A couple’s wedding day is often described as the “most important day of their lives” or even their “happiest day”. With so much at stake regarding this day, then, it is only natural that there are numerous wedding superstitions people used to believe in (some even upheld to this day), hoping that doing or avoiding certain things would ensure a smooth and joyful wedding.
The Oldest And Weirdest Wedding Superstitions Explained
The month and the day of your wedding, the clothes you wear, the things and the people you’re supposed to see as you go to church, even the way you cross your threshold are all figured out for you. These are some of the oldest and most prevalent wedding superstitions explained.
Marry in May, rue the day
Starting off with the month you weren’t supposed to tie the knot in, people used to consider a May marriage doomed to fail. According to historians, this superstition is most probably rooted in ancient Rome, where Lemuria, the festival honoring the dead, was celebrated in May. If a couple ignored the superstition and married in this month, they would (supposedly) either remain childless or give birth to children with bad health.
On the other hand, if you got married in June, you would get the chance to travel a lot, and if you got hitched in September, you could expect to live a rich life. Who wouldn’t wait a month or two, then?
Never On Saturday
Today, Saturday is the most popular choice for people’s wedding day, with Sunday being a non-working day for most, but back in the day, it was not considered a good choice. In fact, the English, who much preferred Wednesday for their nuptials, even had a rhyme that went: “Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all”.
The Things And People Brides Shouldn’t See
To this day, it is considered bad luck for a bride to see her husband-to-be ahead of the wedding, but you wouldn’t imagine what (and who) else a bride wasn’t supposed to see. Bad luck omens included pigs and hares, pregnant women, dogs, serpents, owls, open graves (?), nuns, and monks. A rooster crowing after dawn was also thought to be a sign of bad luck, as was for a bride to meet another bride on her way to the wedding.
The Things And People Brides Should See
But there were not only wedding superstitions about things bringing bad luck to brides who saw them. Certain superstitions had to do with omens bringing a bride good luck. For example, it was lucky for a bride to see a black cat crossing her path, a dove, a lamb, a frog, a rainbow, or a chimney sweep – with some brides even going so far as to employ a chimney sweep on their wedding day.
The Threshold Superstition
To this day, newlyweds tend to enter their house or hotel room in the same way they did many many years ago: with the groom carrying his bride in his arms. While we see this as a super romantic act of chivalry, there is actually more to it than that. Back in medieval days, virtuous European ladies were supposed to be super shy when it came to sex, especially since they were all virgins before their wedding. Thus, it was the groom who would carry the bride into the bridal chamber in a way that kept her maidenly shyness. Western Europeans also thought there were evil spirits, who lurked waiting to latch onto the happy bride and, through her, enter the new home. This may also explain why the groom carried her in the air, not allowing them to enter the house and bring the new couple bad luck.
Possibly the most iconic of all tokens of love and commitment, the wedding ring, couldn’t be without its own superstitions – and they were very strong too. If the wedding ring was dropped at the wedding, someone would die. Who? It was all a matter who the ring-dropper was. If it fell from the hands of the groom, it was him who could await his death before his bride. If it was the bride who dropped it, she was sure to be the first to wave this world goodbye.
In the event someone other than the bride or groom dropped the ring, it was unclear who would go first (though that someone would go was seen as inevitable) unless the ring somehow managed to roll onto a gravestone. If it landed on the gravestone of a woman, it was the bride who’d die first. Conversely, if it landed on the gravestone of a man, the groom would be the unlucky one. In any case, people really held on to the wedding rings.
The White Wedding Dress
Today, women in the West traditionally get married in a total white wedding gown. However, this trend is somewhat new. In fact, prior to the Victorian era, a bride was married in any color she liked, with a black gown being really popular in Scandinavian weddings. White only became a popular choice after 1840, when Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg wearing a white gown incorporating some lace she prized. With the official wedding portrait photograph making the rounds, it was only natural for many brides to go for total white, imitating the chic Queen’s choice. So, while many claim that the color white was chosen to signify the bride’s purity, this is not the case at all.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
We’ve all heard of this sweet rhyme, but do we know where all these things a bride is supposed to carry represent? The “something old” is a way to honor the past, the “something new” stands for the couple’s future, the “something borrowed” is something the bride is supposed to borrow from a happily married person as a way to pass on their own personal happiness and good luck; while the “something blue” represents purity, fidelity and love. British brides may also stick with the largely forgotten final line of the rhyme, “A sixpence in your shoe”, with the money in the bride’s shoe representing the newlyweds’ prosperity.
Did you know about all these things wedding superstitions? Whether you decide to follow them, or just enjoy their sweet quirkiness, we think they are super fun and interesting.