Wedding Rituals & Superstitions

Weddings are a sacred rite of passage, but it doesn’t have to be all solemn. Part of what makes weddings exciting and memorable are the traditions and rituals that come before the actual ceremony. Read on to find out more about what these are. 

1. Including something old for protection

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Starting with one of the most popular rhymes  – “something borrowed, something blue, something old, and something new”. Brides usually include these items in their outfit or on them as an accessory of sorts, for good luck and a happy marriage. Usually collected from women in the bride’s family, or female friends who’ve got loving, successful marriages, each of these items is meant to send the bride into her union with their blessings. 

The “something old” was traditionally meant to protect any children that the bride might have.  Be it that gorgeous necklace, or the gown your mother wore to her own wedding, tradition means everything to some families. 

2. Including something new for a fresh start

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You don’t have to think too hard about this one. “Something new” can be anything – whether it’s jewellery or a pair of heels. For a fresh start, this represents hope and optimism for the marriage.

3. Including something borrowed for happiness

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For many, “something borrowed” tends to be symbolic items belonging to a happily married woman, more often someone close to their heart. It symbolises the borrowing of the happiness and fortune in that marriage, to bless the impending couple with a similar bliss. 

4. Including something blue for faithfulness

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Incorporating blue into the bride’s fit on the big day is an essential part of the wedding too. The colour blue was believed to thwart evil, and symbolises purity, love and faithfulness. Add a subtle blue accent, or go all the way with a blue gown – it’s really up to you.

5. A sixpence in your shoe for prosperity

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This tradition traces back to the Victorian times, where the bride would put a sixpence coin in her shoe for prosperity in her marriage. The sixpence coin is no longer in circulation today, but any small coin suffices. So brides – no matter how uncomfortable it may get, you might want to put that coin in your shoe anyway.

6. It’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony

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In Gen-Z terms, the bride basically “ghosts” the groom until the ceremony commences to avoid bad luck. More specifically, the bride and groom can’t see each other, but can still talk to one another. 

The origin of this stems from a time when arranged marriages were a thing, and the groom would back out of the wedding after seeing what his wife looked like for the first time. Love Is Blind, who?

7. Crying on the wedding day symbolises future happiness

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Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually good luck for a bride to cry on her wedding day. This symbolises that the bride has shed all her tears, and so will only have happiness  – and no more tears – in her marriage. Do make sure to request for waterproof makeup, though.

8. Breaking a glass for good luck

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Breaking a glass at your wedding has many interpretations  – all good, surprisingly. It’s a mainstream practice now, but it was originally a Jewish wedding custom with a more sobering meaning behind it. 

An alternate rationale behind this custom believes that the breaking glass scares away demons and bad juju, but for the rest of us, a common interpretation is that the couple will spend as many happy years as it takes time to sweep up all the broken glass.

Also read:

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9. Wearing white for purity

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I’m sure it is almost every girl’s dream to picture herself at her wedding, walking down the aisle in a white gown. White dresses are still the number one choice for brides even today, though it’s mostly an aesthetic and superstitious choice, symbolic of the bride’s purity and innocence.  

10. Wearing a veil to show modesty

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Veils, like white gowns, are mostly worn for the sake of the aesthetic today, but once upon a time were a symbol of the bride’s chastity and modesty. No matter if you attach the veils to your hair, or let it fall over their face, you can’t deny that it adds style to your wedding look. 

11. Using your married name before the wedding is bad luck

Don’t get ahead of yourself and start using your husband-to-be’s name ahead of the wedding – it’s said to doom the wedding before it even takes place. It’s a superstition, of course, but you wouldn’t want to take that risk. Hold on to your maiden name until the wedding’s over, or it might not happen at all. 

12. Knives are inauspicious wedding gifts

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You might think that a set of knives is the perfect gift for a newlywed couple, seeing as they have a new home and will need to fill it up. However, it’s considered bad luck to give knives as a wedding present, because it portends a broken relationship for the couple – and we definitely don’t want anything but blessings for the newlyweds. 

13. Wedding bells keep evil spirits away

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Did you know, the term “wedding bells ringing” refers to the church bells ringing to announce a couple as they walk down the aisle together for the first time after the ceremony?

It’s a tradition that goes all the way back to ancient Celtic and Scottish times, when bells were rung to supposedly keep evil spirits away. It’s the only kind of ringing that we should hear at a wedding, and not from cell phones. 

14. Rain on the wedding day foretells a lasting marriage

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Even though a downpour can potentially ruin your makeup, gowns, and the vibe, it’s actually a good thing to have rain at your wedding. It’s supposed to symbolise the start of this new chapter in your life, and is good tidings for a lasting marriage.

Rain is also said to bless your union with children! Have a wet weather contingency plan in place alongside waterproof makeup, and don’t let the rain, well, rain on your parade.

15. Spiders on your wedding gown are good luck

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When we see creepy crawlies, our first instinct is to shoo them away. However, if you find a spider on your wedding gown, leave it there. Despite the “eek” factor, it’s actually considered good luck for the couple, as well as the marriage. 

16. Include a wedding bouquet for love and fellowship

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Every bride will hold a bouquet of  flowers on their big day, and there’s more to it than just the aesthetics or the bouquet toss. 

Flowers are a language all on their own, and if chosen with intention, the wedding bouquet can be a message of love, happiness, and good tidings for the couple, held together with a ribbon that symbolises the fellowship of the marriage.

Not only does the bouquet look pretty, it also saves you from being awkward with your hands during the ceremony  – definitely a saving grace when walking down the aisle. 

Remember These Wedding Rituals & Superstitions To Ensure Good Luck At A Wedding

Some of these rituals and superstitions may seem ridiculous or silly, but there must be a reason why they’re still around today. No matter if you’re attending a wedding, or are the lucky bride-to-be, there’s no harm sticking to these practices for extra blessings and luck.

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