If you have ever been to a wedding or are in the middle of planning your own, you have surely noticed that marriage is a sacrament simply swimming in superstitions. Many wedding traditions are very well-established (as your parents and grandparents will surely tell you!).
Today, we at Ceremonize want to fill you in on the origins of our favourite traditions, superstitions, and proverbs about marriage. Whether they’re fact or fiction is for you to decide!
- Throwing the bouquet. It’s a wedding must! All the unmarried women at the wedding gather around the bride as she tosses her bouquet, and they say that whoever catches it will be the next to marry. There are a few different theories on this tradition’s origins, but this is our favourite: back when this ritual began, the bride didn’t toss her bouquet, but her shoe! This was so that the bride couldn’t walk or run into the path of adultery…the shoe was tossed into the crowd as a sign of her fidelity.
- The bride wears white. Even if we are seeing more and more coloured dresses these days, many brides continue to opt for the traditional white dress. White has long been a symbol of purity, and it’s a wedding dress colour that’s not going anywhere!
- Separate beds the night before the wedding. This is becoming a less popular option for young couples, but it’s still worth explaining its history! This tradition consists of not sleeping with your future husband or wife the night before your wedding, instead returning to spend the night at your parents’ house. Back in the day, it was unheard of to live together before you were married! This tradition symbolises the passage between childhood and married life…it also allows you to spend a special moment with your parents before the big day.
A lesser known proverb
In French, they say “mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux”, which translates roughly as “a rainy wedding is a happy wedding”. Surely not! However, there has been a slight misunderstanding here – the phrase didn’t originally say “pluvieux” but “plus vieux”, which means “older”. The proverb is telling us that the longer we wait to marry, the happier our marriage will be. However, we at Ceremonize like to believe that love has no age!
- The groom mustn’t see the bride before the wedding. This superstition is quite possibly less respected today than it once was, but it is still one of the best known. When it originated, it was supposed to prevent the groom from changing his mind just before the wedding (not the most flattering reason for our poor brides!)
- It is bad luck if the rings fall during the ceremony…the superstition goes that whichever spouse drops the ring will be the first to die…not very comforting!
- “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is one of the most famous superstitions, and it hails from England. Although it is a little old-fashioned, many brides still follow its words. The blue object is supposed to symbolise purity and faithfulness, the borrowed item normally comes from a happily married woman (as a good luck charm), the old object represents the bride’s relationship with her family, and the new item symbolises the bride’s future married life…You can even combine the objects by borrowing something old and blue from a happily married woman! As for the “new”, your dress, shoes, or accessories will do the job!