History of Marriage Folklore and Superstitions

There is a vast history of marriage folklore and superstition. Every culture has superstitions surrounding marriage and the wedding day itself. Many superstitions are so ingrained they have become a regular part of wedding traditions. The reasons why a bride wears white and a veil, why the groom carries the bride over the threshold, the placement of the best man, why there is a best man and bridesmaids, why we still decorate the getaway vehicle with noisy items and why the bride should have something old, new, borrowed and blue all come from wedding folklore and superstition. Here are some lesser-known superstitions and folklore about weddings and marriage.

  • It is good luck for a bride to dream of her wedding day.
  • Feed a cat out of an old shoe and your wedding day will be a happy one.
  • If a cat sneezes in front of a bride on the day before her wedding, it is a sign of very good luck.
  • It is bad luck for a bride to read the marriage service on the day before her wedding.
  • A woman should not marry a man whose surname begins with the same letter as her own. It is bad luck.
  • It is unlucky to marry someone born in the same month as you.
  • It will bring bad luck to marry on your birthday.
  • Be sure that the marriage is completed between the half hour and the hour.
  • If it rains on the wedding day, the bride will cry all her married life.
  • Postponing a wedding is very bad luck.
  • It is bad luck for the bride to eat anything while she is adorning for her marriage. Wait until after the ceremony.
  • After the bride is completely dressed and ready for the ceremony, she must not look into a mirror again until she is wed. The bride may dress before a mirror but should leave something off until after she walks away, like a necklace or earring.
  • Wear earrings when you are married and you will always be happy.
  • It is bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the actual ceremony.
  • It is bad luck to make your own wedding gown.
  • It is a sign of very good luck to find a spider crawling on your wedding gown.
  • Pearls are the symbols of tears. For each pearl that the bride wears, her husband will give her a cause for weeping.
  • A bride should have her hair dressed and veil put on by a happily married woman.
  • Good luck will come to a bride if her veil is accidentally torn, especially if torn at the altar.
  • Bad luck comes to the bride who shows her veil to anyone other than family before the wedding.
  • In the saying something old, something new, the old should be something from a happily married woman, the borrowed should be an object of gold, and the sixpence, penny or new dime should be worn in the heel of the left shoe.
  • The bride should always be happy if she wears or carries a bit of salt.
  • The bridegroom should carry a horseshoe in his pocket for good luck.
  • The bride should step into and out of the church with her right foot first. When stepping away from the altar she should also put the right foot first.
  • At the altar, the bride should keep her right foot ahead of the groom's.
  • At the wedding, the bride should make sure she sees the groom before he sees her.
  • It is unlucky to give away a wedding present.
  • The bride should drink a glass of water after the wedding ceremony.
  • Give the clergy an odd sum of money for good luck.
  • It is bad luck for the bride to put bare feet on the floor on her wedding night. Keep slippers on or have the groom carry you to bed.
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