds over her marriage.
  • It is bad luck for the bride to make or help to make her own wedding dress.
  • Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
  • The first partner, be it husband or wife, who buys a new item after the wedding will dominate the relationship.
  • The Victorians believed it was lucky to marry on a day during the week the groom was born. But the luckiest day to marry was on the grooms actual birthday.
  • The veil is to disguise the bride from evil spirits
  • It is considered unlucky for a woman to marry a man whose surname begins with the same letter as her surname.
  • The bride is on the left in Christian marriages so that the groom could have easy access to his sword to defend his bride from rival suitors.
  • When you and your husband toast your new life together you must smash the glasses you toasted with so they can never be used for a better purpose.
  • It is bad luck for the bride to remove her engagement ring before her wedding day.
  • If the groom drops the wedding band during the ceremony the marriage is doomed.
  • An old wives tale: If the younger of two sisters marries first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband.
  • Having snow on the day of marriage is associated with fertility and wealth.
  • Dressing the bridesmaids is to fool the evil spirits-so they won't know who is the bride and who is not.
  • The top layer of the wedding cake should be saved for the couple's first anniversary.
  • Brides carry or wear 'something old' on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past.
  • 'Something blue' symbolizes purity, fidelity, and love.
  • In the Jewish tradition it is bad luck to receive knives as a wedding gift.
  • Superstition has it that if there is a full moon 1 - 2 days before the wedding, then your married life will be filled with luck and good fortune.
  • Throwing rice at the new couple was to feed the evil spirits and distract them:thus keeping the marriage safe.
  • When the bride-to-be opens her gifts at her bridal shower a count of every ribbon broken must be kept. For every ribbon she breaks she will have one child.
  • The bride is never supposed to practice walking down the aisle during her rehearsal or it will bring bad luck.
  • If the groom's mother throws an old shoe over the new bride's head (not at) as they leave the ceremony location, the bride and the mother-in-law will be friends forever.


Wedding Traditions
Wedding Traditions | Source

Traditions

  • Peas instead of rice are thrown at Czech newlyweds.
  • Brides tuck a sugar cube into their gloves according to Greek tradition, the sugar will sweeten the marriage.
  • Chinese superstition says that carrying an open red umbrella over the bride will protect her from evil spirits.
  • A Swedish bride puts a silver coin from her father and a gold coin from her mother, one in each shoe to ensure that she will never do without.
  • In South Africa, the parents of both the bride and the groom traditionally carried fire from their hearths to light a new fire in the newlyweds hearth.
  • In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness.
  • Brides carry or wear "something old" on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past.
  • Middle Eastern brides paint henna on their hands and feet to protect themselves from the evil eye.
  • The tradition of the wedding cake comes from ancient Rome where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a brides head for fertility's sake.
  • In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds home as a symbol of fertility and luck.
  • The wedding kiss is seen as representing sealing an agreement by the Roman's. When a man and a woman kiss at their wedding it means they are sealing an agreement of lifetime commitment.
  • The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck.
  • In the United Kingdom it is traditional to save the top layer of the wedding cake for the christening of the first child.
  • For good luck Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day.
  • A superstition from Mexico says the bride cannot wear pearls on her wedding day. The pearls are the tears she will cry in her marriage.


Colors of Wedding Dresses
Colors of Wedding Dresses | Source

Wedding Poems

Days of the Week Wedding Day Poem

Monday for health

Tuesday for wealth

Wednesday best of all

Thursday for losses

Friday for crosses

Saturday for no luck at all


Color of Wedding Dress Poem

Married in White, you will have chosen all right.

Married in grey, you will go far away.

Married in black, you will wish yourself back

Married in red, you will wish yourself dead.

Married in blue, you will always be true.

Married in Pearl, you'll live in a whirl.

Married in green, ashamed to be seen.

Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow.

Married in brown, you'll live out of town.

Married in pink, your spirits will sink.


Something Old Something, New...

  • "Something old" is traditionally given by a relative. This signifies the continuity from generation to generation.
  • "Something new" symbolizes home for the future.
  • "Something borrowed" is to make your marriage a happy one. Borrow an item from a happily married woman.
  • "Something blue" symbolizes fidelity, love and good fortune. Blue has been connected to weddings for centuries. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue.
  • "A sixpence in her shoe" to wish the bride wealth.

Some of these little superstitions may seem silly or frivolous to us these days but they really did think about them back in he days of old as they planned and executed their weddings.

These little poems and sayings are included for your reading pleasure.

I wore a red shirt and a pair of jeans when I was married. Oh yes, I also got married on a Thursday. We have been happily married for over 20 years.


Wedding Superstition

“I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.”

— Roy Croft

Someone Old, Something New...

Wearing "something old" represents the bride's past, while the "something new" symbolizes the couple's happy future. The bride is supposed to get her "something borrowed" from someone who is happily married in the hope that some of that person's good fortune rubs off on her. "Something blue" denotes fidelity and love.

In many cultures around the world—including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings—the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple's commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase "tying the knot").

© 2010 Susan Hazelton

Comments

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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      rene, according to what I've read, they wear the wearing band on their right hand on their ring finger.

    • profile image

      Rene 

      5 years ago

      On which finger and on which hand is the wedding worn in Peru?

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I say - if you want to wear red go for it. When I got married for the second time it was very informal. I wore a pair of jeans and a red shirt. We've been married for quite some time now and as you can tell I am still around. Go ahead, wear red and be beautiful.

    • profile image

      GuidetoChineseWeddingTraditionandCustoms 

      8 years ago

      What to do if I prefer the red color wedding dress?

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks for stopping in and thanks for your comment

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 

      8 years ago

      wow! so many things in wedding. Thank u for sharing.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What an interesting tradition. I bet everyone gets a good laugh out of the barefoot groom. Thanks for sharing suny51.

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 

      8 years ago

      Forgot to tell you the shoe of the groom, when he sits for the main function(Bare feet) is the first thing that sisters and friends of the bride lift and give back only when paid a very handsome amount for returning the same and no escape,no excuse for that and that costs more than, far more than the cost of the shoe,so penny wont do.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      A lot of mother-in-laws would have thrown an old shoe if they got a chance. It's common knowledge that no man is good enough for their baby. Love the wig, by the way. Thanks for visiting and thanks for the comment.

    • Pcunix profile image

      Tony Lawrence 

      8 years ago from SE MA

      My mother in law would have thrown an old shoe at me - if we had bothered to invite her:-)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks Pamela99. I agree the weedding dresses are beautiful, the selection of styles that they have out there now are incredible.

      suny51, there were so many types of traditions - as you said, common sacred and interesting that I tried to blend all of them together in this hub. Some of the traditions sound silly in this day and age but, to each his own. I just tried to have fun with them.

      Thanks you both for visiting and commenting.

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 

      8 years ago

      Some of the traditions are common,like bride in left,some are sacred and some are interesting and lovely too.Good to know such things.Thanks for sharing.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I really enjoyed reading all the information about weddings. The wedding dresses are gorgeous.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Princessa, I can still remember combing the rice out of my hair. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Ivorwen, it's all in fun. I don't think anyone takes these things seriously. The colors in the poem are about the wedding dress not the wedding party. Anyway, any color is good for a wedding these days. Thanks for stopping in and thanks for your comment. Good luck to your cousin.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 

      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I really enjoyed reading these, and was going to send it to my cousin, who is getting married soon, until I came across the poem at the end. Her colors are green and yellow!

      It is a good thing these are just superstitions, and not reality. I am glad we can choose to improve our relationships, regardless of what we did on our wedding day.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      8 years ago from France

      This was fun to read. In Peru we throw rice to the couple when they come out of the church.

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