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Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

Wedding superstitions date back to the earliest of times and many of them were founded out of the belief that weddings were vulnerable to evil spirits and the bad luck received from these spirits. As a result endless numbers of superstitions have come about to ward off evil energies. Some of these are widely known, such as carrying the bride as you enter your new home together, while other superstitions are regional or country specific. Here are just a few superstitions about weddings and the events that surround them.

The Engagement

• Engagement rings are worn on the fourth finger on the left hand because it was believed that the vein in that finger led directly to the heart.
• It is bad luck to remove the engagement ring before the wedding day.
• It is unlucky to marry a man whose last name starts with the same initial as her last name. As the saying goes, “To change the name and not the letter; is to change for the worst and not the better.”

The Bridal Shower

• The first gift the bride opens should be the first gift she uses
• The person who gives the bride the third gift will soon have a baby

The Wedding Day
• If the groom arrives to the church before the bride it is considered lucky
• It is bad luck for the bride to start the ceremony on time
• It is good luck for the bride to enter the church (or ceremony location) with her right foot.
• If you say your vows while the clock is moving upwards (30 to 59 minutes) you will work together at your marriage, if you say your vows when the clock is moving downward (01 to 30 minutes) you will have a bad luck.
• If a bride cries on her wedding, it will be the last tears she sheds over her marriage.
• Flower girls drop flowers so the couple will be fertile and have many children.
• Carrying a horseshoe upwards is considered lucky. But make sure you carry it facing upward or your luck will “fall out”
• Victorians believed that it was lucky to marry the week the groom was born, and even luckier to marry him on his birthday. However, Saturday was considered the most unlucky of wedding days.
• It is bad luck for the bride to see the groom on the wedding day before the ceremony occurs.
• Jordan almonds were given out to guests in sets of 5 to ensure health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity. Almonds were always given out in odd numbers because odd numbers were indivisible, which was the intent for the marriage.

Wedding Attire
• A veil disguises the bride from evil spirits
• Dressing up the bridesmaids is to fool the evil spirits, so they will be confused to who the bride is
• If the bride rips her wedding dress on her wedding day, the marriage will end in death.
• It is good luck if you find a spider in your wedding dress.
• Wearing pearls on your wedding day can bring misfortune.
• It is bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her wedding gown before the wedding ceremony.

The Wedding Cake
• The bride and groom slice the first piece of cake to ensure they will conceive a child.
• The maid of honor should carry a piece of wedding cake for the entire honeymoon to ensure she will marry soon
• Single female guests should take a piece of cake and place it under their pillow to dream of the man they will marry.

After the Wedding
• Throwing rice (or birdseed, confetti or flowers) at the couple as they leave the ceremony bestows fertility upon the couple.
• The new bride must enter her home through the main door and must not slip or fall. Alternatively, it is believed that the groom carries the bride so that the spirits within the home accept her.
• The spouse who falls asleep first on the wedding day will be the first to die.
• Clinking bells, or tying on cans to the car scares away evil spirits from the couple.

© 2008 Erica Tevis, Little Things Favors

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