20 Wedding Superstitions
By Lydia Weltmann
We’ve all heard some crazy legends revolving around a person’s big day. The bride has to do this and the groom has to do that, or else! Some of these legends have been around for a while, but do you know what all of them really mean? Check out these old wedding superstitions and what they meant!
1. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Something old represents continuity with the past and something new represents the coming future. The something borrowed is supposed to come from someone who is already happily married to try and ‘borrow’ their good fortune. Something blue is for fidelity and love.
2. Wearing a Veil
This tradition originated back in Rome. The veil was meant to hide the bride from evil spirits jealous of her happiness.
3. Seeing Each Other Before the Ceremony
Dating back to times of arranged marriages, the idea was if the couple saw each other, they might change their minds and not go through with the wedding.
4. Rain on Wedding Day
Contrary to popular belief, rain on the big day is actually a good omen. It symbolizes fertility and cleansing.
5. Knives as Wedding Gifts
Before you go buying that special chef’s knife for your soon-to-be-hitched friends, you should consider this old superstition. Knives and scissors used to symbolize cutting off a relationship. On the flipside, if you happen to find a knife in your pile of wedding gifts, simply give the gift giver at least a penny in return. This turns the gift into a purchase and negates the effect. Of course, if everyone involved doesn’t believe in old superstitions, there’s nothing wrong with a quality knife for the newlyweds’ kitchen.
6. Carrying the Bride over the Threshold
People used to think brides were susceptible to evil spirits through the soles of their feet, so it was the job of the husband to protect her as she entered the new house.
7. Spider on Your Wedding Dress
While most people think finding a spider on them is a nightmare come true, seeing a spider on your wedding dress is actually a sign of good luck!
8. Using your Married Name before the Wedding
This superstition was believed to tempt fate. People thought the wedding wouldn’t happen at all if the bride started using her new married name before she was officially married.
9. Crossing a Nun or Monk on the Way to the Wedding
People used to think that seeing a nun or a monk while in route to the wedding would curse the bride to a life of barrenness, dependent on charity.
10. Ringing Bells
The Irish thought ringing bells in the church would keep evil spirits away during a wedding. Brides would sometimes put them on their bouquets as extra protection.
11. Breaking Glass
The Italians break a vase or a glass, usually by slamming it on the floor. They believe the number of pieces it breaks into symbolizes how many years of happy marriage the couple will have.
12. Crying on your Wedding Day.
While it tends to be fairly common anyway, crying on the big day means the bride has shed all her tears about the marriage and won’t need to shed anymore later in the marriage.
13. Getting Married in May
Despite this being one of the most popular months to get married in, marrying in May is actually considered bad luck. “Marry in the month of May and you’ll surely rue the day.” Tell that to my parents who have been happily married for 32 years!
14. Don’t Drop the Rings
This superstition foretells of death. Whoever drops the rings will die before their spouse (though the lore doesn’t mention when they’ll die).
15. Throwing Shoes
It goes against our nature to let people throw things at us, but throwing shoes at the bride and groom used to be good luck. Most people nowadays just tie shoes to their cars.
16. Sugar Cubes
Coming from old Greek tradition, placing sugar cubes on the bride sweetens the marriage.
17. Rings on the Ring finger
It was once thought that a vein in the fourth finger of the left hand led to the heart. Wedding rings were therefore placed on that finger, as the symbol of love would have a direct route to the heart.
18. Tossing the garter
Throwing the garter used to be a sign of consummating the marriage. People would wait outside the door of the newlyweds until seeing the garter, sheets, or stockings. Tradition then became tossing the garter into the crowd for good luck. Now it is tossed into a crowd of single men, and whoever catches it will be the next to get married.
If the younger of two sisters marries first, the oldest must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband.
20. On your left
Brides stand on the groom’s left in typical Christian weddings because in old days he needed his right hand to fend off unhappy suitors that may try to steal the bride.
What other wedding superstitions can you think of?