A look into how some of the most popular wedding superstitions became staples in American culture.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
This tradition migrated to the United States from an Old English rhyme, “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe”. The four objects each bride carries on her special day are simply good luck charms. The something old represents the bride’s past, something new represents the bride’s future, something borrowed should be from a happily married couple for the luck to rub off on the newly weds, and something blue for fidelity and love.
Wearing a veil
In the Roman era, brides wore a veil to disguise themselves from evil spirits. The evil spirits were thought to be jealous of a bride’s happiness.
Carrying the bride over the threshold
This superstition came about also because of evil spirits but in Medieval Europe. It was believed that brides were extra vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of their feet and to avoid any evil spirit getting to the bride, the groom would carry her into their new home.
Breaking of the glass
When a Jewish couple marries, it has become tradition to break a wine glass. Now, this has been known to be done for several reasons, a symbol of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, a symbol that they have changed together and will never be the people they were apart, a start to the party, and the number of pieces the glass breaks are the number of happily married years they will spend together.
Jumping over the broom
Jumping over a broom after the “I Do’s” came from African origin and symbolizes the couple is jumping into their new lives together. They are leaving their past behind and starting their lives together.
The color red
In many Chinese weddings, brides will wear dresses or traditional clothing that is red. The color red has been known to be associated with success, loyalty, honor, fertility, and love.
In Japanese cultures, the numbers 4 and 9 are considered to be bad luck. In Western cultures the number 13 is considered to be bad luck. Giving couples money, as a gift should not end with 4, 9, or 13 and other gifts should not consist of 4, 9, or 13 items.
The Irish traditionally believed that ringing bells at weddings would warn off any evil spirits and ensure a harmonious family life.
Raining on your wedding day
Many may think that rain on your wedding day is a bad omen, but many cultures believe that rain on your wedding day symbolizes fertility and cleansing.
Seeing each other before the ceremony
Many couples believe seeing one another before the ceremony is bad luck. This tradition dates back to when arranged marriages were the norm. Some believed that if the groom saw the bride before marriage and she was not what he expected, he would call off the wedding.
You may wish to continue any and all traditions you find near to your heart. Don’t fret if you want to stray from tradition, this is your day!