7 Age Old Wedding Superstitions That We Still Use Today

There were many wedding customs and superstitions even as far back as the middle ages. And they all revolved around protecting the bride and groom from the evil spirits that were all around, and old wives’s tales about fertility.

But thankfully, although some of these old customs are still around today, we don’t treat them seriously.

But there is one tradition that dates back to Victorian times, which most of us, when we marry still adhere to, and that is the famous good luck rhyme:

1. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Something Old

This is normally to signify that the bride is leaving her old life behind.
Popular choices for something old are:

  • Piece of old family jewellery
  • Wedding dress – mother’s or vintage
  • Grandmother’s picture in a locket

Something New

This symbolizes that the bride is about to begin a new life, and taking something new into her new life will ensure good fortune throughout her marriage.
So a bride might consider something new to be:

  • The key for her new home
  • A new item of clothing
  • A new wedding ring

Something Borrowed

This is an item a bride borrows from a happily married friend or relation. Providing she returns this item after the wedding, she too will have a happy marriage.
Some things that brides might borrow are:

  • A friend’s watch
  • A mother’s handkerchief
  • Pearl necklace belonging to a close relative

Something Blue

The colour blue was thought to be lucky and represent fidelity, purity and faithfulness.
Some of the things a bride might choose for her something blue are:

  • A blue garter
  • A blue ribbon
  • A blue sash

2. The Wedding Cake

As with most of these customs and superstitions, the wedding cake has always been an important part of the wedding ceremony and celebrations.

Back in Roman times the wedding ‘cake’ was a kind of crude bread made from wheat and barley. It would be broken over the bride’s head by the wedding guests. This was to encourage fertility.

And down through the centuries the wedding cake has evolved into what we know today and is now one of the most photographed parts of a wedding – second only to the bride’s dress.

3. Over The Threshold

The act of a groom carrying his bride over the threshold can be traced back as far as medieval times.

The origin of this ritual seems to vary from region to region, but the most likely one seems to be from Western Europe. They believed that if the bride tripped as she entered the house, it would bring bad luck into the house.

Other parts of the world believed that as long as she was carried into their home by the groom, she was safe from the evil spirits that were lurking.

Thankfully, we’ve moved on a bit since then, and now being carried over the threshold by your new husband has become a tradition that is great fun.

4. Shoes Tied On Car

This is something that really began back in Tudor times. As the newly wed couple left the ceremony, guests would throw old shoes at them. If the couple were hit by any of the shoes, it meant they would enjoy good luck during their marriage.

But thankfully these days, old shoes are tied to the back of their car, and not thrown at them.

5.The Veil

Veils were first used way back in the days when marriages were arranged between families purely for monetary gains. And this almost certainly meant that a man and woman would marry having never previously met.

Family members would cover her face with a veil. It wouldn’t be lifted until the ceremony was over in case the prospective groom didn’t like the look of her and refused to marry her.

6. The Bouquet

In bygone years a bride’s bouquet was actually a bunch of garlic, herbs and spices. Apparently, the strong aromatic smells served two purposes – firstly to mask any odours from guests who may have forgotten to bath, and secondly, (you’ve guessed it), to frighten off the evil spirits.

7.  The Bridesmaids

In medieval times it was thought that evil spirits were all around, wanting to cause mischief and bring bad luck to the bride.

So in order to outwit these evil spirits, a bride would be accompanied by several bridesmaids dressed the same as her. This confused the evil spirits. They didn’t know which one was the bride, so she was safe.

It can’t have been much fun being a bride back in the middle ages. The poor girls must have feared for their lives as they prepared for their wedding day whilst trying to outwit the evil spirits that were out to get them.

But as crazy as these superstitions were, we should be grateful that they have been handed down to us over the years. Without them we wouldn’t have some of things that go to make up modern day weddings – like bridesmaids and wedding cakes for instance.

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