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“when you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer, superstition ain’t the way”

Stevie Wonder 1972

11 wedding superstitions and traditions 

welcome along to the start of my new blog…it’s great to have you here!

with this being the start of something new, i figured what better place to start than with something old! so in this post i thought i’d have a look at some wedding traditions and superstitions, where they come from, and what it means for you and your wedding day (if you choose to believe them…)

so without further ado, let’s start at the beginning!

 

 

 

something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…

 

 

 

This is a Victorian rhyme that is meant to bring luck and sentiment in many forms. 

‘Something old’ is to link the bride with her family and the past, so that link will always present in memory. Lots of brides chose jewellery as their piece.

‘Something new’ is used to represent the future, with the idea of good fortune and success linked to the item. More often than not, the brides dress or shoes are the choice item for this part of the rhyme.

‘Something borrowed’ reminds the bride of her friends and family’s connection and loyalty, reminding her they will always be there for her. It’s normally something small like a hairpin.

And finally, ‘something blue’ goes back to the days of the bible, when the colour represented purity; nowadays symbolising faithfulness. Some brides chose something entirely blue (shoes or bag) and others add a blue adornment (maybe a small blue ribbon on a bag or garter) to change that item to be ‘blue’.

I’m guessing you’ve heard of the magpies rhyme? (One for sorrow, two for joy etc) in the same way, rhyming is absolutely key to creating a catchy tradition that isn’t going to have any real bearing on the outcome! 

But if you are worried about it, Wednesday is your best bet, because this is how it goes….

“Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday’s the best of all.
Thursday brings crosses,
And Friday losses,
But Saturday – no luck at all.”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 

 

 

 

 

what day should you get married?

 

 

 

 

 

 

why can’t couples see each other before the altar….

 

 

 

This one dates back to a time I’m sure we’d sooner forget…when arranged marriages were a business deal and not based on good ol’ love. Back then, the couple weren’t allowed to see each other in case they pulled out! Nowadays there’s fewer arranged marriages, it’s just considered ‘unlucky’; and people do it for the surprise. It also let’s me capture the photo of the bride/groom looking away from everyone after seeing how beautiful his/her significant other is! 

No one is exactly sure…sorry! There are a few theories we’ll have a look at though.

One is that in the Middle Ages, men bent down in front of women they adored (yep, even in that pig poo!) 

Another is that from a religious perspective, kneeling is a sign of respect, loyalty and obedience.

Some also think it relates to bowing before royalty; once again showing respect for someone you hold in high regard.

Wherever it comes from though, getting down on one knee can still demonstrate a sense of vulnerability and commitment; romance at its finest!

 

 

 

getting on one knee to propose

 

 

 

 

 

 

left hand, fourth finger…

 

 

 

The most common belief is that it all started with the Romans; who believed that there was a vein that ran straight from the fourth finger to the heart….pretty romantic considering the ruthlessness they had creating their empire! 

Others think it’s just because generally the left hand is used less (obviously not the case if you’re left handed!) so is more practical.

It’s not always been that specific finger though. Egyptians favoured middle finger, and here in Britain we used to use the little finger.

Some say it’s unlucky for a bride to try on her wedding ring before getting married, but I don’t know where that one started!

Any which way you look at it though, as long as you’re tying the knot with the one you love, does it matter where the ring is?!

This one all started with Queen Victoria…ish. Basically, people always wore their best clothes to get married in, so some WOULD be white, some would be red, pink…I won’t list all the colours, I think you know them! Anyway, Queen Vic wore white when she married Prince Albert, and others followed suit if they could afford it (white satin doesn’t come cheap!) after world war 2, society became more prosperous, and single use party frocks became commonplace. Then, as white became more popular, it got associated with purity and innocence….but only you would know whether that’s true!!

 

 

 

white wedding dress…

 

 

 

 

 

 

bouquet throwing…

 

 

 

Wedding bouquets are darn pretty and people put a lot of time and consideration into choosing what goes into them. Not saying that hasn’t always been the case, but the considerations were based more on how the flowers smelt rather than look, because they were used to mask the brides smell!!

When it comes to the bouquet toss, that all started in the 14th century over the channel in France, when the groom would throw his wife’s garter. Over time, that changed to throwing the flowers, making the ritual a lot more PG!!

Back in the day, it used to be rice rather than what we know confetti to be now. It was thrown over the happy couple to show wishes of prosperity, and good luck. But why rice? The answer to that is that it was simply easy to get hold of and cheap!

These days, a lot of venues don’t let you use paper confetti because of the environmental impact, so check beforehand, and have a look online for alternative ideas.

 

 

 

confetti…

 

 

 

 

 

 

wearing a veil…

 

 

 

The wedding veil hides how beautiful the bride is and also to keep those ghastly spirits and ghouls away! It’s also been said that back in the days of arranged marriages, the bride would keep her face covered until her spouse had gone through with it!

 

Don’t forget, though, don’t let anyone else try your veil on because history has it that it means they’ll run off with your new husband/wife!

 

Cake has always been there at weddings. Of course it has, cake is great! Many years ago, however, it was guests that brought them along and put them in front of the happy couple, who would then kiss over a pile of cakes to secure their future wealth and happiness. Thanks to Prince Leopold (one of Queen Vic’s brood) that tradition has now evolved to be the tiered wedding cake, which still plays a big part of a wedding day. Who doesn’t love a photo of that first cut? I once photographed a cake cut in which they used a Japanese sword (yes, an actual sword!) to cut!

 

 

 

tiered wedding cake…

 

 

 

 

 

 

why does the bride get given away?

 

 

 

This is another one that goes back to the days that weddings were business and the bride was ‘sold’ at the altar. When she was given away, cash would exchange hands…pretty degrading by nowadays standards. The tradition still remains, but with a much nicer sentiment, and is no longer reserved for the father of the bride, many chose someone that they are close to as it feels more special.

 

REAL.LOVE.STORIES.TOLD