Superstitions and traditions are part of our culture and often relate to major life events and celebrations like getting hitched. Which do you believe in, if any at all? Will you include some of these traditions on your special day?
The first recorded marriage between one woman and one man was back in 2350 BC. Ever since the institution of marriage has grown and morphed as society grew and changed.
Today, enjoying a wedding ceremony is something many couples choose to do but they no longer the sole preserve of heterosexual couple. Same-sex couples can now enjoy a legal marriage and heterosexual couples can now enjoy civil partnerships too.
Walking hand-in-hand with the history of weddings are superstitions and traditions. But what are they?
Wedding superstitions and traditions
Superstitions are beliefs that are steeped in the supernatural with people believing that by prescribing to them good or bad luck will arrive.
Traditions are routines that people believe in because their family have always done it or society dictates it. Weddings are steeped in both with many couples choosing to include some in their big day.
Of course, some people are more superstitious than others and so whilst some take these very seriously, others see them as a little fun. Like anything in life, the success of your relationship relies on your both, not on a superstition that is so old, no one really knows where it came from or why it became a superstition in the first place!
#1 Days and dates to avoid
Traditionally, weddings are held on a Saturday, a move that makes sense in many ways. Most people worked during the week and with Sunday reserved for church, getting married on a Saturday was the norm. Today, the way we work and live our lives is different and so it's not uncommon to find couples tying the knot on any day of the week, Sundays included.
But, according to ancient superstitions, marrying on a Friday was not a great move. A couple who wed on a Friday, according to superstition, would lead to a ‘cat and dog life’, inferring that the relationship would be rocky, with arguments a common occurrence.
There is also the suggestion that holding your wedding ceremony on the 13th day of the month is also bad news for your relationship, with the number 13 generally being seen as unlucky.
#2 Rain on your wedding day
The one thing you can’t control on your wedding day is the weather but if there is one thing you can predict about the UK weather is that it is unpredictable! And that means we can't guarantee sunshine in the summer nor snow in winter. But, according to superstition, rain on your wedding day is showering you with both with good luck.
The reason why is that rain doesn’t last forever and will always be followed by better weather, something that can be reflected in your relationship. Remember, a little rain can lead to a rainbow…
#3 Not seeing each other the day before the wedding
In days gone by, couples didn’t live together before they wed. The tradition was the husband-to-be waited at the altar for his fiance, glimpsing her in her beautiful wedding gown for the first time as she walked towards him.
But again, we live in different times. Many couples choose to live together before marriage, the superstition of not seeing your future spouse in the 24 hours before the wedding is not only out of date, but almost impossible.
But as one superstition fades, another tradition takes over. What has become increasingly popular in recent years is for photographers to capture the moment the bride and groom – or groom and groom, or bride and bride – see each other for the first time in their wedding finery. Capturing this emotional moment is something worth considering because the moment can take you both by surprise.
#4 Cover up full-length mirrors
This isn’t a superstition that many brides know about and the exact reason why glimpsing yourself in a full-length mirror before you step down the aisle brings bad luck is not known. And so if you arrive at your wedding venue to find full-length mirrors covered over, you know why… sort of.
#5 Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
This is possibly the most common tradition and well-known to couples but what does it mean. We’ll explain…
· Something old – this is usually gifted to the bride from another happily married woman, it could be a beautiful necklace or another piece of jewellery
· Something new – this represents the future. If your dress is new, this will count along with your beautiful wedding shoes…
· Something borrowed – borrowing something for your wedding day is a tradition that is said to bring your happiness
· Something blue – the colour blue in weddings represents fidelity and is also thought to be handy in making sure your relationship lasts (or maybe that the give-and-take you both enjoy…?)
There are all kinds of ways you can incorporate all four, one idea being a brooch bouquet.
#6 No pearls
You’ll have ideas of the jewellery you want to wear that draws attention to you as you glide gracefully toward your future spouse but there is a superstition that including pearls will lead to tears. Instead, opt for crystals and diamonds but, in our book, any jewellery you opt for will be just perfect.
#7 Sewing a coin in the hem of your dress…
… and include one in the shoe of the groom because apparently, this will bring you good luck and fortune on your relationship. In the UK, this would traditionally be a sixpence but these are in short supply these days so any coin will probably do the trick.
#8 The groom must keep his tie straight
If you are wearing a tie – and not all grooms choose to – then it needs to be perfectly straight because if it’s crooked, disaster could be looming for your relationship in the shape of an extra-marital affair…
#9 Keeping your face covered with your veil
Centuries ago, many people believed that hanging over their lives, waiting and watching to strike at any time to cause chaos and disaster, were the ‘evil spirits’. And this includes the precious minutes before the bride makes the trip down the aisle to marry the love of her life (although this wasn’t always the main reason to marry in centuries past). Thin and lightweight it may be, but the bride’s veil covering her face was enough to protect her from the evil eye.
With the evil spirit of jealousy, in particular, looking to strike a bride, the veil should remain over the face until she reaches her partner and then they lift it to reveal her beautiful face.
Do superstitions and wedding traditions matter?
It depends on how you feel but most modern couples incorporate some traditions but also, they include some ‘new’ ones too. Not only is how we get wed changing but who can get wed (and where) is changing too. And that means a whole new exciting era of wedding traditions is opening us before us. Exciting times!