Superstitions weave throughout our lives and wedding superstitions abound. After reading this post you may need additional items besides just “something old and something new.” Consider the following: buy some good mascara, a floral crown, a veil, delete the knife set off your online gift registry and change your wedding day to any other day than Saturday.
A lot of superstitions revolve around warding off evil spirits, we collected 25 common wedding superstitions for you to consider.
- Wedding Superstitions
- 1) Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue
- 2) Engagement Ring
- 3) The Veil
- 4) Floral Crown
- 5) Seeing Each Other Before The Wedding
- 6) Rainy Wedding Day
- 7) Wedding Gifts
- 8) Saturdays
- 9) Ringing of the Bells
- 10) Carrying the Bride
- 11) Creepy Crawly On Your Wedding Dress
- 12) Stick with Your Maiden Name Until After the Wedding
- 13) Don't Cross Paths With…
- 14) Crying on Your Day
- 15) The Older Sister
- 16) There Goes the Stemware
- 17) Yellow Roses Symbolize Jealousy (Depending upon who you ask)
- 18) Save the Top Layer of Your Wedding Cake to Eat on the First Anniversary.
- 19) Sputtering Candles Indicate Lurking Evil Spirits
- 20. "To change the name and not the letter is to change for the worse and not for the better."
- 21) In Chinese culture, receiving a clock as a wedding present is bad luck.
- 22) Take a Bridal Sauna in Finland
- 23) Bring Fire in South Africa
- 24) Candy Coated Almonds are ALL Kinds of Lucky
- 25) Study Up on the Rules In the Philippines
1) Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue
We have all heard this catchy rhyme and most of the brides featured on L&L follow it. So what is the meaning behind it and why do we all do it?
The something old represents the brides past. Wearing something new is a symbol of the couple’s happy future together. The something borrowed should actually be from someone that is happily married, so that their same good fortune will rub off onto the bride. And finally, the something blue represents fidelity and love.
2) Engagement Ring
Everyone know that diamonds are a girls best friend. If you like pearls, then stick with pearl earrings and avoid a pearl ring. It is said that giving a pearl engagement ring is bad luck because it looks like a tear. Or maybe that is what the ring manufactures want you to think in order to spend more moola on diamonds!
3) The Veil
We think a veil is the perfect finishing touch to complete the bridal look, but it is actually a custom that goes back to Roman and Greek times. The bride would wear a veil to ward off the evil spirits who were jealous of her happiness. There is always one in the crowd, so why not wear one just in case!
4) Floral Crown
The Romans believed that evil spirits could not harm anyone that were inside a circle. Thus the tradition of wearing garlands and wreaths came into existence.
5) Seeing Each Other Before The Wedding
A superstition that traces its roots to arranged marriages, where people believed that if the couple saw each other before the wedding they could have second thoughts about the marriage and change their minds. We see a lot of couples doing “first looks” before the wedding and have not heard of any bad outcomes. I think it is safe to put this superstition to rest.
6) Rainy Wedding Day
It used to be said that it was unlucky if the rain fell upon a wedding , but as long as you have contingency plans for rain, there is no need to panic! Some cultures believe that rain on your wedding day brings fertility and cleansing to the bridal couple.
Looking for an umbrella? Check out our post on the Best Wedding Umbrellas – Rain or Shine!
7) Wedding Gifts
In folklore, to give a set of knives to a bride and groom as a wedding give signifies a broken relationship and brings bad luck. Maybe the couple enjoys cooking together, who knows? Just in case, you had better delete it off your gift registry!
According to English folklore, the unluckiest day of the week to get married is Saturday. Sounds good to me because Saturday is usually the most expensive day to rent a wedding venue. 
9) Ringing of the Bells
In a traditional Irish wedding ceremony, bells are rung to keep evil spirits away and to make sure that the lovely couple has a harmonious family life together. Some brides will even carry a bell in their bridal bouquet as a reminder of their sacred vows. This is also why bells are a common gift to give a bride and groom. 
10) Carrying the Bride
Dating back to Medieval times, it was believed that the bride was susceptible to evil spirits through the soles of her feet. The groom was to carry the bride into their new home to avoid bad spirits. It could just be a fun tradition to let your man show off his bravado and muscles!
11) Creepy Crawly On Your Wedding Dress
Finding a spider on your beautiful gown is a good omen in English folklore. Even though you may want to freak out and flick that spider off your dress, don’t get rid of him too quickly.
12) Stick with Your Maiden Name Until After the Wedding
Some people believe that if you use your married name before the wedding you are tempting fate and the wedding may not happen. If you are the superstitious type, perhaps skip the monogramming and save some money!
13) Don’t Cross Paths With…
Don’t worry about the black cat, stay away from the nuns and monks! It is said that if a bride crosses path with a monk or a nun on her wedding day, she will be cursed with a life of infertility and poverty.
14) Crying on Your Day
Make sure to buy some good quality waterproof mascara, because if a bride cries on her wedding day it symbolizes that she has won’t have any more tears to cry during her marriage.
15) The Older Sister
A superstition that is a tad bit humiliating: if your sister is older and unmarried, it is said that she must dance barefoot at your wedding or risk never getting married. 
16) There Goes the Stemware
In Italian tradition, it is common for the newlyweds to break a glass or vase on their wedding day. Tradition says that however many pieces the glass breaks into will symbolizes how many years the couple will be happily married.
17) Yellow Roses Symbolize Jealousy (Depending upon who you ask)
In Victorian times, the yellow rose was associated with the end of a relationship, jealousy, and infidelity . Some say the reason for this was because yellow roses of the time lacked scent and therefore were personified as “jealous” of their fragrant sisters of other colors.
Today, the symbolism of the yellow rose has more positive associations.
Yellow roses are often given as a symbol of friendship. In popular culture around the western world for generations yellow (as in tie a yellow ribbon ’round the old oak tree) has been a symbol of optimism for the return of a loved one, particularly those who have gone to war. Gifting a yellow rose to a family whose loved one is away in battle conveys a message of solidarity and sympathy.
Yellow roses make appearances at contemporary Texas weddings to symbolize new beginnings and freedom thanks to the story of Emily Morgan.
In Japanese custom, yellow roses symbolize inner strength, courage, and support from friends and loved ones during difficult times.
18) Save the Top Layer of Your Wedding Cake to Eat on the First Anniversary.
This is more of a custom than a superstition, per se, and its origins hail from Great Britain sometime in the 19th century when most traditional wedding cakes were fruit cakes. 
Fruit cake preserves much better than the cakes we serve at contemporary weddings, so at some point, it became a tradition to save the top tier to serve on the first anniversary or the christening of the first child.
The tradition may symbolize the connection between a marriage and the subsequent children it produces, or as a symbol of prosperity of the marriage one year later. No one’s really sure who decided this, but you know how these things get started. Someone’s uncle Chauncey probably got drunk at the reception and decided it would be an excellent practical joke.
Anyway, nowhere did we find anything to indicate it’s bad luck not to follow this tradition, so you know, take it with a grain of salt. Or a piece of cake.
19) Sputtering Candles Indicate Lurking Evil Spirits
Although wedding candles are usually a big part of traditional weddings in India, particularly Hindi weddings, you better take cover if they flicker. It’s a sign that evil spirits are around. And no one wants that. 
20. “To change the name and not the letter is to change for the worse and not for the better.”
According to this old English proverb hailing from Cambridgeshire, it’s bad luck for a young woman to marry a man whose surname begins with the same letter as hers . If her last name is Smith, it’s bad luck to marry someone with the last name “Simpson.” Or “Samuels.” Or “Stephens.” You get the idea.
21) In Chinese culture, receiving a clock as a wedding present is bad luck.
In Chinese culture, giving someone a clock is basically sending them the signal that you’re waiting for them to die. 
Why? Because in both the Mandarin and Cantonese language, the phrase for giving someone a clock or watch has the same pronunciation as to attend a funeral or care for a dying elder.
So yeah, it’s not too much of a stretch to see why giving a timepiece to Chinese newlyweds is a bad idea. Or giving one to the mayor of Taipei. That’s not awesome, either.
22) Take a Bridal Sauna in Finland
Finnish folks love their saunas, so it’s no surprise that in Finland, it’s traditional for the bride to go for a sauna with her ladies the day before the wedding. In the past, brides took a soothing soak because it was said to boost their fertility  but these days, it’s mostly a hen party thing.
New rule: We decree a soak in the sauna is now a wedding tradition everywhere. Period.
23) Bring Fire in South Africa
This fire-starting tradition gave us the feels, big time.
In this tradition, the newlywed’s parents bring embers from the bride and groom’s childhood homes and use them to light a fire in the new couple’s home. This is to symbolize the start of their new life together and bring good luck to their shared hearth. 
24) Candy Coated Almonds are ALL Kinds of Lucky
In Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern weddings, you’ll very likely see candied almonds , or “Jordan almonds” served in odd numbers, either as a wedding favor or at the reception. Each region has its own reason for offering up the nutty goods:
The Middle East- At Middle Eastern weddings, candied almonds are available throughout the reception because they’re considered lucky and are thought to be aphrodisiacs. Wedding crashers take note.
Italy- In Italy, five candied almonds, are served to the guests as a favor (or “Bomboniere”) to represent the five wishes for the bride and groom: health, happiness, fertility, wealth, and longevity.
Greece- In Greek weddings, the sugared almonds are called “koufetta,” and are served in little tuille bags in odd numbers. The indivisibility of odd numbers symbolizes the indivisible, permanent unity of the new couple.
25) Study Up on the Rules In the Philippines
Filipino brides and grooms heed many wedding superstitions common to the rest of the world, but they do have a few that are unique to their culture.
For instance, it’s bad luck for two siblings to marry in the same year.
It’s bad luck for a bride to try on her wedding dress before the wedding because if she does, the wedding won’t happen. (Inconvenient, to say the least.)
It’s bad luck for the bride to arrive at the church or venue before the groom.
If a wedding candle extinguishes at the altar or the head table, whoever’s side it’s on will die first.
Traditional Filipino weddings have a LOT of caveats.
Even if you think it is pish-posh and don’t believe in superstitions, I think it is fun to see the origins and meaning behind wedding superstitions.
Whether you believe in them or not, we hope your big day (and married life everafter) is filled with happiness and joy!
- Rainy Wedding: http://gutenberg.org/files/59782/59782-h/59782-h.htm#CHAPTER_3d
- Wedding Bells: http://gutenberg.org/files/54370/54370-h/54370-h.htm#Page_222
- Yellow Rose: http://gutenberg.org/files/31591/31591-h/31591-h.htm
- Cake on First Anniversary: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1603425764/?tag=lavlav-20
- Change Name and Not the Letter; Barefoot Sister, Bad Luck Saturdays: https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199539536.001.0001/acref-9780199539536-e-333?rskey=YTd4BM&result=309
- Sputtering Candle: https://www.bollywoodshaadis.com/articles/indian-wedding-beliefs-1985
- Bad Luck Timepiece: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/27/british-minister-cultural-gaffe-taipei-mayor-taboo-watch
- Sauna in Finland: http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/jp_marriage.htm
- Fire in South Africa: https://www.pilgrimsrest.org.za/traditions.htm
- Candied Almonds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragée
- Philippines: https://asian-recipe.com/philippine-wedding-customs-and-superstitions-2674
Despite her dreamy wedding blogger lifestyle, Meredith's day job is running ClassicVeils.com and a full-time mom to an active toddler. If she could, Meredith would spend her days taking cruises, helping animals in need, and watching Big Brother!