Rituals we take for granted are rooted in centuries-old tradition.
Ever wondered why a bride wears a veil or how a “something borrowed” has become a wedding-day must-have? We’ve rounded up the most common and surprising wedding superstitions and traditions and the reasons behind them.
1. Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue
We’ve all heard this common rhyme used when someone gets married, but what does it mean? Wearing “something old” represents the bride’s past, while the “something new” symbolizes the couple’s happy future. The bride is supposed to get her “something borrowed” from someone who is happily married in the hope that some of that person’s good fortune rubs off on her. “Something blue” denotes fidelity and love.
2. Wearing a Veil
This custom originated in Rome, when a bride would wear a veil down the aisle to disguise herself from evil spirits who were jealous of her happiness.
3. Seeing Each Other Before The Wedding
This superstition dates back to the time of arranged marriages, when people believed that if the couple saw each other before the ceremony, it would give them a chance to change their minds about the wedding. Today, however, many couples choose to meet up and even have portrait sessions before saying their “I dos.”
4. Rain on Your Wedding Day
Contrary to popular belief, rain on your big day is a good omen
If you’re superstitious it means good luck. If you’re not it means you better have an umbrella handy and a bridesmaid to hold up your dress so it doesn’t touch the wet ground! lol
In some cultures, rain on your wedding day symbolizes fertility and cleansing.
5. Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold
This superstition began in Medieval Europe where many believed that a bride was extra vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet. To avoid bringing in any evil spirits, the groom carried the bride into their new home.
6. Using Your Married Name Before the Wedding
Some think it is tempting fate for the bride to write out her married name or monogram before she’s actually married, and that the wedding will not take place if she does so. If you’re superstitious, save the monogramming for your reception decor and registry items.
7. Breaking Glass
Although this ceremony is traditionally of Jewish origin, many couples choose to incorporate it into traditional and non-traditional ceremonies.
In Italy, many newlyweds smash a vase or glass at their wedding, and they put a lot of muscle into it, too. The tradition says that however many pieces the glassware breaks into will symbolize how many years they’ll be happily married.
One interpretation of this ceremony states that once the glass is shattered, it can never return to its former condition, thus symbolizing the couples wish to never return to the time before they shared their lives.
8. Crying on Your Wedding Day
It is supposed to be good luck for the bride to cry on her wedding day because it symbolizes that she has shed all her tears and will not have any to shed during her marriage. So go ahead and get teary-eyed. Just be sure to wear some waterproof mascara.
9. Father Giving the Bride “Away”
Originally, it was because the father was literally giving his daughter to another man. Daughters were viewed more as property than anything else.
It has its roots in the days of arranged marriages. Daughters were considered their father’s property. It was the father’s right to give his child to the groom, usually for a price. Today it’s more of a symbol of the father giving his blessing for the marriage.
10. Tossing the Bouquet/Garter
Like many other superstitions, the Medieval times gave us this origin – and it’s just plain unromantic! Back in those days, it was considered great luck to get a piece of the bride’s gown after the ceremony. Guests would even stand around the bridal bed, trying to rip the gown off of the bride! So, in an effort to deter guests from absolutely destroying the wedding dress (and likely embarrassing the blushing bride), brides began tossing their bouquets into the crowds to deter the eager guests while she and her new husband made a quick escape to the bridal chamber. Once inside, the groom would open the door slightly and toss out the garter quickly to the waiting guests, which meant he was about to complete the deal. Mamma Mia!