Weddings are surrounded by superstition – but whether you choose to follow these ten time-honoured traditions is up to you!
1) Something old…
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”. We’ve all heard this rhyme – but what does it mean? Well, the “something old” represents the bride’s past, while “something new” signifies the couple’s future. “Something borrowed” symbolizes borrowed happiness, while “something blue” stands for fidelity and love.
2) Seeing each other before your big day
This tradition 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…
3) The veil
Again this tradition harks back to when the groom hadn’t seen the bride prior to the ceremony. The veil wasn’t lifted until after vows had been exchanged, meaning that it was too late for the groom to change his mind if he didn’t like what he saw!
4) Rain on your wedding day
While many couples dread rain on their big day (especially if they have planned an outdoor ceremony!) there are numerous reasons to believe that rain is actually good luck. One reason is because it signifies that your marriage will last the test of time – the theory being that a wet knot is extremely hard to untie, so rain on the day that you ‘tie the knot’ can only be a good thing.
5) Throwing the bouquet
In medieval times it was considered good luck to touch the bride – and even better luck to grab a piece of her wedding dress or veil. So in order to avoid being physically grabbed at, brides began throwing their bouquets to distract their guests and make them chase after the flowers, instead of her and her gown. The flowers were still believed to bring romantic luck for the future, and now mean that whoever manages to catch it is next in line to tie the knot.
6) Cutting the cake
The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake. Today, the cake is cut together as a symbol of unity
7) Throwing confetti
The tradition of throwing confetti over the bride and groom comes from Italy. Before paper confetti, flowers, petals, grain or rice were thrown at the happy couple to encourage prosperity and fertility. Today confetti comes in all shapes and sizes, but natural petals remain the most venue-friendly!
8) Knives as a wedding gift
According to folklore, a knife signifies a broken relationship and is bad luck to give as a wedding gift. If knives are on your gift list, then you need to give the guest a penny – that way it’s a purchase, not a present
9) Carrying the bride over the threshold
There are actually numerous theories for this one… In Medieval Europe, if the groom carried the bride over the threshold then she avoided looking too eager about consummating the marriage. Meanwhile Western Europeans believed that a bride who tripped over the threshold of her new home would bring bad luck to her home and her marriage – so being carried was one way to avoid the mishap. However, ancient cultures 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.
10) Going on a honeymoon
“Honeymoon” didn’t always refer to a romantic getaway… In the 5th Century newlywed couples would drink mead, a honey-based alcohol, after their first “moon” together as a married couple. The mead was usually a gift from their wedding guests, and it was believed to have aphrodisiac properties to help with conception.