May 02

Wedding Superstitions and Traditions

There are so many wedding and traditions that different people in different countries and different cultures follow.  Have you ever thought to stop and really think them through?  Why does a Bride wear a veil?  Why is it said to have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on your possession at the time of your marriage?  And why does a Groom carry the Bride over the threshold once they are married?  I thought you might appreciate the meanings behind some of these superstitions and traditions that are commonly practiced.

Wearing a veil originated in Rome and was meant for the Bride to disguise herself from evil spirits who might be jealous of her happiness.  If they saw the joy in her face they might latch on and try to feed off of her good fortune.  The superstition of carrying the Bride over the threshold is very similar.  It began in Medieval Europe and it was through that a Bride was extra vulnerable to evil spirits possessing her through the soles of her feet, so the Groom would carry her into her new home to protect the home from evil spirits.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue is meant to represent the merging of the bride’s past with her future.  Something borrowed is to represent a token from someone else’s happily marriage, to hope the good luck rubs off on the Bride, and something blue is to represent ongoing fidelity and love.

The superstition that seeing each other before the wedding is bad luck, began at the time of arranged marriages because it was thought that if the couple saw each other before the ceremony, it would give them a chance to change their minds about the wedding.  This is not practised so many anymore as today many couples choose to see each other before the wedding to do lots of things, including to have their photos taken while their hair and make up is pristine.

Breaking glass is a common tradition in many cultures, for different reasons.  In Italy, many new couples break a vase or glass at their wedding and it is said that however many pieces the glassware breaks into will symbolize how many years the couple will be together.  In Jewish tradition, the couple smashes a glass by stepping on it and it is said that the transformation of the glass into a state that is irreversible is symbolic of the couple’s union — their marriage is finite and their union can never be reversed.  Similar to the glass, it will never be able to return to the way it was before.