Even in the modern world, where superstitions might seem outdated, it’s surprising how many of us still follow certain customs and beliefs unknowingly to avoid bad luck. From avoiding walking under ladders to refraining from opening an umbrella indoors, superstitions have seeped into our lives in various forms.
Unsurprisingly, weddings, with their plethora of customs and traditions, are brimming with superstitions as well. While many of us are familiar with classic wedding superstitions like “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” there are also some lesser-known beliefs surrounding wedding dates that might pique your interest.
So, if you’re yet to choose your wedding day, let’s explore some intriguing wedding traditions and superstitions that could potentially help you decide.
Days of the Week
It’s said that the day of the week you choose to tie the knot can influence your future happiness. There’s an old rhyme that may assist you in making the right choice wedding-day-wise:
“Monday brides will be healthy, Tuesday brides will be wealthy, Wednesday brides do best of all. Thursday brides will suffer losses, Friday brides will suffer crosses, and Saturday brides have no luck at all.“
Despite the rhyme’s warning about Saturday being the worst day of the week to get married – one that brings bad luck – it remains the most popular day. The convenience of the weekend and the opportunity for guests to attend obviously play a significant role in its popularity.
May has been historically regarded as an unlucky month to get married. The age-old rhyme cautions: “Marry in the month of May, and you’ll live to rue the day.” But what does this have to do with setting the perfect wedding date?
Well, in pagan times, May was dedicated to fertility rituals designed to bless the crops. Oftentimes, these rituals took place outdoors and included lots of people, if you get my drift. It wasn’t considered the wisest time for a bride to wed her husband, and it’s even said that Queen Victoria forbade her children from being married in May.
On the other hand, the rhyme sheds light on the months that were deemed lucky:
“Marry when the year is new, and he’ll be loving, kind, and true.
When February birds do mate, you wed not or dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy, and sorrow, you’ll both know.
Marry in April when you can, and joy for maiden and for man.
Marry when June roses grow, and over land and sea, you’ll go.
Those in July who do wed must labor for their daily bread.
Whoever weds in August, many a change is sure to see.
Marry in September’s shrine; your living will be rich and fine.
If you marry in October, love will come, but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snow falls fast, marry, and true love will last.“
Don’t worry if you’ve already set a date for your wedding ceremony that aligns with one of these beliefs. After all, there are countless wedding superstitions, and they often contradict one another. It’s all in good fun, and many modern couples base their wedding planning on personal preferences or practical considerations rather than some old wives’ tale.
Other Wedding Superstitions To Have In Mind
While we’ve already explored some intriguing superstitions surrounding wedding dates, there are more fascinating beliefs – such as newlyweds saving a piece of their wedding cake for their 1st anniversary to bring them prosperity – that have been passed down through generations.
Let’s delve into the most popular wedding superstitions that have stood the test of time:
1. Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Among the beloved wedding traditions, “something borrowed” holds a special place for invoking good luck on the big day. Beyond the symbolism of “something old” representing the past and “something new” symbolizing the future, this charming custom adds an element of magic by connecting the bride to the happily married woman in her life – her mom, mother-in-law, older sister, grandmother, or other family member.
The idea is to borrow an item from a woman who has experienced lasting marital bliss, hoping that her good luck and wisdom will rub off on the bride as she starts her married life. It’s more than just wearing a borrowed accessory; it’s a symbolic gesture of seeking guidance and support from those who have walked the path of happy marriage before.
2. Wearing White
The tradition of brides wearing white wedding dresses has its roots firmly planted in ancient Greece, where white was associated with joy and was often donned during festive occasions and religious ceremonies. The purity and radiance of the color were thought to evoke a sense of divine blessings and celestial beauty, making it the perfect choice for a moment as special as a wedding.
The popularization of white wedding dresses can be traced back to one iconic moment in history – Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s wedding ceremony in 1840. Since then, the tradition of wearing a white wedding dress has endured, crossing cultures and borders, and has become synonymous with weddings worldwide.
3. Receiving Knives for a Wedding Gift
As you prepare your wedding registry, it’s essential to be mindful of certain superstitions that surround the gifts you may receive on your big day. While a sharp set of knives is a practical and popular registry item, it’s worth delving into an age-old legend that dates back to the Vikings.
According to this belief, blades symbolize the “cutting” of a relationship. It may sound like a far-fetched notion in modern times, but this superstition has persisted through the ages.
These superstitions are often steeped in mythology and not based on factual evidence, but some couples choose to err on the side of caution and remove knives from their wedding registry. However, it’s important to keep in mind that gifts are a reflection of your wedding guests’ love and best wishes for the newlyweds and their future together.
4. Dropping the Rings
Another wedding superstition that has been passed down through generations is the fear of dropping the rings during the ceremony. According to this timeworn forewarning, if anyone, be it the bride, groom, officiant, best man, or anyone else involved in the ceremony, drops the wedding ring(s), they are said to be next in line to pass away. While this superstition may send shivers down your spine, remember that it holds no truth in reality.
Nonetheless, given the significance of the wedding rings in the ceremony, it’s natural to want to take extra precautions to ensure they stay securely in place. Couples may find themselves double-checking the knots on the ring bearer’s pillow and handling the ring swap with utmost care to dispel any nervousness surrounding this superstition.
The History of Wedding Superstitions
The history of wedding day superstitions is a captivating journey that highlights the importance of cultural beliefs in shaping traditions. Let’s look at some intriguing wedding superstitions from various cultures around the world:
Irish Weddings: In Irish folklore, it is believed that tying the knot during a leap year brings good luck to the couple. According to tradition, St. Bridget and St. Patrick allowed women to propose to men every four years, and those proposals were thought to be lucky.
Ancient Romans: In ancient Rome, it was believed that marriage was a sacred institution and that the act of getting married would ward off evil spirits. They also thought that the wedding ring should be put on the fourth finger of the left hand because they believed a vein from that finger led directly to the heart.
Medieval Europe: In medieval Europe, it was customary for the bride and groom to kiss over a mound of small cakes. The guests would then scramble to pick up the crumbs as they believed it brought good luck.
Ancient Greeks: The ancient Greeks thought that the wedding veil worn by the bride protected her from evil spirits lurking around her on her special day. It was also a way to ward off the “evil eye” and ensure her happiness.
English Folklore: English folklore speaks of the tradition of the “best man” standing next to the groom. This tradition originated from the practice of the groom kidnapping his bride from a neighboring village. The “best man” was the groom’s strongest and most trusted friend, who would help him fight off any objections from the bride’s family.
Garter Toss: The tradition of the garter toss dates back to medieval times when guests believed obtaining a piece of the bride’s clothing would bring good fortune. To escape the crowd, brides began throwing their bouquets as a distraction, and the groom would throw the bride’s garter.
Lucky Dates: In some cultures, certain numbers are considered lucky, so many couples may choose wedding dates based on these numbers to bring good fortune and a long marriage. For example, the number 8 is considered lucky in Chinese culture as it sounds like the word for “wealth” or “prosper.”
These superstitions are an integral part of wedding traditions in many cultures and have been passed down through generations. Whether you choose to embrace them or not, they add a touch of mystique and excitement to the journey of tying the knot.