In honor of Friday the 13th, we decided to do a little research on ten common wedding superstitions. What are they? How did they originate? What do they mean? Let's find out.
1. Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding
Back in the day when it was common for marriages to be arranged, it was believed that if the couple saw each other before the ceremony it would give them a chance to change their minds about getting married. Today, many believe holding out to see each other until the ceremony creates a more exciting and memorable experience. However, many couples steer away from this tradition and choose to meet up before saying their “I dos” whether it be to shake off some of the wedding jitters or take photos.
2. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Dated back to the Victorian Era, this rhyme symbolizes a tradition meant to bring the bride good luck. Wearing something old represents the couple’s desire to remain connected with the family once married. Wearing something new represents the new union between the couple. Something borrowed, typically from a friend or family member, is a token of that person’s love. Finally, something blue is a symbol of fidelity and constancy.
3. Saving the Top Layer of Your Wedding Cake
We all remember the days of schoolyard games and familiar rhymes including “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!” Back in the day when weddings and christening ceremonies happened back-to-back, the events were linked with respective cakes. In the 19th century, multi-tiered wedding cakes became popular and christening cakes grew less popular. It became common for the leftover top tier of the wedding cake to be used as the christening cake. Today, these events are no longer commonly linked. Couples now like to save the top layer of their wedding cake to savor on their first wedding anniversary.
4. Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold
During European Medieval times, there were different reasons this superstition came to be. Some believed the bride was especially vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet while others believed that if the bride tripped over the threshold, she would bring bad luck into her home and marriage. By having the groom carry the bride over the threshold, both these reasons could be avoided. Today, carrying the bride over the threshold is more of a romantic gesture rather than one meant to ward off bad spirits and unfortunate luck.
5. Rain on Your Wedding Day
These days it’s common to have a backup plan in case of a rainy wedding day. Don’t look at the gloomy weather as bad luck! Some cultures believe that rain on your wedding day symbolizes fertility and cleansing.
6. Knives as Wedding Gifts
According to folklore, gifting knives to a bride and groom are bad luck as they represents a broken relationship. Who knows, maybe the couple just likes to cook together? You decide!
7. Spider on Your Wedding Dress
Don’t be so quick to swat off that eight-legged critter! According to English lore, finding a spider in your wedding dress is a good omen.
8. Ringing Bells
Bells are traditionally chimed to keep evil spirits away and to ensure a harmonious family life. Brides have even been known to carry small bells in their bouquets as a reminder of their sacred wedding vows.
9. Breaking Glass
Smashing a vase or glass at your wedding is a tradition carried down from Italy. It’s believed that however many pieces the glassware breaks into will symbolizes how many years of happy marriage are to come.
10. Crying on Your Wedding Day
Go ahead and let those tears shed! It’s believed to be good luck for a bride to cry on her wedding day as it symbolizes that she has shed all her tears and will not have any to shed during her marriage.
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