PHOTO BY toujours
BY MARTIE EMORY
Although true love always endures, and you might brush off the idea of wedding superstitions as flighty or frivolous, it can still be fun to add a few of these time-honored, whimsical ideas to your celebration. Who knows – a little extra luck is never, ever a bad thing!
- The tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony comes from earlier times when arranged marriages were common, and parents chose for the couple to not see each other’s faces before the wedding day.
- Adding elements to your wedding ensemble that are “old, new, borrowed and blue” is still a popular tradition. If you need a refresher course: The “old” represents continuity (often a gift from an older relative), the “new” symbolizes a bright future, a “borrowed” item from a happily married woman such as a piece of jewelry or a handkerchief from your grandmother passes that blessing on to you, and “something blue” is added to ensure purity and fidelity. (Make it fun with amazing blue shoes to wear with your gown, a blue tie for the groom or blue flowers such as blue hydrangea, blue delphinium or forget-me-nots for your bouquet!
- While a lucky sixpence is often included in the “old, new, borrowed, and blue” – it’s a beloved tradition on its own from the English – adding a sixpence to the bride’s left shoe to ensure good fortune. It’s also fun to purchase an actual sixpence to use for your own wedding and pass down to future generations. (Fun fact: Swedish brides put both a silver coin from their father and a gold coin from their mother in each shoe, ensuring that the bride will “never do without.”
- The ancient Greeks and Romans began the superstition of the bride wearing a veil to ward off evil spirits trying to kidnap her. Bridesmaids also dressed in identical dresses to confuse the evil spirits as to which girl was the bride. If the groom carries the bride over the threshold of their new home, he protects her from those pesky evil spirits who are even still, lurking around the newlyweds.
- A new superstition to consider: In the Greek culture, brides hide a sugar cube in their glove in order to sweeten their new marriage.
- According to English tradition, Wednesday is the ideal day of the week to marry, while Monday is better for wealth and Tuesday for health and a long life. Ironically, though it’s the most popular wedding day, English lore suggests Saturday is the unluckiest day of the week to hold a wedding.
- Know why the bride stands to the groom’s left during a Christian ceremony? In old days, the groom needed his right hand left free to fight off other suitors!
- Don’t fret if your wedding day brings a little rain. Hindu tradition suggests rain is good luck.
- For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day!
- When a couple marries in Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds’ home to symbolize fertility and good luck. Many couples adopt that idea here and give their guests flower seeds to plant to commemorate the beginning of their new life together.
- Newlyweds throughout history have always followed superstitions to prosper fertility. The tradition of the wedding cake hails from ancient Rome, where celebrants broke a loaf of bread over the bride’s head to promise a fertile marriage.
- Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, as it was once thought a vein in that finger led directly to the heart. How sweet is that?